I stand in my room briefly, thinking if I need anything else. Keys. Phone. Wallet. I place them in my purse, put on my scarf and jacket. I tousle my hair quickly and leave the apartment. The crisp Irish air welcomes me as I open the door. I am currently a resident of Shanowen Square Apartments in the district of Santry in the city of Dublin. I make my way to the bus stop and await bus number 9.
The Costa Coffee right by Trinity College, he had said.
I think I know where that is, don’t I? Trinity College. Of course I know where that is; Trinity is, after all, only one of the most famous colleges as well as Ireland’s oldest university. I look nervously at the bus routes, trying to understand the winding and weaving of streets that look like a piece of textile cloth, no start and no end. As I convince myself of the correct route, I hear the bus approach. I turn around, take a deep breath and hop on the bus.
What is it about Ireland? Is it the green Cliffs of Moher? The pint of Guinness? The unmistakable accents? I myself am still asking these questions, yet not really intent on finding a concrete answer.
“Trinity College, please,” I say to the bus driver and put in the allotted amount of coins. The driver’s hair is graying slightly. I notice on his left hand ring finger is a silver Claddagh ring, a traditional Irish ring representing love, loyalty and friendship. I remember having heard that some Irish married couples use this as their wedding ring. The ring has a heart, signifying love, a crown above the heart, standing for loyalty, and the hands holding the heart, signifying friendship. He smiles at me, hits a few buttons and waves me through.
I take a seat towards the back and look out the window. The morning fog still has much of its hold on the day with only small rays of sun occasionally peeking through. Since I arrived in September, the weather has been mostly moderate with not as much rain as everyone warned me about. No matter how many times I have taken the bus before, I am still engrossed with the scenery and the architecture.
Dublin is the capital as well as the most populous city in Ireland. The name Dublin comes from the Irish name Dubhlinn, which means, “black pool.” The city of Dublin is near the midpoint of Ireland’s east coast and right at the mouth of the River Liffey.