Saturday, July 31, 2010


I wasn't too thrilled when I got to know I'd have to be in Dublin for a week on work. I do like the place from my last visit about a year ago, but this time I was going alone. I'm not an 'alone' person. I like being around people and people around me. I need to have conversations out loud and not in my head. I need to be interactive. I need to be listening to other people talk. And this time, I wouldn't get to do all that. Sure, I'd made friends from my last trip..but there was this weird feeling of traveling to and fro alone.

So I get there! It's raining, windy, CLEAN, and everything else Delhi is not. Not bad for starters, I'm thinking. I phoned my friends and head out to lunch with them. The weekend was not bad at all! The Dubliners hate the weather, rainy and windy, but I LOVED it. It was an incredibly pleasant break from the heat in Delhi.

Come Monday - work begins..I met my teammates and the day went by pretty fast with work and socializing with colleagues. The cafe food, I could not understand but I ate what looked like food :) There was one particular dish called 'Paalak Paneer' that looked NOTHING like Paalak Paneer. It was some Spinach baked thingy. I laughed was nice to see 'interpretations' of Indian food.

One thing I did almost every night in Dublin is drink - BEER! I went with this conscious decisions that if I drink, I will drink only beer. I will do it the way the Irish do! So, I laid off my usual cocktails, etc and stuck to beer. I had Guinness last time round and didn't particularly like the heavy barley juice. So I stuck to Carlsberg. Monday night - 2 Carlsbergs and a Cobra at some Indian Place. I got to meet couple of the other Indians visiting the Dublin office and made friends. One guy who travelled with me from Delhi, who's obsessed with his camera(he went to get a customs clearance for it at the Delhi airport, so they don't trouble him on his way back), one from Hyderabad with whom I share a couple of mutual friends (the most loyal guy to Guinness Beer), another Hyderabadi who has pretty decent MJ moves (they come out best when he's under influence) and this Indian guy who stays in Dublin and is a good singer (sung out loud at the airport with many onlookers). The singer took us to this Indian place that is open until 4 AM. The boys had their dinner while I downed my Cobra Beer. I've only heard of Cobra beer in India and never really got to taste it. And I wouldn't be able to give a good review of it because the Carlsberg taste was still there and refusing to let go. So I stick to my verdict of "all beers taste the same - bitter."

Tuesday - work as usual and caught up with colleagues for drinks and dinner at a bar close by. Two Nordic guys and an Italian bella. We shared some good stories about food, culture and general things. The Danish friend of mine relived his India experience which Italiano bella understood as she's been to India too a couple of months before. The Norwegian guy was baffled by the stories and remained curious until the end. He kept asking questions and was interested in visiting India. I promised him I'd make a recommendation to have him visit us in India. Which reminds me, I still need to that.

One thing I realized was I could not have early dinner like the locals there. They'd have dinner by 7.30 in broad daylight. The sun would set at 10.30PM. It just seemed wrong to eat dinner when the sun was beaming down on you! So I had my strategy all planned out. I'd hang out with the locals for drinks, during which they'd have their dinner too. We'd be out until about 9.30PM, which is when Indians are ready for dinner. So I'd leave the locals after drinks and head to join my fellow Indians for dinner after that..and of course more drinks too :)

Wednesday - Work again..and Greyhound Race Day! This was something I couldn't wait to watch. The concept was so alien to me..dogs racing! And people bet as well!! A couple of my dog-lover friends weren't too appreciative of the idea but what the heck! It's famous in Dublin, so I had to go watch. My Danish friend arranged for it and it was a brilliant experience. The dogs chase a stuffed rabbit down the race track. I even bet on one with a fancy name, but lost.
After the race, I joined my Indian friends for drinks on this stationery Boat/Ferry which I thought would move (thanks to the beer). It was a great evening..breeze and beer. There was a new addition - another guy, let's call him You-die who stayed at Dublin. By the way, all of them were Telugu speaking guys who'd break into that language every now and then. We parted ways at about midnight - Pseudo-MJ, Camera-freak and I heading back to our hotel while the Singer and You-die headed to another place to continue their late night. It took just a little pursuing to get Pseudo-MJ and Cam-freak to turn around and join the other two wherever they were!! I love impulsive decisions - you never go wrong with the 'fun quotient' on them! So we joined them for more drinks. I was totally gone! At one point the guys had a beer called "Mad Dog!!" I'd be scared to drink that..but I tasted it and yep, it was no different - it was BITTER! I was a complete goner that night. We reached the hotel at about 3 or 4 AM and I just crashed!! The bad part was that I didn't hear my alarm the next morning and got up at about 10.30AM. I missed two meetings I'd scheduled in the morning.

Thursday - I was a complete mess. Groggy, nauseous, sleepy, and with a pounding headache! I was at work and was pretty much like a zombie! I threw up 3 times..thanks to the previous night's escapades. The latter half of the day I was much better, but will this pounding headache and super tired. When I went to meet Cam-freak and Pseudo-MJ at their desks, I could hear three other voices along with theirs..all in my head of course...I could ear echos everywhere. I needed SLEEP! So I skipped any amount of fun that was to be that day. Headed straight to the hotel and slept. I only got up the next morning very early. So I made use of the extra time in the morning to pack my stuff. I was going to take an early morning flight on Saturday, so it made sense to be all packed!

Friday - I was all fresh and got my beauty sleep that I was missing the entire week. It was a great day! Work and otherwise. I was at my happy best. The only reason I'd be sporadically sad was it was my last day in Dublin. I had a blast, really - I didn't want to leave. I went to TGIF at work, said bye to whoever I saw then. The Nordic guys planned that we go for drinks to Oceans after TGIF, a nearby bar which is pretty much a Googler den. Thinking I'd probably get back to the hotel after drinks and dinner and get some rest before my flight, I went over to the Indian friends to say bye. And then they insisted I go out for some party with them. Apparently it was no use to sleep that night - the sun sets at 10.30, I'd have to wake up to get ready and head to the airport at 3. There was no point sleeping for a couple hours. I decided to decide after my time at Oceans.

Oceans was fun! Talked about various things, met a lot of people from Google who I missed out on meeting during the week and at TGIF. I also got to say bye to a lot of people. I headed back to the hotel and 9.30PM with every intention of calling it a night. I Had nothing to pack and for some reason didn't feel sleepy. So I called Cam-freak to ask them where they were. Cam-freak and Pseudo MJ were just going to leave for Dinner and head to the party. Also, with them was Dancer Girl (she dances super well!!) and Guinness Guy. So we left for dinner, something light at this take out. We were joined by Singer-man. We all headed to the club where the party was happening. It was nice, a little too noisy for my liking, but nice nevertheless. The place started crowding up after a while. We had to occasionally step out for a breath of fresh air. While the others left no stone unturned with their drinks, I needed to stay away and be normal for my flight in a couple of hours. It was amazing fun - good music and good dancing. Dancer-girl was in her own world, enjoying the music and speaking through her moves. She even got asked to dance with by some African Guy!! :) Some random guy walked up to me telling me I should smile as he hadn't seen me smile all evening. Another random guy told me and Dancer-girl when we were outside that we looked lost but pretty nevertheless. And yet another random guy from SF, who Peusdo-MJ was exchanging phone-gyaan with, said it was hot in the club because of the women around. This would have NEVER happened in India. Rather, the guys would suffer terrible consequences if they approached us this way. The night ended with Singer-man bringing out Shots!! I controlled every urge to gulp that down. I sooo wanted to do the shots, but I could see myself stumbling towards security check - it wasn't a pretty picture. The others were insistent that I have it. So to oblige them, no, actually, to beat my temptation, I had half of the shot :)

We then headed out to a another place for another round of drinks and music. There, I had my Nth glass of water, pretending it was vodka or anything alcoholic. the others danced and drank. Pseudo-MJ finally got some of his MJ moves going, Dancer-girl and Singer-man were dancing away, Cam-freak was enjoying the ambience and Guinness Guy was clicking photos.

It was time for me to leave. The others wanted to come and see me off at the airport, which I thought was really nice - considering that we only recently met and only bonded over Beer. We headed back to the hotel to pick up my luggage and check out. I got back only to find Guinness-guy and Pseudo-MJ missing. Cam-freak and Singer-man was out of the cab looking for the two. cam-freak was whistling loudly, as if they were going to hear him and respond to his call. We then decided to leave without them - me, Dancer-girl and Singer-man.

At the Airport, Singer-man was totally in his element. Probably it was the shot and that was showing it's worth hours later. He broke into a song about the moon and kept singing the four lines that he knew. He was in tune but he was pretty audible to the others standing in line too. So he did have an audience. I think he went on and on because he knew he was being watched an heard. I had checked in and was going to head to the departure area. That's when I bid adieu to Dancer-girl and Singer-man. I was going to miss ALL of them and every moment in Dublin.

And there it was - the end to my really short trip filled with loads of friends and memories. I had an easy flight back home, maybe because I was still hungover from my trip - the good time and not the alcohol!!