Thursday, September 18, 2014


I arrived in Dublin an hour ago after a trip from Boston which was about as long as a non stop flight to Las Vegas. Packed plane.

The cab driver from the airport told me something I had already known, sort of.  I had been told by the coordinator of the conference I'll be attending that rooms would be difficult to secure this weekend as Sunday, coincidentally, is the date of the football championship here in Dublin.

When I read the notice about the championship, I assumed that football meant a soccer match.  It was on this point that the taxi driver provided an education.  I asked him about the major sports in Ireland and he told me about the championship game of which, as I mention, I was familiar.  When I said, "by football, you mean soccer?" the fellow disabused me and then provided an engaging description of Irish football.

Now, after the tutorial, I still know next to nothing, but I do know the game is played fifteen on a side for 90 minutes.  The players advance the ball by running and kicking the ball. One cannot take more than three steps without kicking the ball or else the team with possession must relinquish possession.  A team gets three points by kicking the ball under a goalpost and one point for kicking it above the goalpost. The former is more difficult because a goal tender polices the under the goal post section.

The cab driver told me that I was in for a treat this weekend as followers from all over the country will be descending on Dublin for the match which happens to be played very close to my hotel.  I sit now in the lobby of this hotel, half asleep, since I have never got the hang of sleeping on red eye flights, and my room of course is not ready at 9 a.m.  I am tempted, if I can find the energy, to travel to the stadium where the match is to be played just to see the field.   I also look forward to meeting the fans who, if the cabby is correct, are likely to populate this hotel and others. I will imagine that they may be a rowdy group.  As I look about this lobby, the fans have not yet arrived. This place looks like a sleepy zone with other overseas travellers hanging out waiting for a room in which they may get their zs.  Nobody here and now looks like they could run three steps unencumbered, let alone progress toward a goal while athletic defenders attempt to block the path.

Twenty five euros from the airport, a distance of about 10 miles tops.  I gave him 30 not knowing protocol, he took the bills without offering change.  Thirty euros is equivalent to 45 dollars about what it costs to cab from Times Square in Manhattan to LaGuardia.

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