Veni, vidi…what?

April 12, 2005

Countdown to Ireland is about 21 days from now. Noting that, and how I don’t feel very nervous or concerned much like I was last October around this time, I decided to read some of the notes I made in my pseudo-journal I kept while on the trip. I remember being bored and sitting on a stone fence, thinking about what it must be like to actually live in a place like the one I was in.

[noting the abundance of beat-up farming equipment]
I imagine what the average farmer from County Clare tries to achieve…what are his goals? More cows? Would the highlight of his life be a John Deere tractor? What would the nightly exchange be like between him and his wife at the dinner table?
“I’m going to do it,” he’d say, finally breaking the silence.
“Do what?”
“I’ll buy a John Deere Tractor.”
“Oh, but they’re so expensive.”
“That’s the price you pay to be a star, Mary.”
“Oh, jeeezus!”

It will definitely be something to travel again and to deal with all of the good and bad associated with it; being tired, jetlagged, sitting in a cramped plane — and the good — drinking Guinness in a pub while listening to trad music, exploring, meeting or seeing new and very different people from all over the world. Dealing with freaky-weird electric showers (isn’t that shit dangerous?)

At least I know this time to hold no expectations, which is undoubtedly a good thing. Just like I scribbled into my notebook with bleeding fountain pen ink: “I came, I saw, I shat my pants.” My motto has always been to expect the worst so that I’m ready for it when it happens, and so that if victory should come, it is all the sweeter. This time I’ll actually listen to myself. This time, I expect nothing more than to be tired and to see something new.

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