I just took a one-week solo trip to Dublin. For a while I'm thinking of basing this blog on experiences I had while I was there.


The plane I was on flew over Niigata, then traversed the Japan Sea, crossed Siberia, St. Petersburg, Estonia, the Baltic Sea, Sweden and Denmark before landing in Amsterdam, where I caught a connecting flight to Dublin.


The flight to Amsterdam took 11 hours. On the way there I thought, with this many passengers and this few flight attendents, there's no way they're going to be able to bring me as much wine as I'll require at the pace at which I'll require it. (Because if it's free, I'm chugging it.) But I'd forgotten an important brake to drinking: the Pee Brake. I had a window seat, meaning that every time I wanted to get up to answer the call, the people in the middle and aisle seats had to get up to clear the way and let me out. On top of that, they were a Japanese couple who seemed likely to leap up and let me out any time I asked, however inconvenient to them personally that might be, which made asking all the harder. But, fine, I'll just go when they go, I figured. But! It turns out they had bladders of solid iron. In 11 hours they never once got up to pee. So, in an access of stubbornness, I toughed it out.


(When we got into Amsterdam airport, I made straight for the can and let rip like a racehorse.)


Anyway, to distract myself during the flight, I decided to watch the dumbest-looking movie on offer, which turned out to be "300: Birth of Something Something", or something. In the stupid department it did not fail me.


I also sometimes looked out my window at the creased Siberian landscape, and at the clouds piled upon clouds below us.


On a summer evening from the air, Amsterdam looks like a perfect toy city. Waterways everywhere, which to me bodes well for the citizens' emotional well-being.


I spent much of the flights to Amsterdam and then Dublin reading Haruki Murakami's first novel; I finished the last sentence (not counting the afterword) quite literally just as the plane touched down in Dublin. Pretty good timing, save for the afterword.


Took a bus from the airport to the hostel. Had trouble locating the place, though: street signs in Dublin don't seem to be visible to the naked eye (though I later learned that this is wrong: most streets are clearly marked; it's only in the city center that some are not), and the house numbers also aren't strictly sequential. Anyway, I checked in and made it to my room. Considering that it was shared by 12 people, it was quiet as the grave.


I figured, since I'm here, I might as well hit a few local pubs and find out what sort of music is playing; but in the event, I was just too tired, so I went to bed. Sorry, kids, Grandpa is sleepy.


This was day 0. In a following blog post I'll write about day 1.