Friday, 24 March 2017

Travelling along a negative Chi gradient

Yes, strange as it may sound, I'm talking Chi, that ancient Chinese Life Force concept.  
Very far from being an expert, I can only suspect that this is remotely connected to one of the Dalai Lama's pieces of advice: 
Surround yourself by positive people and think positive thoughts.  

But it's not only people, it's places as well (o.k, so the people at those places come into play too, LOL)

The more I travel, the more I'm convinced that some places favour physical and emotional health, while others are detrimental to one's well-being. 

Three days ago I was leaving a place where both my body and mind were unhappy.  Let's just call that a low Chi.

Yesterday, both body and mind were doing much better.  

Why?   Simple: I changed the place and the immediate situation.  

Today, I'm afraid, starts a process in the other direction.  Both physical and personal surroundings of the next couple of days will not be able to match those of yesterday.

The journey starts in Strandhill.  I'm waiting for the bus ....

By that time I have already paid my last respects to Strandhill Beach:

Above and below:  views from the balcony separated by maybe 2 hours. What a difference
Down at the waterfront:  Who were they trying to fight off?

End flash back !  Time to take the bus to Sligo Train Station

What's that?  They serve wine on the train? How CIVILIZED; MUST indulge ;-)

3 hours later I get off the train at Connolly Station in Dublin. Must cross the river to get to my bus stop.

Can I now say that I went to Trinity? (of course I'm referring to the one in Cambridge,LOL)

The bus takes me from Trinity College  to my hotel close to the airport. The hotel is located between the districts Bollymon & Santry.  Think PROJECTS and you're thinking what I'm thinking when I get off the bus here.  
Now I know why my hotel was so cheap compared to all the other ones, LOL.  It's a Travelodge and the room is actually GORGEOUS.
My room but NOT my picture
 Only why does my balcony door not open?  When I inquire at the reception desk, I am only informed that ALL balcony doors are of the non-opening variety.  The reason is still illusive.  Maybe someone watched the original Ben Hur too often and decided that this would be prudent anti-terror measure.  
I decide to head to a highly rated Thai restaurant about 25 minutes walk from my hotel.  Once I have fought my way through the urban jungle (Street yout acually hang out in little groups), I discover that the famed restaurant is actually just a take-out place. But they have ONE small table at which I will consume my meal.   NO, they don't serve wine ;-)  The music coming from the back of this Thai restaurant is distinctly East Indian. And how do you translate Carbonated Water to English? Bubbly Water? Water WITH Gas?  No, that's Spanish.  Anyhoo, I try them ALL but just get a very blank look from the girl at the counter.  Finally she actually shouts to her boss in the back "WHAT is carbonated water?".   SPARKLING Water is the reply from the back.  When I check the bottle of San Pelegrino, it actually says "Sparkling natural spring water".

Back to the hotel and shop at SuperValue (LOL, a plastic bag is 80 Euro cents).  Male youth in track pants and female BIG youth competing with their offspring in the pram who can scream the loudest.  Sirens of cop cars and ambulances coming out of all directions (JUST like Vancouver, LOL)

9 pm

4 am

The alarm clock rings.  Good thing I'm still on a screwed-up schedule ;-)

However, I must have adjusted to the schedule, because I doze off again. I am SO TIRED !  (No worries. I wake up in time ;-)

The shuttle bus to the airport costs 3 Euros, the same as some water in an Aer Lingus plane. The charge twice as much for a flight as Ryan air AND charge for water?   Ts Ts Ts ! 

Somehow the plane doesn't take off at 7:20 am as intended but at 8:25 am, as I find out when I finally wake up on my airplane seat.

Au Revoir Eire

I'm sure there is a reason why the pilot decides to pull a sharp turn RIGHT OVER central Dusseldorf.  I'm close to shouting "Let me out HERE" when I see the central train station below.

What a change in Germany.  Airport washrooms all around the planet always seem to show off how fabulous the country is.  There is a sign outside "Use a different Loo, this one is being cleaned". OK, slightly different language is being used ;-).  But there are regular customers (pee-ers and crappers) going in and out and no cleaning personnel to be seen.  Ah Well.  I look for a usable cubicle, and the absence of the cleaning personnel is all too evident. But I find a clean one eventually.  Of course, this one features a broken bag hook. (You know the hooks you can put your bag on, so the shitter from the next cubicle can't grab it below the partition wall).   

11 am

My ears are still deaf from the plane descent, so I decide to have a quick meal (and a glass of wine, of course ;-).  I try calling my mother twice. No answer. Just when the meal arrives, the phone rings. It's mother.  It takes a while to explain to her that I'm not in her town yet and that I'll take her for dinner tonight.  Eventually that seems to have settled in.   2 minutes later, the phone rings again.  She's asking me how to hang up the phone. But then she must hung up the last time to be able to call me back, no?   PATIENCE !


I'm on a train to Dortmund.  It amazes me EVERY time to see how PACKED German trains are.   The railway system gets used by EVERYONE !

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