I forgot to talk about the most hilarious part of Tina and I watching the show at The Gate in Dublin. After it finished, I wanted to take a picture of the front of the building, but what we didn't realize, is that the actor's dressing rooms face out onto the street above the entrance. So the flash goes off and they all look outside because they think I'm taking pictures of them, which I wasn't (but then I did because Tina giggled and said, "There they are!"), so Christopher Meloni saw us and waved, and then I gave him a thumbs up. Yes, I am the biggest geek in the entire world -- I gave the cool guy from TV's baddest, baddy-ass show (Oz) a thumb's up.
Anyway. We were in Belfast yesterday morning, and went to see the West end where there's still a military post on top of a high rise where people live. Barbed wire covers most of the fences, and there are cameras everywhere. There are murals depicting Gerry Adams and all kinds of other messages, and people just get on with their lives. And now that they're at a de-militarized point, I couldn't imagine what Belfast was like at the height of the Troubles. It's hard to put it into words.
We drove out of the city to Giant's Causeway, another Unesco World Heritage site, large rocks that look like people with very big hands set them all just so, and then got back in the car to drive to Londonderry. It's a smaller, working class-type city, from the very small impression I have of it. The women all sort of dress like they're from New Jersey, but the bar we were in had a lot of tourists, so they could have very well been. We listened to traditional Irish music, watched the cute bartender, tried to avoid Tina getting picked up by men, and talked to some people around us. There was a frame of tiny letters beside us on the wall. One fellow's wife told us that when men were in jail, the women of L'Derry would write the letters and then fold them up under their tongues, passing them with a kiss--isn't that a wonderful story? Makes me want to write a poem.
We're off today to look at the walls (from the 1600s), a workhouse museum and then to see the Bloody Sunday memorial. Then it's on to Galway, which always, always makes me think of the Pogues: "And the boys from the NYPD choir were singing Galway Bay, and the bells were ringing out for Christmas day."