I got up at 5:30am (holy mother of God) and made my way over to the tourist bus station/souvenir shop. I left the house at 6:30am and it was still dark out! It was cold. Brutally cold. My bones felt like they were made of ice. Seamus and Joan drove me. Even when I got to the darned bus stop it was STILL dark. The sun didn't come up until 8am.
Okay, so as soon as I got to the pickup area there was an exceptionally large and shiny Mercedes Benz type bus waiting in front with a bunch of attractive people standing outside the door waiting to board. I immediately joined the line with confidence. Everyone was very friendly. I stepped inside the warm womb and gave the driver my ticket. He looked at the paper with a crinkled brow (uh oh). He then all of a sudden understood that I was on the wrong bus and told me to get off and wait for the "Paddywagon" and said it would be arriving in less than 15 minutes. So I stepped out of the toasty beauty and went back into the cold dark morning and waited for the Paddywagon to arrive. I waited more than 15 minutes. All of a sudden i see a little tiny green turd on wheels rounding the corner. A bus that looked like it fell out of the ass of the other bus. The guy driving it looked weathered as all heck. He was wearing stone wash jeans and smelled of Doritos. I was hoping that he'd look at my ticket and tell me to get back on the beautiful bus with all the beautiful people, but no. This was my bus. So fine, I got in. There were four other people on it all dressed in black and huddled together in the back staring at me. I sat near-ish to them and tried to be friendly. Turned out they were French and didn't speak much English at all. They actually had no clue what the driver was saying when he was telling jokes and pointing out landmark/touristy stuff. They never laughed or even looked in the direction of what the tour guide was pointing out. Anyway, I was so tired and there was nothing to see at that point, so I just tried to close my eyes and take a snooze since I'd only slept about four hours. But as SOON as my eyes were beginning to shut, Dorito Man started blasting Irish Folk music. I whispered under my breath, "Fuck you. Fuck you, Dorito Man." Oh and did I mention that there was no HEAT on the bus? Okay, it gets better (I'm being sarcastic). As soon as we got to Galway (2 1/2 hours later) the roads were starting to get pretty bumpy. It was actually fun at first, kinda like a ride at Great Adventure. But then the fun turned bad fast. This loser was going about 70 miles an hour over what felt like speed bumps, so when we went over the hills we all went flying up into the air. I'm not even exaggerating. My ass was 2 feet in the air at one point. The French group and I actually bonded at that point. Every time we were thrust into the air, they'd look at me and smile and we'd all laugh. Good times for 20 minutes, but when you're on a Great Adventure ride for 90 minutes straight, it becomes...uncomfortable. I was green. I felt like I was literally going to throw up all over the French people. I was very close to yelling for the driver to pull over and let me out, but he stopped right before I had a chance. Luckily as soon as I got off the bus, I was fine, but then I had to deal with the cold! The scenery was so beautiful, but I was so COLD, I just wanted to be indoors and warm. (Wehhhhh!) There was nothing open but a bar and a gas station, so of course I chose the gas station 'cause what the hell am I gonna do in a bar. I took my time looking over all the candy (I don't eat it) and canned goods (yeah, I'm gonna bring back some canned peas from Galway and take it back to the states). I studied ingredients of curry sauce labels and looked at Enquirer type magazines. I know the word was probably out to security about me. I totally fit the description of a shoplifter. I had two big bags with me (New York style! Wut wut) and a suspicious pensive look about me. I still had 30 minutes to kill before I was supposed to get back on the bus. Fuck. I couldn't find anything else to look at in the store and I didn't want to go out into the cold and I didn't want to get back on the turd bus with the Dorito guy who was now being quite flirty with me. (GREAT!) I decided to just get back on the bus and tell him I needed to warm up and was feeling a little nauseous (all sort of true). He told me if I sat in front of the bus I wouldn't feel the bumps as much. He also suggested I look at the horizon in the distance when the bus was moving and that would also help. So I moved all my stuff to the front seat. I was feeling much better about things at that point, so at our next stop I finally I relaxed and started to enjoy myself and actually started taking some photos:
Here's me earlier in the day (in the bathroom) being weirdly dramatic about my nausea:
Here's the good anti-nausea seat on the bus (and Dorito Man's finger):
Here's Dorito Man:
He actually turned out to be very nice. : )
The ride home was the polar opposite of the trip there. He stopped playing the Irish folk songs and started playing music that was a cross between Green Day, U2, and The Clash. More U2 than Clash or Green Day, actually. Also the nausea completely disappeared and the French people stopped talking so much. It's funny, I *love* the French language. It turns me on, actually. If someone I'm attracted to and/or in love with speaks French, watch out! Dane-jah! But...I wasn't attracted to these French people or in love with 'em, so their voices just sounded like noise. But anyway, they shut up and were sleeping, so there was just the sound of the music and the beautiful scenery, so my trip ended on a positive note.
Tomorrow? I head back to London. My flight leaves at 3:30pm...