Landed at Dublin to daffodils in bloom but snow on the roofs of cars and houses. Took the bus to the city centre, but instead of paying the 5 euro fare on the bus itself, I went in to the information booth in the terminal and bought an all-day pass for the same amount. That way I was able to take a second bus from O'Connell Street to the Dublin International Youth Hostel in Mountjoy Street. It's only a ten minute walk from the GPO (General Post Office) to the hostel, but it's uphill and with a heavy pack I preferred to take it easy.
I booked in to the hostel and found myself the only occupant of a six-bed dormitory room. After a few hours sleep I headed off on some errands. First I went to the Dublin City Library in the Ilac shopping centre on Moore Street. It seems odd having a public Library in a shopping mall, but I knew they had Internet terminals that you could sign up for. I had to get a Library card and a password but then I was able to book a terminal for later that evening.
Went around the corner to Roches Stores to shop for a travel alarm clock. I used to have a mechanical one but it gave out. The new ones on batteries that you can buy at Radio Shack and places like that never seem to last long before they break down and the knobs for setting time and alarm are too easily reset when carried loose in your pocket. I got a nice new one that folds up in a case, has a light and all which is handy if you want to check the time without waking everyone up.
Roches also has a cafeteria on the top floor so I had myself some chicken and chips and a cup of tea. Not great, but OK. The chips (french fries) were fresh cooked anyway. The other thing to remember is they have a public toilet. Although I was a bit put off when I went into the gents' and there was a young woman in there cleaning. I turned to leave but she said to go ahead it was open. So I did.
Got back to the Library only to find out the terminal I had been booked onto was out of service. As I pointed out the system shouldn't have let me book it if it was down, the Librarian let me pick up one that was unoccupied that still had ten minutes on it. It turns out, however, that their terminals do not allow use of a telnet application, which is the way in which I access my email. Fortunately, I was able to use my fall-back email on yahoo.com to send out one message before getting booted off. Then I hiked over the River to a cybercafe I know on Parliament Street near City Hall that is cheap and took care of the rest of my mail.
On the way I got a surprise when I saw this great silver beast gliding across my field of vision. It was the new LUAS, the light-rail trolley system that was still under construction when last I was in town. It looks like a huge silver snake that St. Patrick overlooked.
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