Airplane Etiquette

Warning: This is a little bit of a rant.

*Please read this as though you are a flight attendant dealing with an annoying passenger.

Dear people on planes,

If you are traveling on an airplane PLEASE be respectful of the people around you, for the space around you is quite small, it is enclosed and for a few hours/minutes, there is no escape. Now that I made you feel claustrophobic…There are away from 32-56 rows on your average 737 airline and 6 to 9 seats smashed across to form a row, so the airline can get the most bang for their buck. What does this mean for you, I’m glad you asked. This means please do not sneeze on me, lay your head on my shoulder, or constantly kick the back of my chair. Do not ask to use the space near my feet for your bag, you should have planned better. Do not tell me I’m in the wrong seat when you ticket clearly says aisle and you just don’t want to sit there. And if I do have the window seat and want my window open because it is pretty outside, do not ask me to close it (unless you’re afraid of heights than so sorry).20160725_081235

Now if you are traveling with a small child. First, God bless you. Second, please, for heaven
sake, don’t let them yell, “WE ARE GOING TO CRASH!” while the plane is descending, it freaks people out. Seriously. It isn’t funny and you laughing and is just encouraging them to keep yelling. If they have toys, do not let them throw them, it will hit someone in the head, chances are it will be me. If it is me I will smile nicely and the rest of the flight call you mean names in my head. If you have a baby, again God bless you. But find a way to keep them from crying in the very tight space that is the cabin. Because 200 or so passengers and flight attendance really don’t want to hear the child, but we will smile and tell you how adorable your baby is just like society has taught us to do.

Airplanes can be magical places, for every time one takes off man achieves flight, something we can’t do on our own. But every time there is an annoying passenger the flight loses its spark. Please learn airplane etiquette for your next flight and treat everyone around you like they are freaking royalty because they just might right a blog about you.

 

Sincerely,

Me.

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Old People Magnet.

I don’t know what it is, but every time I leave my house Old People find me. Do I smell of Old People? Is there a beacon above my head, like a light house calling them to me? Am I actually a 70-year-old women stuck in a 20-year-old body? I have no idea. But, let me start over

At the very start of my trip I met Stan. Stan is a Scotsmen living in San Francisco who was flying to his Summer home in Ireland to play golf all summer (so basically my father in 30 years). He was lovely and talked to me the entire flight from New Jersey to Ireland. Which was fine, I am well trained in the art of Old People, my grandparents taught me well (sorry grandma and grandpa). He told me about how he was in WWII and how him and his wife raised their kids and how he thought I was very bold to be going to Ireland alone to work, “which would have never happened in my day” (if you didn’t read that in an old man voice you failed). But at the end of the flight we said goodbye and I haven’t seen Stan since.

Then things escalate, and rather quickly.

I went on my first adventure to Belfast and became friends with the tour guide, Paddy, who was about 60+ and he made sure I was safe and that the tour never left me behind. Also on the trip two English couples took me under their wing, but again I didn’t believe in the Old People magnet yet, not until the next night.

I went out to the pubs in Belfast and there was a group of guy around my age and a gaggle of Old Men. The group the talked to me, the Old Men. BEEP BEEP BEEP, CALLING ALL OLD PEOPLE! From that point on there was no escape from the Old People Magnet. Ever trip I went on, let be it the bus to work or the train to see my aunt or an actual adventure Old People followed.

It continues, every pub, every country, every bus, there is an old person who finds me and tells me all about their life. Sometime they are pretty cool, and make me feel like a failure, other times, I just nod and smile.

Now, I love every person I met, they are great for stories and a good time, plus they will buy me a drink and I don’t have to worry about flirting with them. But it is really old (pun intended) because I don’t know what is about me that brings them to talk to me. Sometimes I think it is the grandparent in them seeing a young person alone with a backpack and they feel the need to protect me, other times I just think it is the flashing arrow above my head that says “OLD PERSON, TALK TO THIS ONE!”

The world will never know.

The One with Mal.

For those of you who don’t know, this is Mal. Mal is my friend, old roommate, and sorority sister. She is also the only person from back home who came to see me in Dublin. Some may say she is the only true friend I have, others may say she was already in Europe and just stopped here on her way home. You decide.

 

Now the following may shock you, so please keep all hands and feel inside the ride at all times, for this is going to be a wide ride.

We start our weekend at the pub, for all Irish adventures should start at a pub. The night was full of music, a few pints, stories, and of course Euros 2016. Given that this was Thursday night, and I’m in Dublin to work, ugh, I had to call it an early night. Damn you work, but don’t worry when I say early I really mean midnight plus (the time is a little blurry).

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20160701_161855As promised the story gets better! The next day we broke into the Guinness Store House for FREEE! Yeah, we are basically bad asses. It’s no big deal. Hold your applause, please. I’ll explain, I work for The GEC (Guinness Enterprise Centre), so I flashed my intern bag and walked right in. The Downside, we didn’t get the one free Guinness, but we did get to pour our own for 5 euros! Fun fact some bartenders don’t do it right, or probably just don’t care. After that the day become: Pub, Food, Euros. Drinks. Goodnight.

 

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But just wait there’s more, (I feel like an infomercial) We had, ADVENTURE DAY! What is better than sitting on a cold boat while it rains? Sitting in a warm bus. Ha.

One of the companies at The GEC does day tours and adventurous tours and such (shout of to Extreme Ireland), so Mal and I jumped on a bus with a bunch of random strangers and went to see Connemara. Basically, a lot of hills, colored sheep, and lots of history. The sheep are the best part though.20160702_130702

After the day of sitting, we decided to do a day of accidental walking. I mean who doesn’t love a 10 mile walk out to a 1k walk to a lighthouse? I know I sure do, because by the time you reach the lighthouse all you want is a nap, until you realize you have to go back. Luckily Mal and I met a lovely off Duty Cab Driver and his son who drove us back into town, or we would have just set up camp out there.

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Then Mal left for America. The End. Please exit the car to your left.

The Miss List.

This list is in no order, just random thoughts put in list form.

I miss my car.

I miss my bed.

I miss country music.

I miss my family.

I miss Chick fil a.

I miss Tex-Mex down every street.

I miss BlueBell.

I miss HEB.

I miss speed limits in mph and zooming down the street.

I miss Fahrenheit.

I miss ADPi.

I miss the sun.

I miss sweating in the Texas heat.

but though I miss my home…

I’ll miss the GEC.

I’ll miss the rain.

I’ll miss my adventures.

I’ll miss not sweating all the time.

I’ll miss not stressing if I have a sunburn.

I’ll miss my new friends.

I’ll miss the home I’ve made here.

I’ll miss the drinking age.

I’ll miss Ireland.

*friends were excluded for the list but you were missed too

Things may be added to this list later…

Stay-cation

I’m not a millionaire, unfortunately, therefore stay-cation are a must.

Exploration is an art. The art of getting lost and finding random monuments and museums and then not eating anything until 4:45 pm. This is an art reserved for only a select few, luckily, I am included in this select few.

The difficulty that comes with a stay-cation is the motivation of getting out of your bed. This is a condition I have struggled with my whole life, therefore I was prepared for it. The key is to plan where you are going before you go to bed, therefore your motivation has time to marinate, like chicken. My motivation was the Dublin Zoo. Yes, I am aware that zoos exist almost everywhere, most of them look the same, but I love zoos. Plus this one has the most beautiful, wonderful, majestic animal in the world, the hippo!

I have a deep connection with the Hippo, it is my soul animal. (if you want more info, we’ll talk)

Anyways, I walked a few miles to Phoenix Park to the Dublin Zoo and prayed that it wouldn’t rain the whole way. As soon as I got to the Park, the heavens decided they held off long enough and the rain started, yum. But the rain didn’t stop my stay-cation for I am a Victory.  I entered the Zoo and then realized how creepy I looked. “Hello parents of little children, don’t mind me, I’m just a 20 year old here at the zoo by myself. Nothing to see here.” It also didn’t help that for a while I had ice cream… For thought really is 20/20.

20160625_134813But, I love the zoo and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from seeing every inch of the Dublin Zoo. However I did conclude that the Houston Zoo is better. This decision my be influenced by the fact that I love Texas, or by my love for the Houston Zoo, or the fact the the lay out of the Houston Zoo is SIGNIFICANTLY better. You decide.

After the zoo I started the real adventure, for the stay-cation became the where-am-I-20160625_134415how-do-I-get-back-cation. Phoenix Park is MASSIVE. You can’t see from one end to the other. To put this in preservative, the park has a zoo in it and still have space for a lake and at least 2 monuments. By the time I found my way to the street I focused on “makin’ my way downtown, walking fast, faces past” but I wasn’t home bound, I was museum bound, FREE museum bound.

After that, there was food, people watching and a pub. All in a days work.

The Lone Traveler

Time to Exploring, solo style.

 

(The following is to the Tune of Miley Cyrus’s Party in the USA)

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                    I hopped on the train at Connolly
With my ticket and my cardigan
Welcome to the rails leading to the north (whoa)
                            That’s a lot of ocean
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                           Jumped on the bus
                  Here I am in Northern Ireland
     Look to my right to see a castle and Scotland
                          This is all so crazy
             Everything looks so AMAZING!
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We go to lunch at Bushmills distillery,
which makes this Texas Girl happy
That’s when the bus turns due north
and were Giants Causeway bound,
and were Giants Cause
way bound,
and were Giants Causeway bound!
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                             So I’m exploring
                                On my own
                         In Northern Ireland
              Nodding my head like yeahhh
                     Takin picture like mad
                           I’m hanging off
                     the edge of mountains
              I know I’m going to be okay
              yeah, it’s a party in Ireland
              yeah, It’s a party in Ireland!

 

 

Okay, I think I got that out of my system. Questions?

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The G.E.C.

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“What do you do?  ” What is the GEC?” “What is your job really?” “But you actually just copy papers all day, right?”

Let me clarify. I work at the Guinness Enterprise Centre. I do not work for Guinness. I do not get free Guinness. I do work hard. I do communicate with humans at 9 am (which has made me a fake morning person). I do not copy papers mindlessly, unless the main printer breaks. I do not sit in the back on Facebook staring at the clock because I am bored. I do not always have an easy job.

I work the main reception desk for the GEC Monday through Thursday. I am the first face people see when they walk into the building and the last they see when they leave. The only bad thing about this is if there is a shooter, I would die first, happy days. I collect the post for all of the companies that function through the GEC. I answer the phone for these companies and direct the call further.

Before you thing it isn’t to difficult, some of the companies are based in different countries and different places around Dublin. The people in the build are from all over the world, which means accents from all over, another reason why I don’t really remember my first day. When you pick up the phone the person on the other end could be an Englishman, another Irishmen or maybe someone from Italy, and just think how shocked they are to hear an American on the other end. The worst thing about talking to multiple people is forgetting I have an accent too. It doesn’t stick out too bad, except when I’m alone and feel I need an accent to fit in. Or when I drop a ‘yall’ or ‘fixin’ or anything extremely southern.

The only time I felt I didn’t belong here was the first week, but this was mainly my fault. I played the ‘I’m new and awkward, HELP!’ card which helped no one. I quickly realized that this place wasn’t taken out of of horror film, it was just a few hundred people living out their dreams. After I got over the initial shock The GEC became a home, yes I did just get cheesy. I happen to like cheese, it taste good. Anyways, I felt coming in at 9 am wasn’t horrible because the people I work with didn’t suck, they were funny, they understood me, and they hated aspects of working that I did. Linda hates when humans want her attention. Lisa gets my sass. Vicky laughs at my jokes, which boosts my ego. I found a great home, and with time ticking away it will be hard to leave.

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The First Week.

“Welcome to the GEC on Friday we are having our annual Summer BBQ”

I started work on Tuesday, which I really don’t remember. Wednesday was better and by Friday I was manning the main reception desk solo as everyone was setting up for the BBQ.

20160610_170001Now, for everyone in the south, your must be thinking “Ha, like the Irish can BBQ.” They can. There was a grill, photo booth, and enough beer to make them happy, and then some. But, me I had a job during the BBQ, to take pictures. Yep, send the person who knows no one around with a camera, GREAT IDEA! I felt like an octopus with only seven arms. But I had learned for the best, my mother, for she was the queen of pictures on vacation. Taking pictures of this and that, being able to convince anyone to smile at a seconds notice. All I had to do was act like I knew what I was doing, which I didn’t.

I started walking around taking pictures of people I had never met and random objects. I tried to get ‘artsy’ pictures, that turned out terrible. I walked up to people and said,  “Hi, you don’t know me, but I’m going to take a picture of you” (which just made thing awkward). I started just telling people it was for Lisa, the social media queen of the GEC, then people rolled their eyes and smiled., because they knew if they didn’t she would find them…and that isn’t good.

Then at some point, Lisa, Linda, and Vicky told me to stop taking pictures and have fun. It was a party and at parties you don’t work. I was then handed a a Teelings Whiskey drink and started actually meeting the people I took pictures of.

Things I learned that night: working at the GEC was going to be fun, and keeping up with the Irish is difficult and takes practice.

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