On Goodbyes

Kaylie Padgett
April 17, 2016
An Italian hot chocolate from Coffee To Get Her at the Bernard Shaw.

Yesterday, I moved out of my apartment. In a frenzy of cleaning and packing and multiple trips to the recycling bins, I said goodbye. To my flatmates, to the bed that I have called mine for the past four months, to the spot on the couch that overlooks the main street, to the neighborhood of Rathmines, to Dublin. It's not an official goodbye, not yet. I don't leave Europe until the 26th of April (I'm writing this in Galway, on the west coast of Ireland), but the Dublin that I have grown attached to is gone. When I return, I will adopt a bed in a hostel for a few nights, see only glimpses of Camden Street between trips to and from the airport. After Galway, I'm headed to Barcelona for a few days, to visit a friend from school, and then it's back to Dublin and on to more permament places.


Over the past week, we've all had to say goodbye dozens of times. To our friends, our professors, our RAs, our favorite coffee shops and our favorite spots on the canal. There has been a lot of almost-crying while hugging someone, a lot of realizations that some of these people, unfortunately, we are never going to see again. 


With these goodbyes, however, I wish that I'd done a bit more thanking. So, in a bit of a belated effort to convey my gratitude, a brief list of people/places I owe my thanks:

  • everyone at the IES Dublin centre, from staff to professors to RAs. Dublin felt so quickly like home because of your guidance, your lists of best places to study and open office doors
  • to get just a little specific, thank you to Stephen, the Writer's Program advisor/professor, for being so welcoming, so open to help, so quick with the constant cups of tea 
  • the benches at St. Stephen's Green, where I spent rare sunny afternoons reading books and watching the people
  • Lidl, for being directly under my apartment building and also the cheapest groceries in town (my expected biggest reverse culture-shock upon returning to the US will be the cost of milk) 
  • all of the Dublin independent bookstores, specifically Books Upstairs, for the lit mag selection and also the coffee
  • Dublin's free museums, where I spent many the free Tuesday afternoon spending hours looking at amazing art and archeology (the Hugh Lane, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of History & Archeology, and the National Gallery are my top recs)
  • Coffee To Get Her at the Bernard Shaw, for the best Italian hot chocolate and the greatest atmosphere 
  • the Dublin Flea Market, every last Sunday of the month, for the adventure
  • and to the Dart, for showing me beautiful landscapes and charming towns

I spent my last afternoon in Dublin drinking an Italian hot chocolate (honestly these thing) and sitting in St. Stephen's Green (until it started hailing), saying my last goodbye. 

These blog posts aren't finished, just yet. I have a love letter to Dublin left to write, some reflective thoughts, and a wrap-up still coming, but my time in Dublin is just about properly finsihed. I'm real sad about it, but in that kinda melancholic, bittersweet way, where you're nostaligic for things you know that you can never recreate, but also hopeful for everything to come. 

Until next time. 

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