My s’posed-to-be-deadly summer in the city has turned into an 80s pop cliché. Cue boyfriend (or whatever) suddenly jetting off to Europe for some dance competition.
Saturday 3 June
But who needs boyfriends, right? I’ve got my best-friends, Siobhan and Ali, and a beach holiday in the Sunny Southeast! Siobhan’s uncle Ciaran runs a posh resort, and he’s agreed to show us the secrets of the hospitality trade in return for our help during the summer rush. But no way am I on laundry duty.
You’d think we had free digs in Biarritz the way Siobhan’s been going on about the place. She is literally buzzing—I’ve never seen her so excited! She’s always wanted to run her own business, and uncle Ciaran is some kind of entrepreneurial guru. She’s been gushing about him for weeks. Two years ago, he won this big award, dubbing him “Irish Business Brain of the Year” over the producer of Dance-Eire and TV chef Erin Monahan. There’s an entire chapter in his book 100% Business about it Siobhan tells me, and she’d know. She’s read it twice already! And I’m pretty sure she’s highlighted every page!
I hate to say it, but Siobhan’s uncle sounds a bit full of himself. I mean, who writes a business textbook and then yammers on about some award for a whole chapter? I hope Siobhan’s not going to be disappointed. She’s sort of counting on him to help her ace her exams.
Mom and Dad were all for my taking a working holiday—it’ll look great on my Uni applications, they said—but to tell you the truth, my CV is just about the last thing on my mind these days. What I’m really looking forward to is the change of scene. Rory is impossible lately. He follows me everywhere. And besides that, everything in the city reminds me of Murphy. Pathetic, you’re right.
Getting away will do us ALL a world of good. Siobhan and Skunk, the drummer in her band, are on a “break,” and last week Ali’s cyber-girlfriend—a chick wizard from Gateshead—dumped him using her virtual wand. No matter what happens, this summer is going to be all about my friends. Where are those two anyway? The bus will be here any minute!
The bus was late. VERY late. But the upshot? So were Siobhan and Ali. Apparently the tram they hopped broke down, and then their cab got diverted into rush hour traffic—to Phibsboro of all places. I’m so glad they made it, scenic route and all!
But that’s Ireland for you. The things that drive you absolutely mental about it—the late buses and the super narrow streets and the four-seasons-in-one-day weather—they’re also the things that you love about it. Sure, Boston was easier to get around, and I could bet on the weather—steaming summer, Baltic winter—but I never caught myself mooning out of a tram window at shop fronts or hillsides or ruined churches. In Boston everything mostly works, and ON TIME, but you get so used to the working there’s no wonder left in it. And no time left over to moon out of tram windows.
I’m totally romanticizing, I know, but I can’t help it! Since Mom and Dad moved my brother Rory and me here from the States—oh my god, was that last fall?!—I haven’t been outside of County Dublin once! Well, once. But on principal I am NOT counting that garden center Mom dragged us to in Kildare. This is my first real cross-country adventure—and all thanks to Siobhan!
What I said about Irish travel being romantic? Nix that. It’s been two hours and we’re not even half-way! And if we hit one more pot-hole, I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing that rasher sandwich again. How Siobhan can sleep is beyond me, and she’s been out cold since the M50! Ali says I can borrow his Tupperware if I need to spew. BEST. FRIEND. FOREVAH.