Wednesday, September 22, 2010

News Update

Well, it's been a really, really, really, ...really, really..., really long time since I updated here. It's not that I haven't been writing -- actually I'm probably writing more now than I ever have, but it's just been by hand in notebooks, rather than online. Still, I haven't forgotten about this blog, and now perhaps I'll recalibrate the purpose. When you split up everything I have to say, it can all be divided into categories of things I want to share and things that I want to keep private. This has got to be the public record.

So, to catch up anyone who hasn't known what's been happening with me the last few months...
Towards the end of July I went to Tobel, in northeastern Switzerland, to help with the art festival called Tatort Komturei, which was in its second year of existence. I was there for the two weeks before the Vernissage (opening day) to help with the myriad tasks that needed doing, and I remained through the end of the festival, which lasted three weeks. I was also taking care of the Pilgrim Hostel, responsible for keeping the place spick-and-span. We had some pilgrims, but most of the guests were either artists or friends/family of artists who were connected with the Tatort. So, in all, I was there for five weeks.

Afterwards, I returned to Zurich for about ten days or so before setting off on a month-long journey in Germany and Ireland. I'm writing this from Dublin, where I've had to stay an extra day because of airplane trouble. Tomorrow I'm flying to Berlin. At the outset, I used ridesharing to get to Munich, where I stayed for about five days with Michael, my friend and Couchsurfing Host Extraordinaire. I flew to Dublin with Ryanair, where I stayed for a week. I stayed with three different Couchsurfing hosts (or sets of hosts) -- the first two days with Piotr, a Polish fellow who's been in Ireland for a good long while; the second pair of days with Therese and Jonathan, a couple who were really great hosts with a kindred streak of nerdiness; then I stayed three nights with Carina, Maite, and Pedro, which is where I got the first real taste of "partying" in Dublin.

After that week, I went to Cork to spend time with my grandmother and my aunt Ita. It was wonderful to catch up with them, to learn about my Irish family, to talk and talk and talk. I spent a day with my uncle Maurice, and I briefly met my dad's cousin Ted to pick up a family tree tracing the Curtin quarter of my lineage. Made trips to Cobh and Kinsale (Cobh was the most important point of departure for Irish emigrants in the 19th century, and the last place Titanic ever picked up passengers -- it was very absorbing to be there). After five or six days of home-cooked meals, doting relatives, and fascinating exchanges, I took the bus to Galway. I stayed there two nights with Astra and his flatmates, who were a lot of fun. On Sunday, I took the bus back to Dublin, where I've been since.

Meanwhile, I've applied to join the Peace Corps. I will write about this in a separate post.

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