restaurant woes

I had my first disaster in the restaurant last night. My earring fell into someone's pasta, and I didn't even realise what was happening until the waiter was on the way to their table. Everything went into slow motion as I chased him across the room, but it was too late ... the food was already on the table. Total embarrassment. I told the customer what had happened, and they were very nice about it -- fortunately they were able to bring a replacement asap. I thought I'd be fired, but I just got a bit of a lecture on not wearing earrings to work if I can't be sure they'll stay in.

My flatmate Bepe and the head chef are going to be swanning off to the Taste of Dublin festival this weekend. The rumour mill has it that the head chef might be going back to Italy, and that Bepe's being groomed to take his place. They're going to check out the competition. I wish I could go too. I might be new to this cooking business, but I do love to eat! Plus, it's on in the Iveagh Gardens, my favourite city park. But, well, I'll be working all weekend and that' s good too, because there's rent to deal with.

I have a minor anxiety about the whole notion of Bepe becoming head chef, because he'll be making a lot more money if that happens, which I guess will mean he'll want to move out of our tiny apartment and find somewhere fancier, and then I'll have to look for a new roomie, which is always stressful. You never know how it's going to go. Of course, I hope for his sake he does get the job, but ... well, I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!

Meeting and greeting

Well, I did my very first meeting and greeting session at the Dublin Tourism offices yesterday. It was a last-minute thing: someone was ill so they called me to see if I could come in.

Modesty aside, I think I'm going to be FANTASTIC at this job -- in fact, I think I'll be BETTER than any native Irish person could be, because after more than a year here, I have an insider's view on Dublin, but I can also still remember what it was like arriving, not knowing about anything or anyone, and having to discover Dublin for myself.

So I was a bit disappointed when my first interaction, with some American tourists, stated off with them being put out about me not being "a real irish Colleen". However, I turned this around by telling them all about how my ancestors had settled in Newfoundland two hundred years ago, and how exciting it had been to rediscover the land of my forefathers and -mothers. Despite the fact that these folks were African-Americans, it turned that they were also Irish-Americans, and by the time they'd finished talking to me, they were quite excited about going to Co. Clare, where their great-grandad had come from, to check out the family homestead. Incidentally, did you know that some of Muhammed Ali's ancestors also came from Co. Clare, Ireland? There's an Irish connection most places, it seems to me.

My new life

Well, I've started my new restaurant job and, guess what? I like it, I really do! I never thought I'd work in a restaurant, or that I'd like it if I did, but it actually feels great to be working with my hands instead of poring over a book for a change. Wow. I mean, it's hard, tiring work and it can get very steamy in the kitchen, but it's surprisingly satisfying. Of course, I'm just about the lowliest person in the kitchen -- I've been working on "vegetable preparation" which is a fancy way of saying that I've been doing stuff like slicing mushrooms for pizza. It's an Italian restaurant and I'm one of the very few non-Italians working there, so I might just pick up some language skills, although something tells me that a lot of cussing goes on, so maybe not the sort of language skills a girl should really boast about!

And that's not all! Next week I'm babysitting TWO days instead of one so, hey, drinks are on me (if I've enough energy afterwards to actually go out). However, I'm anticipating a fairly easy ride, as on Sunday I've been given a bunch of tickets to take the rugrats to not one but two shows in a theatre called Draiocht, which I think means "magic". The Mom and Dad were supposed to be going, but she's had some sort of a plumbing disaster at her shop in the city centre, so they are going to have to spend the weekend sorting that out. It seems a bit mean to be happy about a plumbing disaster, but I wasn't sorry to hear about it, as the money will be good. Plus, heh, heh, I've roped my flatmate, Bepe, into coming along on the Dad's ticket, so I won't even be watching the kids on my own. I'm hoping to be able to save enough to get home for Xmas, partly because it's past time I saw my peeps, and also to show my folks that there is life after college, even without a teaching diploma.

People, if you are thinking of coming to Dublin soon and haven't bought your tickets yet, I've been here for over a year, and one of the best, most fantastic things to do in Dublin is, IMHO, to attend Bloomsday. It combines getting dressed up, world-class literature, eating lots of delicious greasy sausages and bacon with a massive pub crawl. What on earth could be better? And that's not all! Now an important traditional festival, the very first Bloomsday was the brainchild of David Norris, whom I've never met but have come to love as Ireland's Best Possible Future President. Unlike most rich folks, this man lives in the heart of the city centre and is often seen stalking about Parnell St.

Bloomsday is on June 12th -16th, so if you're planning a short break and vacilating between Dublin and someplace else -- come to Dublin!