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IRELAND | Wednesday, 14 May 2014 | Views [133] | Scholarship Entry

The hostel smells of heated soup and there are people scattered in every corner, with sleeping bags on the ground as well as on the mattresses. I feel trapped but I've got a fever and have to get over it, so I stay in the bag and try to rest. Sandro goes out and buy something to eat and drink. We look to each other in silence, he seems more tired than me. It's already the second night that we spend here, a third one is out of the question.
Dublin is so sold out for the Joyce’s Bloomsday that in the morning a man from the agency came to parley with the hostel owner, trying to place a load of Australians students. The owner has a big heart and accepted. I wonder where he will put them. In fact, I wake up around midnight to realize that someone slipped into our room and laid down in the space between my bed and Sandro’s. I feel kind of a glee. It's all weird and out of control, I have no responsibility in what happens and this is a sudden, cheerful thought.
Next morning the sound of a powerful female voice awakes me. I have never listened so closely to someone who can really sing. It seems that the entire building vibrates and resonates with the music. And I feel fine, no trace of fever or malaise.
I go down to the kitchen, where Sandro is having breakfast with the Australian girl, the one that in the night slept between us. He’s talking a blue streak, telling about the fatigue of this journey of ours. He complains, complains. How strange, it seemed to me that we were having fun. Then he sees me and stops talking.
The girl drinks her tea, smiling with mouth and eyes.
I ask about her projects: nothing special, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the pub crawl, the Book of Kells. Sandro yawns. He says he’d rather be back. This very afternoon, sort of. There is a train, then a ferry, then another train.
The girl, Alice, says that Dublin could wait, after all. It would be better to take a ride out in the country. Holidays in Australia are long. She asks how long are ours. «Very long» I replied, and we both giggle for no real reason. Sandro does not laugh. And so he ends up being the most perplexed of us as we accompany him to the station. He suggests that if I need some money... In fact I’d need it, but somehow I’ll get by. Alice says that in Connemara you live with very little. And while we walk away I feel strangely light and raised. It’s all weird, unpredictable and out of control, I feel responsible a little, but mostly not so. And this is a sudden, cheerful thought.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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