My final two weeks in Dublin begin tomorrow so I’m enjoying the city while I can. The weather has been a bit weird lately, what with two named storms (Ciara and Dennis) in a row hitting Ireland and the U.K. We’re under a Yellow warning today for downpours and high winds but the early part of the day was sunny and clear, and just a bit windy. As I finished up my daily walk through town, the clouds came in and the torrential rain started, then stopped again. On the other hand, England has been getting pasted with hurricane-force winds, 100-foot waves, and lots of flooding. Luckily, my local, The Celt, is just around the corner and I should have little trouble getting to my Sunday pint of Guinness in a few hours.
As for the popular Coronavirus, only one person has a suspected case here in Dublin and a few dozen other travelers have tested negative. Nonetheless, as elsewhere, face masks have sold right out in Ireland, though I don’t see many people wearing them on the street. I bought a few masks myself weeks ago before the real shortage began. Sadly, the simple mask type that I (and most others) have is not really supposed to offer much protection against viruses. But, what the heck, I hate to be the last one to the party. Regardless of the mask type, my beard is not really conducive to a tight facial seal anyway, so having a mask at all is mostly wishful thinking.
There’s an interesting article in the Sunday Washington Post today about the flood of requests hitting mask manufacturers in the U.S. and their inability to keep up with demand.
In other news, after testing out the lattes around the city, the winner is Esquire Coffee, in the shop right below my flat. The losers include Starbucks, Costa, Insomnia, Frank & Honest, and a couple of independents. I’m not sure what it is, but Esquire’s latte is tastier, richer, and creamier than the others. Now, I’m a relatively new coffee drinker (just in the last four years) and not even a daily consumer, so my palate is admittedly pretty green. Nonetheless, as an official “hedonist with class” (thanks, Arthur Hanket) you can trust me on this!
Parlez vous française? As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been spending about an hour a day brushing up on my French, in preparation for relocating to Lyon, France in a few weeks. I’ve been using the free DuoLingo site, which is useful but not quite as good as an expensive course like Pimsleur. In years gone by, when planning to stop in France while on vacation, I would prepare by listening to Pimsleur CDs while commuting to and from work, and the courses were great. I’m sure drivers in adjacent cars were sure I was a nut job, talking to myself as I drove, but Pimsleur served me well. How expensive is it? Their online courses, levels 1-5, cost $575, which is not in my budget these days.
Cheers from Dublin!