Photos taken by Madison Russell
My adventures in Ireland, part two, electric boogaloo
Fountainstown Beach is about an hour’s bus ride away from where I live in Cork City, and in the middle of an Irish heatwave (about 70℉) it is the only place to be.
It's a rocky beach and as I had just departed from an extremely sweaty bus ride, the first place I headed was the water. If you have ever seen the classic film Titanic you’ve seen what frigid water can do to the human body, and while I don’t think I could directly correlate the temperature of the water on this day to the deadly depths of the North Atlantic, if you have been to the recreation at the Titanic museum in Pigeon Forge, you’ll have a good idea of what this water felt like.
Needless to say, the water was hard to enjoy, but the beach itself provided a cool refuge from the warm day. I never go anywhere without a book, so I spent the rest of my beach day enjoying the prose of Sylvia Plath. Like all idyllic days, though, this one too had to end. The bus was on its way and I had to be ready to board when it inevitably arrived late.
But the bus didn’t arrive.
And it still didn’t arrive.
I stood in an asymmetric blob with over a hundred others waiting for transport, a group whose annoyance grew with every second. Some taxis came and went over the hours to come, but many people decided to hitchhike, which, while unthinkable as a woman in America, is common in Ireland.
I had come to the beach alone (my friends claimed they needed “sleep”) so taking a taxi on my own would have been too expensive to consider–at first.
Finally though, the bus arrived! Myself and the rest of the blob surged forward and I was placed onto the bus by the crowd. Not ideal, but a situation made worse by the thick packing of human bodies, all angry and impatient to get home.
Soon, I pushed my way away from the crowd, which I could easily foresee becoming a crowd crush, something I desired no part of. Thankfully, outside I did see some familiar faces, including someone from the 865 area, my lovely friend Matthew.
After the chaos of the bus debacle, the four of us were more than ready to head back to our apartments. The single bus driver had been trying and failing to control the crowd, reminding everyone that they needed tickets to enter, but the majority simply ignored her. Once the Guarda (police) arrived, we decided to finally shell out the cash for a taxi.
More waiting ensued, but was made better than before through acquiring ice cream and eventually the taxi I had ordered arrived. The taxi ride was considerably shorter than the bus, but similarly packed. Once we reached our destination, my crazy beach day came to an end, leaving me with a few cool rocks, a new group of friends and a newfound appreciation for my bed.