OTOOLEFAN GOES TO IRELAND – Part 8
May 5 – Today we checked out of of Leitrim House. Told the proprietor we were going to Cork (a lie), and headed for a hostel off Parnell Street. We found the place alright, but the woman told us the hostel itself had moved across town – only about “a fifteen minute walk from O’Connell Street.”
It was clear across town and away from everything but poverty. Finally, we reached the new location of this hostel and rang the doorbell, then knocked again. As we were about to walk away, the door opened.
“Do you have a room?” Steve said to the woman.
“I do indeed.”
She ushered us in and said, “I’ll be right back.”
When she came back, she was full of hidden charges.
“A shower’s 50p, sheets are 50p.”
“We’re not gonna take it.”
So you guessed it, we walked straight back to Leitrim House and reclaimed our room.
Then it was off to the Guinness Brewery.
It was a pilgrimage to the Guinness Brewery actually .
It took us pilgrims a long time to find the proper entrance to the Brewery, but it was a burden we were willing to carry.
At last it was before me – the Guinness Brewery. For here was the hallowed ground where that magical liquid was made – that magical potion that makes life just a little bit better.
As we were outside the pearly gates, Steve likened the Guinness compound to Willy Wonka.
We walked through the pearly gates and into a waiting room.
“When is the next tour of the brewery?” Steve asked the receptionist.
“We don’t have tours anymore,” she said. “But there is a twenty minute film about the brewery and a bar where you can get a drink.”
It was after this that Steve Ostrander and Don Millard entered their names in the book.
As we took our seats In the screening room, the video tape history of Guinness began. The opening paragraph was the first verse of Flann O’Brien’s poem, “A pint of plain is your only man.”
After the movie was over, we went to the bar and had a glass of Guinness. Then it was off to call my Dad.
I had to catch a bus back to the City Centre in order to call my Dad in time.
I had to call him because I was swiftly running out of money.
I managed to get through to him and we talked for about a minute. I told him I’d call back tomorrow from the United States Embassy.
After talking with my father, I strolled into a small store called “Movie Treasures.” Here I looked at a catalogue of black and white photographs of the stars. Also, I began chatting with the young owner of the place. I mentioned the fact that the young man who runs the bed and breakfast told us they were filming a movie on the very street we’re on and in the park next to it.
He then told me he was friends with the director.
He mentioned the cast: Robert Mitchum, John Hurt, Harry Dean Stanton, Bob Hoskins and Geraldine Page!
“Do they still need extras?” I asked.
“I don’t know.”
He said he’d tell me more if I stopped by tomorrow.
May 6 – After leaving the U.S. Embassy – the first place where I ran into rude people – I was going to catch the bus back to O’Connell Bridge. But each available bus that stopped could only allow three or four passengers to get on.
Meanwhile, during all this, I’m staring at these two girls behind me. They sound like Americans – one of them is quite pretty. All this while I’m thinking of trying to say something to one of them.
After the third bus stops and the conductor days, “Only one”, I hear one of the girls say, “Let’s walk.”
Naturally, I walk too.
After two streets I ask the prettier one, “Is this the way back to “O’Connell Street?”
She smiles and all her features soften. “Yes.”
“Are you an American?” the other girl said.
Immediately, after this we began long conversations about many things. They both said they were from Washington – the state. One lived in Seattle.
I told them about the bed and breakfast we were staying at and they couldn’t believe the price. I offered to show them where it was and they accepted. But first they had to find a place that took passport photos. This was because the prettier one had had her passport stolen while she was in Belfast.
Also they had to pick up their bags at Connelly Station.
After these chores were done, I walked them to Leitrim House, they rented a room for the night. I said goodbye to them for a while because I had to meet Steve at the Tourist Office.
I met Steve and told him of my find.
We walked back to Leitrim House. I introduced Steve to Mary Ellen and then Laurie.
We chatted for a bit and agreed to meet back at Leitrim House so we could go to a pub together.
Later that same evening, we took the two girls out to a pub called “Neary’s”. This is, according to Frommer’s Guide, Peter O’Toole’s drinking spot whenever he drops into Dublin.
We talked about sex, religion and politics. When we first got to “Neary’s,” everything was lit by candlelight because of an electricity strike by the workers of the power company. Thus it was an intimate setting for this intimate meeting right out of Certs encounter.
Then suddenly the lights came back on and everything was too bright.
We talked and talked and talked until the bartenders started saying, “C’mon ladies and gents, PLEASE!”
After about ten minutes of this we did leave. Mary Ellen and Laurie began walking back toward Leitrim House faster than any girls should. We could do nothing but keep with this killing pace.
As usual, we broke into two groups for the walk home. Steve concentrated on wooing the hell out of Mary Ellen, while I confined my charm to Laurie.
We all walked quietly up the darkened stairs of Leitrim House and when we came to the second floor the girls went to their door saying,
“See you at breakfast.”
And that, sorry to say, was the end of that.
May 7 – We did see them at breakfast. Afterwards, Laurie had to go back to the U.S. Embassy to check on her passport.
The next time we saw the girls was downtown Dublin. They said that since it was such a nice day they would be catching the train to Galway.
But we saw Laurie and Mary Ellen walking down the street once more. They said they’d look us up when they back to Dublin in a few days.
During the same afternoon we dripped into “The Confession Box” for a quick pint. What followed was one of the funniest sequences of the trip.
The bartender put in a videocassette and read the words, “ A Ken Russell Film.” I knew the full meaning of it. You see, the movie, “Crimes of Passion” has been banned in Ireland.
As the blasphemous film was starting, the lights were turned off. This was because holy hour was beginning.
The funniest moment came when Anthony Perkins took out his Bible and began quoting scriptures. This got the biggest laugh.
Soon we had to leave via the back door in order to get to the theatre in time to see “Hannah And Her Sisters.”
The rest of the night was filled with typical Dublin experiences: getting pints at various public houses and walking back home.