On the bedstand: Joyce. Dubliners.
Coming through the speakers: Riptide by Vance Joy
Within the span of a week, I became the proud owner of a guitar and a bike. Total spent: €130. I rule.
Both of them came via DoneDeal, Ireland’s answer to Craigslist. I was glad to see the shadiness factor remained universal.
The guitar: Y’know, I hadn’t touched a guitar in about a year. The two(!) I had back in Austin did an excellent job of collecting dust while looking fashionably chic in the corner of my room. When I got to Dublin, a switch flipped and I just had to play and sing. Seriously. Just so inspired! I was looking up chords before I even found the guitar!
As for the guitar I bought, look, it is what it is. I’ll never play the O2 with it, but I wouldn’t say that limitation stems from the quality of the instrument. For 50 quid, it’s perfect.
I met the guy selling it in a pub parking lot after work. Unlit parking lot, 9:30pm, foreign country, what could possibly go wrong?!
As soon as ownership was transferred, I snuck off to the park to strum a few chords before my fingers had a chance to freeze in the Dublin night.
The bike: It was only a matter of time until I made this purchase. I came over here with my helmet and lock. I was ready to be a city cyclist.
I checked out a couple different offers over the past month, none to any degree of success. My favorite fail of a purchase came from a Russian guy selling the most rusted, dilapidated piece of metal I’d ever tried to ride.
The bike I ended up with, this one… so I scheduled to meet the guy out in Clondalkin on a Sunday afternoon. Now Clondalkin is a hike. Maybe an hour with the bus? I get out there, go to the guy’s house, no answer at the door. I wait.
A guy walks up to the house with his girlfriend. “Are you here about the bike too?” he asks. “Hiya, I’m Chad,” I say with hand extended. I figured he was the seller. Nope. Took me a minute to register it, but he had also been told the bike was available. This was suddenly somewhat awkward.
We chatted about the situation while we waited for the seller to show up. This was certainly odd. Maybe the seller was trying to turn this into a bidding war. No, we agreed. There wouldn’t be a bidding war. “If we both like the bike, let’s settle it with a friendly game of rock-paper-scissors,” I suggest. “Best two of three.”
The seller finally showed up. He didn’t seem too concerned that multiple people had shown up for his ad. He didn’t seem concerned about much
We both took a trial ride up the block. This bike… for 80 quid? This bike was a winner. The other guy, an English guy working for a tech firm here in Dublin, he told me I could have the bike. No rock-paper-scissors needed. “Really? Are you sure…?”
I paid the man his 80 quid. It was Mother’s Day and he’d be treating his lady right. McDonald’s. Anything on the menu babe. Heck, get tow of whatever you want.
I then embarked on the long ride home. It rode well, despite the rust colorations. Of course, by the time I got home, the bike tire was completely flat. When fixing it a few days later, I noticed that the entire back rim was rusted and rubbing in all the wrong ways. A new back tire would be an additional €50.
As mentioned, DoneDeal: The Craigslist of Ireland!