Having attempted two times (no less) to clear the ice from the car’s windscreen and not having used hot enough water to clear it originally, I stopped again on Botanic Avenue. I peered through the remaining ice and by the time I got to Fagan’s in Drumcondra, I knew then that I was on my way to Galway. Right, says I, up and down to Galway in one day – it’ll be tiring but swallow it down. It was 7.20am and I was due in Galway city at 10.30, giving myself more than enough time to get from here to there. (I once took a train journey to Galway from Dublin and it took me four and a half hours. When I got there, the play I had wanted to see (one night only!) had been postponed. I was 17 so I turned straight back around and got back on the next train.) Yesterday, as I listened to Tubridy facilitating David Coleman’s post-CT soothing tones, I was already past the final toll booth near the ‘town’ formerly known as Ballinasloe. The journey from Dublin’s quays to the G Hotel took me just two hours. Loughrea? Never heard of it! Passing Portiuncula hospital? Sounds painful.
Is Galway less ‘exotic’, now that it takes less time to get there than it does to endure Avatar? Another hour and a half from my destination and I would have been overlooking Tooreena strand; I considered it. Galway is a city on this island, not the mythic imaginary of the so-busy Dublin bourgoisie. Galway used to be an ‘other place’ where dope was abundant and a floppy jumper matched with scuffed docs got you in anywhere. The myth of Galway was that time didn’t exist and the ‘normal rules’ did not apply. It was boho chic when people thought boho meant you had misspelled your ironic crying. When it’s two hours away by car, does time start moving again? In this representation, people who live in ‘Galway’ do not live real lives, filled with irony, regret and ‘what could have beens’. Instead, ‘they’ apolitically whittle short sticks while leaning over the half door, grumbling about that shower in Dublin and the price of porter.
In short, are some places ‘better’ because they are hard to get to from the place where myths are created?