I can’t say I wasn’t warned about the rain in Ireland. Whenever I complained about the rain before I left America friends and family told me to “Get used to it.” My aunt even bought me a new raincoat as a going away present.
Actually I was kind of looking forward to the rainy grey skies and mist. I’m much more productive in terms of reading and writing when there’s no temptation to go outside and enjoy the sun.
The weather was quite beautiful for the first few weeks after I arrived. Whenever I commented on this it was inevitably met with something like, “Just wait.” Indeed everyone around me seemed to enjoy the sunshine with a sort of skepticism, as if they expected it to end at any moment.
Now I understand why. Contrary to popular belief it does not rain ALL the time in Ireland. It’s an intermittent, unpredictable kind of rain. For instance, it could be sunny in the morning, rain at lunchtime, be sunny again and rain in the evening. But that is not what is the most irksome.
The hardest thing to get used to is the nameless substance in-between rain and mist. The other day it was perfectly sunny with barely a cloud in the sky but there was some type of moisture in the air. I wouldn’t quite call them raindrops and it wasn’t mist at all, but some unidentifiable sort of wetness.
The problem is that this kind of “rain”, if you would call it that, doesn’t warrant an umbrella or a rain jacket but results in a dampness all the same and how women manage to maintain any respectable semblance of a hairdo is completely baffling to me especially when it’s insanely windy, as it was the other day.
The wind did, in fact, result in a train delay. Why, I’m not sure. Being from Chicago I’m used to real wind and this wind was nothing to write home about and certainly nothing to stop train service for.
But then trains in Ireland seem almost as unpredictable as the buses. Case in point a recent trip to Dublin. When I bought the train ticket the guy at the window mentioned nothing in terms of delayed service but when we reached the platform some people kindly told us that there had been some kind of accident involving a train and a bus so service was delayed. Then they made a joke about walking to Maynooth.
Downstairs the gates wouldn’t let us out and the station attendant seemed puzzled at our wanting to leave. When asked about the situation they seemed unperturbed. We should probably walk to another station they agreed.
What I have failed to mention is that the last train from Dublin to Maynooth is at 11:15 pm. If you miss that you’re out of luck until 2am when the night bus starts running. Killing three hours in Dublin wouldn’t be much of a problem but there is the added pressure of my having been told to avoid the night bus “at all costs.” As it is apparently full of drunk people and “rivers of vomit.”
Needless to say, while the train station attendants could care less about our train, we were a bit panicked.
All things considered, the relaxed, unpredictable nature of things is a refreshing change from New York. And the best part of the weather is that it makes the sunny breaks in rain that much more enjoyable. One day there was even a rainbow on an otherwise unremarkable Dublin street.
Jackie Kennedy’s granddaughter has uncannily similar looks