Slept beautifully. Woke up and pottered around, had a good hot shower, then at suitable hour (9 am) trundled down to explore the town. And honestly, loved it. I don’t know whether it was the rain or the general clamour in the city centre but Dublin did not speak to me on first sight. Cork, however, is exactly how I like it. Quaint, but quirky with people actually living their lives. I get that it’s ironic that I want to be a tourist and walk around but don’t want to encounter (too many) other people like me, but this is a person who gets annoyed with the smoke from my own cigarette if it blows into my face.

Pretty street.

Eye Hospital which may or may not function as such.

First thing I saw after clicking selfies and general photos madly – luckily it was early and there was nobody to point and laugh at me – was a church. It was open so I went in hesitantly, because I know religious placed don’t exactly cherish peerers. But I was there to pray so I did. It’s been a while but it does focus the mind and churches are so calming.  Then on my way out I actually looked at mass timings and wondered if I should make my mother’s day/week/month/year and attend. A little old lady saw me and said, “Are you alright? You look a bit lost.” “It’s been ages since I went to church,” I explained. See here’s the thing, people here are so chatty. I’ve also noticed that everywhere are girls standing around having a big gossip. Don’t know whether I’m just missing that in Hong Kong because of language but it seems that girls here are super passionate about …talking about stuff.

On the right is church I went to.
Then I asked her for directions to the English market and she took my arm and explained to be super sweetly.

Self explanatory.

Feel like I need to plagiarize this and start a fashion blog just to use the name.  

Wishing well. Did not wish. Felt like I got my wish just being there.

Man playing traditional Irish music outside the market. He later got up and started dancing with high kicks. And his puppets danced too.

Started at the English market and wandered and wandered. Covered practically everything there is to see just by wandering which is my favourite way to do this. Streets that have names that I do not remember.
At some point I decided I must sit down and pee. That is, I needed to pee (obviously sitting since  don’t have a penis and have stopped squatting) and after that, I needed to just sit somehwere and not pee and possibly eat. I had considered some places in the English Market but I’d figured they’d be pricey because tourists so I finally decided on an Irish chain O Brien’s. Though ironically, it was similarly priced to other non-chain places I chanced upon in my latter wanders. I had this toasted bagel with everything breakfasty in it, which was too heavy to finish. Like a full Irish in one bagel. So I packed it and saved it for lunch. Which might have slightly screwed my stomach. I need to remind myself that the positive of the cafe was that I got a clean loo and change for a 100 euros. So purposes served.

An Irish breakfast in one sandwich.
Then, I wandered some more, churches, churches, landed in Bishop’s Park which was on Lonely Planet guide as place to eat sandwich. I didn’t have sandwich but I had book. So I read it in park. So writerly. Opposite me was a hipster guy, obviously a tourist, who had clearly found the place owing to Lonely Planet. I had landed there serendipitiously okay. Seriously. Hipster guy was determinedly listening to iPod. He looked like he was going to talk to me, which I was not very interested in. I read Confessions of Listmaniac which I really liked, as I do all Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan’s stuff, once I got into it. There was child running about blowing whistle at ravens who were just not having it. Made me laugh. He was so all “Here ravens, I’m talking to you” and they were all “Get us some bread and we’ll talk.” It reminded me of my babies.

Raven in Bishop Park. Why can’t HK have greens like this? 
Walked back, got dressed for presentation and Skyped with said babies. Mimi has decided to be shy of me. Hmph. V is wheedling his way into her affections. Hmph. We’ll see when I get back.

Dressed in conferency outfit and left. More on that later.

The river Lee and pretty Irish houses. I wonder how they decide on the colours, especially of the doors.

St Fin Barre Cathedral Cork. There are so many beautiful churches in Cork, it’s hard to choose. In the end, I decided to just admire from the outside.