August 11, 2010

The Ireland Invasion: Coda'ed

All good things must come to an end, right?

Yesterday, there was some more mania getting to Glasgow's airport from Edinburgh. Again, as with my departure from Dublin, this was good, as it kept my mind occupied and kept me from getting caught up in the momentous occasion.

Train ride from Haymarket to Glasgow Central, walk to the bus stop, bus to the airport. All of that was pretty routine. Tried not to sleep. Instead, I was looking around where I could, soaking the last sights around Scotland.

At the airport, I was asked if I'm excited about going home ("Well, kinda"), and if I would volunteer to take another flight as this one's oversold ("Can't. Sorry"). So, this is going to be a full flight with, likely, lotsa screaming kids. (Not so, it turned out, mercifully.)

And then things turned sour. I think due to my haste about packing or something.

I was charged £88 (eighty-eight British pounds) for having excess weight. I'm allowed only 20kg worth of bags to check in, and only a 10kg carry on. I had a total of 38kg, and Air Transat charged £11/kg extra weight. I found this baffling since I was in tolerance (just) with Aer Lingus, and I didn't buy 8kg worth of goods. A couple, sure, but not eight. Whatev', no point arguing now. And since it was mostly clothes, I'd have to wear a lot of clothes on my person to get the bags down to a reasonable weight. Hells with it, I'll just pay.

Scramble to the security clearence. Here, things took a turn for the much worse when I realised I didn't have my keys on me. I found this out as I was unloading my pockets. Hells, I thought. My pockets are deep, so they wouldn't've jumped out. They had to be at the desk!

Scramble to the check-in desk. Keys aren't there, and the lady advised me to hustle back to the clearence to board soon.

Scramble back to the security clearence. After I got through, hunky dory, some other security guy there quizzed me on my dealings in Scotland. My run from security raised some eyebrows, and they just wanted to know if I was some crazy terrorist that would run back to the bomb or something. All good. 'Cept for the missing keys. Maybe I locked them in the smaller bag that I also checked in...

I couldn't go to Scotland and not get some authentic scotch. Only two bottles, as there's some limit to what I can bring on board.

Finally, things toned down as I went from the duty free to the boarding gate. I made some last calls and txts, and, regardless of the frenzy of still getting to the gate and the clearence onto the plane, I couldn't help it now. I was biting my tongue, sucking it in, and holding it together.

It's done.

Four years.

Four years, one month, and eighteen days.

Good times. Great times! Some bad ones, too, but overall, a good period in my life. All four years.

Ireland.
Dublin.
Guiness.
Temple Bar.
Abraham House.
Kiwis.
Canadians.
Poles.
GNIB.

Blackrock.
Monkstown.
Linda.
DART.
The 46A.
The 7.
Farls.
Daft.

Hostel life.
Barclay Court.
Kate.
Camille.
Luigi.
Rita.
Mike.
Aisling.
Adele.
Sandrine.
Jack O'Rourke's.

The bank.
Sinéad.
John.
Susan.
Helen.
H-dawg.
Brian.
Deirdre.
Phil.
James.
JP.
Steve.
Greels.
Maj.
Liquidity.
Visual Basic.
Tank.
Dealers.
Peter.
Peter.
Nicola.
Mark.
Visas.
Work Permits.

UCM.
London.
Scotland.
Midas.
Wall Street.
Jim.
Rachel.
Sumit.
Alan.
Gareth.
Stuart.
Magic.
Pearse.
Brendan.
Conference calls.
Politics.
Impression Management.

Edinburgh.
The Fringe.
A-Train.

Croker.
Corker.
Hurling.
Football.
GAA.

Tag.
Derrick.
Colum.
Sinead.
Brenda.
Tara.
Michele.
Jonathan.

Footy.
Collin.
Booterstown.

Marijke.
Laura.
Suzanne.
Niamh.
Sarah.
Waitresses.
Jean.
Mona.
Marzia.

Mary.
Era.
Eoin.
The Wolf.
Conway's.
Maji Maji.
The Breffni.
The chippy.
SuperMac's.

Paddy's.
Guiness Day.
Crimbo.
St. Stephen's Day.
Bank Holidays.

DCM.
Donal.
Keith.

Ulster.
Connaght.
Munster.
Leinster.
Great Britain.
Norwich.
Brundal.
M&C(&L).
Germany.
France.
Spain.
Portugal.
Scandanavia.
Poland.
Romania.
Greece.
Italy.
Malta.
Europe.
Egypt.
Bull runs.
WWII.
Auswitz.
Pierogi.

Fish 'n Chips.
Beef and Guinness pie.
Cottage pie.
Tea.
Lamb.
Turkey.
Pork loin.
Frozen pizzas.

Craigmore.
John.
The gaff.
Flowers.
Bees.
Foxes.
The fireplace.
Bikes.

Training.
Running.
Cycling.
GFW6.
Dublin Bay.
Howth.
Malahide.
Greystones.

Ireland.

All of it and more. These were just some of the thoughts that flashed through my head as I made my way to the gate and onto the plane. And there's still so so so so much more.

As I've been saying, it's hard to leave. It was hard to leave. But it's done. Thankfully, proudly, I have slightly more than the memories to take with me. They'll keep me sound when I freak out in the coming days.

As for what happened after I boarded, not much really. The flight seemed short, on account of finally resting. I found my keys afterall! They were tied to my backpack. Tied. Literally: I took some extra shoestring and firmly bundled the li'l checked-in bag so it wouldn't cause any problems with conveyor belts and get hacked to bits. (Or so I'm told that happens.) Caught the porter at YYZ, and made my way to Welland, where M&D whisked me back to home.

And that's it.

The Ireland Invasion: Coda'ed.

I'm not sure if it's sunk in yet or not. It did a bit on the plane, and even before I boarded -- a little mental freak-out. Could be that I've already accepted this in the final days in Dub.

Notice that I avoided the finalities that could come with such a move. I tried to avoid writing and thinking "final" and "last". I'm not ready to say that this is definitively it. I'd certainly entertain a return, and not just to visit.

Right now, though, this is what I want. I'm home now. I'll make the most of it.

Posted by tyler at August 11, 2010 8:14 AM