Assimilatin’

Today is Wednesday so it’s my volunteer day with Age Action.  I have two wonderful learners this time around, two gents whose company make the time just fly by.  I taught one of them how to consolidate his photos and delete the ones he didn’t want, while the other spent the whole time teaching himself how to write a letter with the word processor.  The budding typist gets on the bus at Salthill so today we spent the ride chatting.  I seem to find myself telling anyone and everyone about the imminent visit of our daughters.  (I’m kind of excited about it!)

It’s another gorgeous Galway day, not too hot, just enough sun to stay warm, a light breeze to stay refreshed.  After class I wanted to return a library book and hit the used bookstore to swap some used books for something to read while traveling.  I found just what I wanted.  By then I was starving so I made my way over to a restaurant I like that serves a delicious Irish lamb stew and has tables outside but is off the overly-trodden path.  Ordered my food, found a table out front nestled in the corner and settled in with my book.  Toward the end of the meal a man came and apologetically asked if he could sit at the table next to me.  Hey, no problem, I’m getting used to this close quarters kind of Euro lifestyle…  Then he began chatting me up.  I could have been stand-offish at that point but I’ve decided to stop being so American and start opening up to new people – so I put aside my book and we began chatting.  He had this lovely British accent that reminded of the accent of the character of Del in Wayne’s World 2.  He told me how he likes to interrupt people who are reading and engage them in conversation because you can read any time but you don’t always get the chance to talk to a new person, how he thinks that everyone the world over should start the day with a big hug, he asked where I am from, talked about how he went to North Carolina when he was young to study but life beckoned him and he followed, about the time he lived in Paris in one room and how the landlady would bring him croissant and hot chocolate every single morning.  I told him about our daughters coming to visit and that we were taking them to Paris and he recommended that we just “bounce around” and try not to plan too much.  Then it was time for me to walk off my lunch – but I was very glad I took the time to speak with him.

I got the rest of my shopping done – thank goodness for the new shopping trolley!  I might look like an old lady but that thing has already proven to be well worth the purchase price.  I got to the bus stop and there was a tremendous group of young German kids, none over 21, who were waiting for the same bus I take, of course.  I’ve been too judgmental when it comes to the groups of youths wandering around Galway so I decided I was just going to relax and go with the flow.  I even saved them the hassle of catching the wrong bus by letting them know which one to look for.  At that point an elderly woman came up and asked me if she was in the right place for the Salthill bus… and we got to chatting.  We managed to get decent seats – surprise! – and the kids were quite well-behaved.  She was on her way out to the ocean because it was such a lovely day, the sun was out and it was simply too nice to go home just yet.  She and I chatted all the way out to where she got off at the Prom.  I, of course, told her about being American, Claude’s job at the university, the girls coming to visit.  She told me she had friends coming from Florida next week, about the cake she was baking for them, about her volunteer work.  

I find myself thinking about the end of Claude’s contract, even though it is still months away, and hoping against hope that it gets renewed.  After all, I think we’re just starting to really get the hang of being Irish!  T’would be a shame to let all that learnin’ go to waste, now.

— Cindy

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