Sunday, September 17, 2006

[The Life of Shaun #69] School, Dublin, the Scissor Sisters & London

So, wow, grad school kicked my, um, bum last week; it's going to be a lot more work than I'd supposed - I am so glad I decided to take a year off to do it.  This week was just part of orientation & wind-up, so no "real" classes, but it's been all day, every day.  This coming week will be too, then at the weekend they're shipping us off to the naval base at Portsmouth to a flagship seminar where we'll stay in the barracks on the HMS Bristol (or some ship...) and participate in a sinking ship simulation where they put us in a section of a boat on hydraulics in a tank and proceed to fill it with thousands of gallons of seawater while we try and save it.  How this will help me with monetary policy I've yet to learn, but it will certainly be interesting...

On the travel front, I went to Dublin last weekend to meet up with my friend Mary Keany from New York.  I had a great time!  I have to admit, when I first got to the city I wasn't very hopeful.  It's very unassuming and decidedly poor for being the capital of the Celtic Tiger.  But as we were there for three days it grew on me.  It's so charming!  From the friendly people, to the accent, to the good night out, even to its blue-collar-ness.  I have to say, I can really see the roots of America in Ireland.  It has the same mix of middle class friendliness, zest for fun and overtones of religion.  I felt quite comfortable there.

But let me tell you, it's expensive.  Shockingly so.  It's not often a Londoner gets shocked about prices, but €17.50 for enchiladas?  Come on, now you're just taking the piss!  But I duly emptied my wallet several times and did my bit to support the Irish economy and keep multiple breweries in business.  Oh, yes, I had Guinness while I was there - I still don't like it.

More locally, I spent last night in Trafalgar Square at a Scissor Sisters concert I won tickets for.  They and it were fantastic.  I don't understand how they're not more popular in America.  They are huge here - the #1 album in 2004 and their new single "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" went right to #1 in the charts when it was released last week.

A notable paraphrase from Ana Matronic: "Prince William went to a party last week dressed as a Bond girl, and it makes us, the Scissor Sisters, very happy to know that the future king of England has a little bit of queen in him."

So a great concert, and a great band - buy their first album immediately and the new one as soon as it comes out (tomorrow here...).  And the whole night was amazing, being in Trafalgar Square for that.  I had a moment again where I realized how lucky I am to live in such an amazing city.

OK, off to take a bus tour with Mary Keany!  Hope all's well with you wherever you are.


Shaun Coley
London, UK
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