Homeward Bound
Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 7:00AM

I was in no rush to leave Colorado but unfortunately an expiring visa left me with little choice. I have been in North America since the 1st of July and while I could scram to Canada for a while to appease the folks in Homeland Security I have no problem being European for the summer. Some close friends are getting married so it will be nice to share their day with them.

Initially I was nervous about the prospect of being back in Dublin again but now I'm ok with it. I have no problem living an unsettled life when travelling, it's the settling that I hate – trying to find a suitable rental, moving in, your house-mates getting to know your habits etc. Thus, having just settled into Denver it's a little annoying to contemplate packing up and moving to Dublin again. But at least I'm a lot fonder of the city now than before I left. Indeed, it is no wonder I was confused by Dublin. The city has easy access to the coast, mountains, vast open country-side, a pint-sized centre with all the arts and culture that entails and an airport to nip over to Europe for a different kind of culture. It's incredible we take all this for granted as most places in the world are one thing or another or a lot less balanced. Thus, it's harder for Dubliners to discern where our geographic sensibilities lie – in normal circumstances it's only sun worshipers or big-city people who feel prompted to jump ship.

Of course, Dubliners are no longer living in normal circumstances and this will likely be the hardest thing about going back. Well, the hidden sun might irk me a little too now that I have lived somewhere with so much sunshine. Amazingly the weather never really bothered me before I left. At least It was consistent; scattered showers or sunny spells. I digress, for someone very sensitive to injustice I'm expecting I will find the economic and social hardships difficult to bear. If someone in a hoodie launches a brick through Bertie's window in my hometown of Drumcondra you know where to look. However, I feel a lot more engaged by what is going on now. I didn't like the way things were when I left and my sense is that more people are starting to share my point of view. I was very disenfranchised by the Celtic Tiger. I was shaking my head all during the boom and I rolled my eyes through all the crises that have befallen us since the top of the housing market. So much of it was predictable that I tuned out. Now that I am somewhat settled I have managed to catch up with events again and I find them intriguing. In some bizarre way I actually want to witness what is happening at home as it has gone beyond what people could conceive. It is unlikely that I will ever see Ireland in such bad times again in my life-time. Of course, I empathise with the suffering and feel fortunate that I intend to dodge the labour market for the immediate future and don't have the burden of negative equity to bear. Times are terrible but it is in tough times that people really start to care about things. Our country was neglected for far too long and I feel encouraged that people now want a say in it. I want to have a say too, so I return to vote on the morning of the Irish Election on Friday the 25th. While the timing is purely coincidental I will realise a promise that I made to myself before I left; that I wouldn't return to an Ireland with Fianna Fail in power. It is a terrible indictment on the people that FF have been in power for as long as they have. It was very clear what they were up to once they made Charlie Haughey their leader all the way back in 1979.

I still have a few days of my trip left to enjoy in New York City. It's the third time I have been here on this trip. If Dublin doesn't do it for me again, then I may become an economic refugee and move on anew. Certainly Berlin or Languedoc Rousillon appeal. Of course, there is always the prospect of Colorado in the summer. Certainly it was my favourite place to stop on my trip but without a girl or a job it's not sticky enough. As cool as my 10 year tourist visa is I can't work here. For the next five months however, I'm hoping the distraction of a racing season (and a good book) will help keep my mind off anything I may find upsetting at home. I'm going to give it until the August bank holiday to make up my mind in terms of whether I'll commit to the place or not. After 17 months away it's a little unreal to think that I still have Dublin on probation. Will I ever make up my mind?

Crap! This is really it for the Bionic Dude! I even just sold my bike on Craigslist. I'll miss her but it is better that she is used for another adventure in the great outdoors than be miserable in a box. I have six bikes and no garage to store them. That's one down but four is the sweet-spot for me.

I still have a few bits and photos to post, so I'll be on again soon.

the dude

my bike on craigslist ... boohoo - she'll be missed

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