Brown and the Builders

Trip Start Mar 29, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Travel Tip # 39: Some things never change, don't wish them to.

July!!! I haven't written since July! I have been sooooooo lazy with this. I suppose going around in circles such as I am, history repeats itself. I'm irritated with my self really because in the last few months I have been having some adventures.

Getting asked to dinner by James Brown's sax player (yes theeee James "hottub!!!" Brown), then getting on the guest list to the concert, and being winked at throughout the concert like whatshername from friends and that Bruce Springsteen video, was pretty weird and surreal. (update: even more surreal now that he has passed away, I suppose I can say now to my grandkids I was on the James Brown guest list on one of his last ever performances)

Going home to Canada what can I say about it only that I ask myself many times over here "what the hell am I doing here?"  It really deserved its own entry but most of you were there with me so I will skip it, just that I rafted, hiked, camped, Kaoroaked(or tried to anyway), pubbed, drove across the prairies, saw world cup womens rugby. Could not have asked for a better trip. Thanks to everyone who made time to see me on my tight schedule.

Went to the Isle of Mull which hosts the town of Calgary and is where Calgary got its name from,  but stayed in Tobermory, had a fantastic time in a wee pub there as there were these fellas from Newcastle sailing around the west coast of Scotland. Everytime I have met Newcastle people they are the nicest most fun people in England, top notch people really or as you would call them here Geordies, not sure where that comes from, I should find out. However not the best kaoroke singers in the world.

So coming back to Cork has been great, I went to my pub and there was Friday Night Neil on a Sunday (holiday the next day) for those who don't know, My friend Neil at my local gets reaaaallllllyyyyy drunk on a Friday night and is great fun, but you would see another Neil on Saturday who is also great fun, but not "Friday Night Neil" a term coined by Krista, my sister and has stuck ever since. They were shocked to see me back, but I am not sure why, they always said I would be. Of course there was a lock-in to celebrate

The hotel has not changed a bit ! I laughed my ass off when I walked in the front door for the first time and the same builders (been guests for three years) were sitting in the same spots in the hotel pub, right were I left them 2 years earlier! unbelievable. Nothing has changed here at the hotel which is nice. Although strangely I was begging for it to change when I left.

I am working as a Night Manager in the hotel, and I absolutely love it! Its just alot of printing reports, chatting with the drunks, sometimes we have to evict people, very quiet most nights, its really quite nice, until what happened the night before last....

I sware me and the other manager and the security guard were never so scared in our lives! Security guard came down and said that the towels outside room 412 had been sitting there for at least THREE days, fine ok enough as they had a "do not disturb sign on the door "and probably were changing the towels every day, we decided that we had to see if someone was occupying the room. There a few stages you have to go through before you can enter a room, First obviously you can knock...well we got no answer, then you can knock and announce that you are coming in, couldn't get an answer again and the door was locked from the inside, which is very rare, so we were unable to open the door with the key,  we had to get a door reader/opener machine.... we discovered that noone had been in or out of the room in 4 days!!!! but we could quickly see that there was stuff in the bathroom when we popped the door open, meaning they hadn't checked out. So towels outside room, noone has come or gone in 4 days and the persons items could be seen still in the room. For the next five minutes we debated who's job it was to go into the room, I said I will go in but I AM NOT going to be the first NO WAY! I could just picture someone hanging by a towel or something. I said I could DEAL with a dead body but I do not want to DISCOVER the dead body. So Security with shaky hands opened the door and saw someone lying on the bed, He comes back out and says, "there is someone in there but I'm not sure they are alive!" Well holy feck if I didn't hug the wall, Ger went completely white, I have never seen that shade of white before in someones face and security was shaking like a leaf. Finally, we entered called out and there was an answer from within, we all got on the lift half shaking, half laughing. We all went outside for a cigarette and said, we never wanted to do that again. It really freaked us out because recently there was a suicide in the hotel and it was the same idea with the towels etc outside the door. Still can't figure out why noone left or entered the room in four days, but thats their business. Other than that the only scary thing that happens is watching the River Lee rise as it has overflowed before on us and the rain here is insane right now! so we have to sandbag the hotel. Well there are other things too but I am sure there will be another opportunity to tell them here at a later date. 

Went on a  night managers course but it was more like a United Nations Panel, but is a true indication of the changing face of Ireland, the only Irish person in the course was the instructor, there were 8 of us on the course and this is where we were from, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Bulgaria, France, Estonia, Mauritus, and Hungary. Crazy but we had such a good time and went for pints later in the evening and sadly I was the only one to say that I would like to go home again, all the rest said never again.

Now my birthday was something else. I was a bit worried noone would show up at first as the Irish are not know for being the most reliable on earth. But sure enough people did and then some. As it turns out I had 15 or more northern irish builders(some of which are long time guests at the hotel)  fighting for my attention and subsequently NOT fighting for my attention as one i found out later told the whole lot not to go near me and staked his claim although did not speak to me once the entire night?????? Fellas out there, what is up with this line of thinking?  One fella wiggled through the lot of them, I don't know why they all reminded me of little sperm or something and survival of the fittest and all sort of thing, but he survived and said, he didn't care if I was hands off, yer man, the order giver, came up to us and said, Sooo John having a good time are ye? in like a mafioso type tone, then I knew it to be true,  was fun for a while, Great birthday but  I still had leave because I was being "watched".

The hardest part of the last month has been saying goodbye to my right hand man Rachel. Man oh man, did we have a time of it. From crazy landlords, getting locked out of hostels, partying with people from around the globe, our wicked arguments that we always managed to resolve, although our doors from being slammed will never forgive us, our trip to Italy, Amsterdam, the Scottish Isles,  and that crazy horse festival in Hawick, all the Stevies we  met,  Ha ha! The trips to our local here in Cork and to Heraghtys in Glasgow, the parcels her mom and dad sent that she would always share with me, especially the socks! and love those Ganong Chicken Bones!, the mugging and staying up to watch the Oilers play in the early hours of the morning.  I really could go on and on about all we saw, all we went through personally, all we experienced together and when not together. She made this trip very very special and could not have done most of the last  year without her. Rachel is now snug as a bug back in New Brunswick, with her family and friends but still she keeps in touch and even sent me a parcel socks included! Miss you rache.

Until next time when the saga continues within the walls of the hotel, builders and all.

By the way all photos on www. Look for "cowtowncolleen"
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ynyn17 on

Newcastle guys
Well, I hate to be a stickler, but the Guys we met at the pub on the Isle of Mull were actually from a place called Preston. Preston is further down south than Newcastle, and yet on the opposite coast, hence sailing up to Mull (also west). If you wanted to make reference to a larger city to the proximity of where they're from you could say: Liverpool or Blackpool. Ha ha, please don't hate me. I'm Certain the people of Newcastle love hanging out with you too Kerri.
Cheers for all the good stuff you said about me. -Rachel xo

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