Did my ‘banking’ today

Today, after sending off a letter to my credit union and a CD of Irish music to my son Ron, I looked for a spot where I could sit and use wifi. The first place I came to would only allow 20 minutes so I walked down to the Grand Central Bank of Ireland that is now called The Grand Central Cafe and Bar. “Do you have wifi here?” I asked the bar tender. “Sure we do.” “Is there a time limit?” “Absolutely not.” “Well, then this is the perfect place.” I looked around for a comfortable chair, not a high table and a bar stool. I cannot stand to have my legs dangle. So I found a table in the corner, sat down and found the table too high to sit with the computer, as a desk. But I had committed to the place and had a look at the menu. Breakfast looked interesting especially black and white pudding. Chocolate and vanilla, right? Wrong. They are a soft patty of sausage. Okay, that was a lot of meat on that plate, but I did my best. Meanwhile I wasn’t getting on the internet as promised. Soon a nice gentleman, Mark Billane came over to ask me if everything was fine, and I told him yes, it was, however the meal was a bit different, but I want to experience everything the Irish culture has to offer, so I found it all very good. “What is black and white pudding, anyway?” I asked. And he filled me in, and also hinted that breakfast at 3 p.m. might not be the best idea. Then he sat down and we had a lively discussion on the differences between the U.S. expressions and those of Ireland. After he sat for awhile, I thought he was avoiding work, but he assured me all was okay. Here follows some of our interesting exchanges. “Restroom: why do you call it a restroom? Are you going to take a pillow down there and rest? We call it a toilet, because that’s what it is.” “Our cars have a boot, not a trunk.” He said, and I answered, “Yes, but we put things into it as you would a trunk. Boots are what you wear.” “Jumper: You say jumper and I look up to the top of a building to see someone jumping. We call a jumper what you’re wearing.” “No, this is a long sleeved T-shirt.” “We call sausages bangers, but we also call old beat up cars the same name.” “Hmm, we call old beat up cars, old beat up cars.” “Mash is potaotes.” “Yes, I know now. We call them what they are; mashed potatoes.” It went on like this for a while and I don’t remember all of them, but promise as I come up with more  I’ll post them here. Mark kept me so occupied with his humor that I almost forgot about using the internet that never did work. Guess that’s why he’s the manager.

6 Responses to Did my ‘banking’ today

  1. Laureen, what a beautiful building! I love the pattern in the center of the ceiling!

    Question about the couchsurfing. So you stayed with Peter and Joya for 1 or 2 nights and now you are back to the hostel? Do you arrange ahead of time how long you will stay with them? And do they agree to be your tour guide or at least include you in their activities for the agreed upon time? Very interesting concept.

    • Hi Anna Mae,
      There are so many beautiful buildings in Europe, both inside and out. I love the mix of the old architecture with the new.

      I stayed for three nights with Peter and Jola. That is the usual time in the Couch Surfing program. The surfer is charged to leave and explore the area while the hosts are at work. I did that on Friday, and on Saturday, Peter was home to study so I stayed there myself and got caught up on emails, Facebook and blogging and some ‘snail-mail’ as well.

      It’s up to the hosts how they will ‘host’ you. Some just leave you on your own, while some will show you the sights, and some do a combination of hosting. Just depends on the people. Peter and Jola were great hosts.
      I’m going to a friends house on Friday in Kildare, and then I’ll be with another host after that. It is a great program and a fun way to meet people and get a sense of the culture, which is mainly what I want out of it.

  2. Paula and Bud

    Laureen,
    We continue to really enjoy your news of your travels. Pictures of the food, I think I would enjoy Bangers and Mash. We copied your blogs, and are sending them on to Raquel, she is then sharing with her brother.
    After reading your book, my friend Dal has commented on what a good writer you are. He was touched by the hardships that Wil experienced while growing up.
    All is well here. Today the girls pickled green beans. Some watermelons are the size of soccer balls, the tomotoes are just starting to ripen, the apricots are getting sweet…such is the life on the ranch.
    Paula, Bud, Mary and Sarah

  3. Laureen, so what is black and white pudding? Is it like the
    blood pudding we found in Scotland? I could not eat it. Bangers and mash were great. Love to read your blog each day. Joy

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