Ireland Trip: Day 5 (Easter And Rugby – What A Combo)

Monday, April 13, 2009


Cork is just a short 4 1/2 hour bus ride southeast from Dublin, and buses leave on the hour on most days. As most people say, some of the best of Ireland is seen outside of the main cities, and a trip overland can offer some amazing views. Of course, like most trips, I’m reminded how I wish I had more time to spend visiting the rest of the country, but at least seeing some or part of somewhere is better than seeing nothing at all.


After arriving, my brother-in-law’s father’s cousin’s husband (first cousin once removed in-law if you’re keeping score) picked me up at the bus station and took me to his home where I had Easter dinner with their three daughters (brother-in-law’s second cousins) and their young families.

After a hearty meal, the ladies and the children retired to the parlor while us men goatherd up our things and headed down to the corner bar to watch the Harlequins v. Leinster rugby match in the Heineken Cup quarter-final.

But Matt, you may ask, you have very little idea what Rugby is, let alone the rules or how to play it. Matt, do you even know what or where a Harlequin is? Umm . . .  No worries, I was able to learn the rules pretty quickly, and I was even able to pick up some insight into the game, such as how there are such things as “blood substitutions” (a substitution when an torrent of blood gushes from one’s nose) and how most players, though looking like they’re one pint away from mugging you, are actually very learned professionals, hailing from such trades as medicine, law and banking. I can think of a few lawyers myself who I’d like to see put on the field for a pummeling.


After a little dessert I said goodbye and headed to my couchsurfing friend’s house near Cork University. The following is the conversation that I remember after arriving:

Matt: Hi, good to meet you. Thanks for letting me stay at your place.

Host: It’s no problem, let me show you your room.

The two enter a room.

Matt: Great, you don’t mind if I lay down a bit, I’m feeling a bit under the weather.

Host: No problem.

14 hours later.

Host: Well I’m off to study, it was good to meet you.

Matt: (sleeping) Yes, thanks again and you’re welcome to come to New York anytime.

(Host exits, sleep continues)

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