Yes Ireland is the most friendliest of places I have ever been but it seems I can’t keep the creeps at bay. Do I allude a scent? Is it a high pitch note that rings out from my vocal chords that only the weird ones can hear?
Whatever it is I always seem to find the oddballs in every country but luckily I keep these encounters brief. Why can’t I reel in the attractive sensitive types attending Trinity College? (Did you know that they can get married in the historic chapel but this offer expires 5 years after graduation. How is this not a chick flick yet?)
And I guarantee that I am the only person you’ll read that experienced any unpleasant fellows in Ireland.
Sitting here at home going through my Ireland photos in a fogginess brought on by a mixture of jet lag and a dizzying dose of cold medicine (should I even be writting?) I can’t help but be bothered about my final night in Dublin. My sister and I just wanted to have a last pint of Guinness in peace and get to bed at a reasonable hour as we had to wake up at 3am to head to the airport by 4.
A delicious dinner at Chez Max located right in front of the Dublin Castle gates was turning out to be a culinary highlight with baked camembert, mussels in cream sauce and a couple bottles of French Crémant to wash it all down. My sister and I were relieved to be going home – not because we had a bad time but just a busy one and our lives back home were beginning to look serene after all the sightseeing we had been doing.
After dark we were just about to pay for our meal when a guitarist came up to us and sang Leonard Cohen after discovering we were Canadian. He seemed friendly enough and he was a talented man but there’s nothing I hate more than being conned or tricked into doing something. Especially after my last trip to Vegas I have ever since been particularly on edge with strangers.
The guitarist carried on a nice conversation with us and even offered to take us to a couple of pubs that would be a great way to end our trip to Ireland. We followed and entered into a pub particularly minimalist compared to the busy pubs we had frequented decorated with a patchwork of posters, photos, advertisements and oddities here and there. In this pub on the other hand it was a blank slate to an almost dull degree.
Oddly enough there was a group of Canadians from Saskatchewan on the other side of the pub who greeted us after the guitarist engaged them in a quick hello.
The three of us sat down the guitarist taking the seat in between my sister and I. We ordered half pints of Guinness and he ordered a full pint of Carlsberg.
“I’ll be right back. I’m just headed around the corner.” He took his guitar with him and fled.
I took the seat next to my sister and turned my head to look out the window seeing him staring inside at me then quickly turning around to play his guitar. Odd, I thought.
I looked back again and he was gone.
The bartender asked us where he had gone and I shrugged. He didn’t pour the guitarists beer and then quizzically asked us where we had met him. I could tell the bartender was annoyed by his absence and when I told him that we had just met him at the neighbouring restaurant he shook his head. It was then I realized that this man was expecting us to pay for his drink.
My mind then started spinning webs of conspiracy wondering if we were brought to a pub where they scam Canadians or worse. We quickly downed our Guinness and fled back to our hotel. The odd thing was while we exited the pub we stilled our breaths to see if we could hear any guitars being played near by but it was quiet.
I keep thinking of this night, upset that I didn’t get to savour my last Guinness and instead having it interrupted by flashes of the television show Scam City being played in my head. I have learned to trust my gut in these instances and maybe to an extreme degree but I never regret it.
It seems that being solo female travelers has its nuisances where you are either seen as a pawn for the picking or ignored completely. If this moment taught me one thing it was that I am starting to come into my own and trust myself which is so important in life let alone travel.
But now after writing about it I am ready to move on to better things like all the great people I met in Ireland, the BlogHouse and TBEX!