This is by far the strangest I've felt going on any trip I've ever had. Sitting in airplanes and airports for hours is starting to feel very familiar...they all look relatively the same.
However, the feeling I had while starting this trip is wholly unfamiliar. I think this is the first time I've gone overseas and actually consciously second-guessed my decision to do so, and felt SO nervous about it. Panicked, even. I could feel myself starting to get panicky on the plane, realizing that I am all alone right now. If something happens to me here, I am alone. I don't remember feeling this nervous at all about going to Korea. I remember feeling really excited, but not nervous. Part of me is saying, "what the hell am I doing?!" But then, I consider going back to my comfort zone, and although there are attractive aspects of that idea, I don't want to.
Then I look around, and even though this airport looks relatively the same, all of a sudden it's hitting me that I'M SITTING IN DUBLIN, IRELAND! That in and of itself is pretty cool.
So, I guess that, even if it doesn't feel normal, it absolutely IS normal that I'm feeling the way that I am (especially considering that I have basically been up for almost 24 hours straight now, and lack of sleep if certainly having an effect). Given that fact, I have decided that the thing to do for now is: 1)Focus on one task at a time, and 2) Live in the moment, or I will miss out on what it happening around me. It's so easy to worry. period...that's why paying attention to what is around you is so important.
So...what's happening around me right now? Bet you wanted to know. There is a group of Irish girlfriends chatting away merrily about a magazine they're reading. There's a small group of Chinese people to my left, annoying me with the tonal nature of their native tongue. To my right is a group of older, attractively well-dressed French ladies, chattering away so fast I can only decipher "l'avion" out of the plethora of words. The direction signs are all written in Gaelic and English, so "Gates" reads "Geatai", and airline lounges are "Tolglanna Aerlinte". I passed a shop selling Irish gear and of course right away am tempted to buy a fitted green soccer jacket that says "Ireland" in white letters across the front, accented by white cuffs and collar with pink stripes. Ah, but that 26.50 Euro is too steep a price tag for my budget at the moment, and I'd have no room to pack it, anyway.
There are lots of attractive people here; also a few unattractive. I hate to say it, but the most unattractive people are usually Americans and can be spotted from what seems like miles away. Sometimes I am embarrassed by my fellow countrymen while I am traveling abroad. For example, behind me just a moment ago was a rather impressively large lady who was clearly from the U.S., somewhere in the south. She had a thick drawl and felt it fine to take the liberty (quite unabashedly) to practically yell across the aisle (a good 10 feet away) to her counterpart, a younger southern American woman. Nobody could ignore the conversation about "creamed corn" and "cooking broccoli to mush", gotta be careful not to do that...in her opinion. While I might agree with that opinion, I cannot say that I would have cared to be let in on it in the first place. I simply don't understand why we Americans do not adjust ourselves according to the tone of other cultures when we are visiting them. Have we no perception of what is going on around us? We are such a loud breed. I can understand why people perceive Americans as obnoxious. So, take a tip from me: if no one else around you in another country besides the US is yelling, you probably shouldn't be, either. Can that creamed corn and broccoli mush. Or shut your pie-hole, whichever you prefer.
And another thing, Americans- don't dress like crap abroad, please. YEA. I'm talking to you, miss giant oversized Boston Red Sox Tee Shirt woman. Yea. You. In fact, you should probably throw that shirt out altogether...or at least wear it in the privacy of your own home, where it belongs. People should not be subjected to your dirty fashion faux-pas.
So, that's that for now...I'm off to the airport pub for lunch and a pint. Need something to calm the nerves, and have a sneaking suspicion that Guiness may be the best solution to that problem.
Stay tuned, folks...more updates coming your way, ASAP.