Sundays in Dublin are peaceful. The buses start later than usual, so it’s a good day to stroll into City Centre if you’re up early. At first, you’re walking for transportation, getting from point A to point D, and hoping that you don’t get lost along the way because you haven’t memorized the bus route precisely. Soon, though, you notice how quiet it is. You realize that you’ve only seen a few cars and a handful of people as you’ve walked along the normally-busy thoroughfare. In fact, as you stop at an intersection that has always been bustling with all manner of traffic–cars, busses, pedestrians, bicycles–you realize that this capital city seems to have shrunk during the night and resembles the pace of your own hometown, which is five times smaller in population than this one. Peace, quiet, still, the city seems to be sleeping off a late and busy night. Grafton St., the popular pedestrian street, is as deserted this morning as it was packed last night. A lonely violin haunts the cobbled lane with the mournful theme from The Godfather. It seems an afterthought to the population of street performers last night, but the sound is lovely and moving. Street sweepers battle against the city’s refuse and you walk past jet-lagged people of all ages dragging suitcases and checking paper maps to find their way through the web of narrow, curving Georgian streets. In your heart, you wish them well and hope they find the city as friendly as you have. You turn a corner and make your way to the impressive Tourist Information center on Suffolk St., a spired gothic building that seems too grand to be a TI. It won’t open for another hour. Neither will the sites you’d planned on visiting. So you take a seat on the stone steps along with the other early risers, stretching your legs after that hour-long hike, and pull out Ulysses. You pause before reading to think that, had June 16, 1904 been a Sunday, Leopold Bloom might have had a more pleasant journey.
Friends, I’ll write more about my Sunday and my Monday tomorrow. It’s too late for my obsessive writing habits now.