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I hopped out of the Red Merc on the Quay's in Drogheda and struggled to cross the awful road. I poped my earphones in and started to listen to music as i nonchalantly aproached to Dole Que. With people from all walks of life, and the odd stereotype affirming people i waited in the cold.
After struggling with the preamble of bad questions, and one's aimed at catching out non-nationals, i finally got my forms handed in. Although the scowls and lack of friendly-ness from the Social Service's counter woman, weren't exactly positive or encouraging, but i'm sure she's like that with loads of us dead beats....
I still had two items left to hand in. A proof of address, hard when i don't have a job history or reason to get many official letters. And a letter from Trinity College stating i am no longer a student at their fine establishment.
I was then finished and rang my father to tell him i was done.
So i waited in the cold, briefly looking in the Vodafone shop and waited again in the cold.
Eventual the familiar sight of a Mercedes Saloon circa, anytime, returned, it's only distinctive feature being slightly more rounded lights and a red wine colour. (More on this later)
We then headed into Dublin on, shock horror, the Dublin Road. Stopping off at the Train station to buy a daily return train ticket, off-peak, for a couple of euro less than a single would be either way. All so i could have a ticket for my way home. I hate to cheat CIE/Iarnrod Eireann/ The State, but it's cheaper that way!
We drove all the way into Finglas to my dads old school where a friend and workmate of his would explain the CAO application process and help me with it.
My dad attended to some of his IT duties and then we met up with his friend.
I checked my email and deleted Facebook notifications that i could check in the real deal, as annoyingly the filters and firewalls are rather good in my dads School. Can't even get to proxies or other service's that aggregate stuff from places like facebook, twitter etc.
One a facebook email from my sister, i was in trouble..... More later....
I went through a demo of the application process and hit a wall, i needed my old Examination number, from nearly 4 years ago!
So Directory inquiries, whats the number for my old school, no i'll call them myself.
"Hi i'm so and so, i'm an old student i sat my leaving in 2006, can i have my examination number..."
Well it turns out the secretary had to look for it, and i'd have to drop in, in person. Que having to go all the way to Ranelagh.
Now once i was finished in my dads school in Finglas i had to get a bus. So i hopped on the number 19.
1.80 to get to O'Connell Street. Took about 35 minutes. In a roundabout route and a lot of narrow roads, housing estates, and going past Met Eireann, the Botanic Gardens, the Ugly mass of the Phibsburough's shopping centre, then the train station that is now a bus depot and the through street's i'd never seen before. There's a lot of windy narrow inner-city streets behind Parnell Street that i'd never seen before.
Got off the bus at the large Spar and walked the rest of the massive Thoroughfare of our Iconic street and crossed the Liffy.
Down the opposite side of Westmoreland street, the semi-dead side, to avoid foot traffic, and then across college Green via the Front arch of College Green, and Up Lower Grafton street, my ankles already aching as the uneven paving and cold air were not the same as Scrub land and, flat and heat that i have recently been walking in Australia.
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By the time i was dodging wayward pedestrian's on Grafton Street i had already seen 5 face's i recognised. In Melbourne i NEVER saw a familiar face. In the space of a few minutes and several hundred meter's in Dublin, i'd seen loads of people. I didn't stop to talk to any of them, most didn't noticed me, one even was yawning as she saw me, but didn't have that tell tale look of realisation.
I eventual got the luas and noticed that it had now been 42 minutes since i left Finglas. Good time, sort of.
Made it to the Beechwood stop in no time and walked through the back street's to my old school.
The new gym is a bit of a shock to my old memory. It was one of the 2 lunch breaks the school use's, as i could tell with the time, and smaller crowd of pubescent male's that it had to be the same system brought in my last year.
Up the new steps to the old House, the center of the school i sat and waited for the secretary who i had spoken to earlier.
None of the students were familiar, they were all 2nd years or 1st years when i left, or worse, non-existant, not liked i knew them anyway, i wasn't a prefect and as a 6th year our private form room was the place to be, especially in winter. (Ireland...)
The Drama teacher past me, I told him i was between things at the moment.
My old Form teacher of 4 and a bit years passed me, i automatically said, "Hello Sir." He just nodded and said Hi, nothing more, like he didn't really notice.
I received my Exam number and that was it. I walked out and passed what appeared to be 6th years returning from the Village with their lunch, not a familiar face among them.
I got the back to the Luas and arrived in town. I was to meet my old nursing friend Budsey who i hadn't seen since the day before i left for Oz.
We decided on the Buttery in Trinity's Front Square to avoid the cold.
So i told Budsy what i got up to in Oz.
That is, a threesome with an Aussie friend i made online and her Boyfriend, in my sisters house, while she was away.
I won't go into full detail's, but i told of the story to PG (my ex) sort of a form of gossip, that i thought she would like to know. Mistake number 1.
Mistake 2 was that i pre-wrote the email in a word document to save using the internet to much, so as to not piss off my sister.
Well that document was apparently saved in 2 place's, and my sister found it.... She was not a happy bunny.
What doesn't make matters any easier is that my Parents are now In Australia for 3 weeks while i'm at home dog sitting.
I talked at length with Budsey about my time there, what i got up to, my crisis with my sister's anger, and of course how she had been since i'd last seen her and some idle gossip here and there.
We talked for age's in the Buttery.
I was due to meet DS for a traditional movie viewing at Cineworld at 3.10, but strangely i hadn't heard from him.
So almost out of character, i phoned him. Yes, i PHONED him.
Dear god is the world ending, Me, using a phone, for phone call's, speaking, on a phone, madness!
Apparently his phone was more fucked up than the gulf between rich and poor. And was unable to send and recieve texts.
So the movie was off. More time with Budsey.
We dragged our chatty on to Eddie Rockets and on the way, i saw more familiar Face's. More specifically people from the Society who i hadn't seen in age's, and i briefly remembered i offered to help if i was arround. But good conversation, or was it the fact i was talking about respective sex live's, kept my altruism at bay.
Wow the menu sure is larger in Empty Pockets these days. And there's an Aero 'Shake now.
I had that and half onion rings/ half chips, Budsey just the new 'Shake as she ate in the buttery when i was still saving for cinema popcorn and a real ticket stub.
I shared what photo's i could find on my phone of my time in Melbourne, mainly just attractive buildings, and more conversation.
Then we met DS at St Stephens Green and went to the Porter House for a drink or two.
We were there for a good two hours talking about anything from movies, to confidentiality to a guide to beer booklet that was sitting on our table.
Then close to leaving i found something on the floor of the bathroom stall.....
Possiblly the oddest thing i've ever found in a bathroom.
And Essay entitled:
The Potato's Contribution to Population and Urbanization:
Evidence from an Historical Experiment
This academic article, apparently, i say apparently since it use's americanised spellings, poor grammar and an apostrophe in potatoes, was just sitting there on the floor of the cubicle.
Covered in Annotated hand written notes, and a http of a TCD Gmail account i can only assume a Trinity Student took this article to the pub, and forgot about it.
I picked it up, it wasn't dirty, other than my own footprint, and brought it to Budsey and DS.
I discussed it and laughed, and concluded that handing it to bar staff wouldn't help, a facebook group was the answer.
So here it is, if you know who own's this article and if they want it back.
Go to this group:
Help Find the Owner of this Article i found in the Porter House.
That's all for now folks. Until next time.