I have decided that I officially lucked out big time with my roommate. She's doing an internship in Dublin for an online newspaper that covers news for the French expat community in Ireland. We get along really well (she being the one I went to Galway with) and we both have rather solitary work, so each of us is usually game for getting out of the house to try a new pub or explore a new corner of the city. In my case, even when I have papers due in just a few weeks and really should be heading to the library in the evenings. Ahem.
Well this afternoon, I was in the library when I got a text from her asking if I wanted to come along to a new restaurant that is opening in the shopping center about a half-hour's walk from where we live. This is one of those perks of being a journalist: she gets free passes to go to all sorts of things that I would never even hear about. Remember the horse races? That was her, as well.
Actually, I nearly said no to tonight's outing. I was comfortably entrenched in one library, with plans to head to another for the evening. These papers are bearing down on me and, knowing how much I hate writing, I have to give myself a wide berth around the due date to make sure that I can get them done well. It doesn't help that I'm leaving literally 2 days later. But anyway. I digress.
I said yes, despite my misgivings about time and work, and headed home to glam up a bit. We walked down to the place, and boy, was it fabulous! It's a Spanish tapas restaurant that just opened at the big mall, a franchise of two that are already downtown. It's located in a former cottage, so the walls are all exposed brick. Full wine bottles line the walls and ceiling, and as far as I could tell, the only lights were from the myriad candles that were placed on tables, on shelves, on bricks poking out of the walls, and even in the otherwise-unused fireplace. The wine was flowing, the flamenco dancers were twirling, the tapas were appearing out of nowhere, and the guitarist looked like he was having the time of his life.
We were seated at a table in the corner, one of the only ones left by the time we arrived. And a good thing, too: within about a half-hour the place was so full you could barely get to the bathroom! A lady and her daughter joined us for lack of space, and once we got over the initial talking-to-strangers-awkwardness (thanks to several glasses of wine), we had a great time! She works for a magazine and both she and her daughter were great at making small talk and looking interested at our responses. I envy people who have that skill. The wine kept flowing and the food kept coming, and then. And then. The manager showed up.
Let me pause for a minute to reflect on the beauty of this fine specimen of man who strode over to our table, wine glass in hand.
He was quite young, probably about 30, and a French guy to boot. He's been in Ireland for four years, so he has that fantastic part-Irish-part-foreign accent that is so interesting to listen to. A super engaging personality, too - he was just so happy to see his restaurant opening, and his enthusiasm was infectious. My roommate has to interview him for her newspaper. Lucky duck. I told her to bring a bottle of wine. She said she couldn't date a guy who lived in Ireland. I said I didn't mind, so could I have him? She said no. I sulked and ate some cheese with jam.
Long story short, we had a fantastic time (of course!), and the lady from the magazine even gave us a ride home at the end. Now I am tired, full, and very happy. I'm going to bed the earliest I have in weeks, and I will even read beforehand. A book book, not a research book. And I'm almost kicking myself for changing my tickets to go home early.