Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bad Shakespeare Takes Ireland: Reflections of Galway

When I left for this trip, I was very aware that it was going to be different than my time in London. Firstly, my time in London was a very specific time and place… nothing could duplicate it. Secondly, the programs are different. Theatre is reflective, but is very much a focus on a visual narrative, and how we react to it. And it’s very clear I won’t have that guide while in Ireland, I’m going to have to find that for myself.

The place we are located is near Galway Bay, so there’s a tiny beach near our apartment. And yes, we have a whole apartment this time, which is nicer than the shoebox in London. Of course, that’s very much because this is Ireland and that was London, and while nice London is on those list of cities where it would probably be better if you paid in gold bars instead of actual cash. So, we have this nicish apartment where any of the appliances might fail at literally any minute, and none of us are still sure how to use the washing machine. But it’s there if we want it!

Galway is a nice city. It’s small, while at the same time feeling huge. Part of that may be because I haven’t quite gotten my bearings just yet, which means just one wrong turn and I don’t really know where I’m going. But that’s part of any travel experience, even the smallest cities seem huge until you are ready and adjusted. Then even someplace like London feels like home. This place is already settling in to be like home. There’s a bar that I’ve found that I really enjoy. We have a grocery store where we’ve stocked up in those products that we need, and then those that are sorta like what we have in America but aren’t quite. (Frosties, anyone? They’re GRRRRRRRRREEEEEAAATT!)

And the people here are amazing. I’ve been here three days, and all three days I’ve managed to strike up a conversation with random strangers that are quick to tell us where to go, what to do, and what we should be seeing. It’s incredible. It’s an amazing feeling. Especially in a place like this that’s not really near a big airport and only accessibly by two hours by car or bus from the major airports, it would be really easy to have a tougher time meeting people. But even yesterday when I got turned around, someone was quick to ask me if I knew where I was going and point me in the right direction. The bar I went to; the owner made me feel like a regular after only a few minutes. 

I’ve always associated Ireland with a type of magic. Maybe its just the fact that it’s an Island, or the fact that I was’t really sure I’d ever get to come here. At least not on a trip like this, where it’s not “run around and see everything.” That’s what I like about this particular trip that’s focusing on my writing, it’s allowing me to be more reflective, it’s allowing me to be able to sit back for a few minutes and think about things a little bit more. It’s a nice feeling.

Overall, so far, I love it here. There’s a feeling to the air that’s a little bit different. It’s hard to describe. It’s just something that I feel as I walk around, or that I even look outside. 

I’m really interested in seeing what else this trip has to bring. Right now we’re only starting.

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