The Party Train to Galway


Two champagne corks pop and, behind me, several men discuss doing Jägermeister shots. They want to do them right here and right now, on the train. I’ve apparently boarded the Party Car to Galway, but I don’t mind. It’s a good day; good to be among other happy people for the next couple of hours.

There’s a woman sitting across from me. Her name is Moire; I know this because she reserved her seat and her name is printed above her head, like mine. Moire’s got her coat pulled up to her chin and she’s attempting to take a nap, but every few seconds her eyes flutter open and she regards me in bewilderment. Perhaps the PhotoBooth feature of a MacBook isn’t, in fact, meant to take snapshots from a train window but, by golly, I’m doing it.

It’s not like this is easy. Finding the right angle… working with the reflection from the glass… every time I find something interesting to photograph, the train has the gall to move, or a clot of trees shoots up in the frame. Get back here, sheep. We’re not through yet.

There’s a practical reason for this impractical use of technology; I want to save my camera battery. I’m headed to Galway for the International Literary Festival. Exciting in itself, but my fellow M.Phils and I are also in the Literary Festival programme; we’re launching our fiction and poetry anthology. All of the Writing M.Phil programmes in Ireland produce such a book – “competition” according to one of our lecturers. “… the other schools want to f*ck you.” We’ll see about that; at the moment, we’re all too excited to see our names printed in a book that we made. A little bit of Galway-style nightlife to get us revved up for the weekend’s events can’t hurt, either. Speaking of getting everyone revved up, I’m this close to playing “Galway Girl” on my computer to get the car as excited as I am.

There are hoots and hollers all around me, and the Jägermeisters are abusing each other – “See here now; we didn’t board the train just to hear you give out about things!” The collective giddiness on the Party Car is explosive, and a group of girls heading to their Hen Night screech so loudly, I half-expect one of the Iarnród Éireann attendants to come through the car and slap wrists. Sleepy Moire stirs from her nap and, blinking at the shouts, admits defeat and sits upright.

A glance out the window and a herd of white lambs streak across the green countryside; too fast to catch on film. I take some more PhotoBooth shots.

We roll into Athenry and a chorus bubbles up: “Looooooooow liiiiiiiiiiie the fieeeeeeeeeeelds of Athenryyyyyyy….!” Maybe this is the perfect moment to play “Galway Girl.” I have a feeling this would be the right choice.

This post has been brought to you by Deliciousbaby Photo Friday.

This post has also been entered in the  Grantourismo-HomeAway Travel Writing Competition.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Sophie says:

    Nice story!
    Familiar with the GranTourismo competitions, btw? Train journeys are the theme for the April competition, if I remember correctly. You could enter this :). Have to hurry though.

    http://grantourismotravels.com/2010/04/04/grantourismo-travel-blogging-competition-april/

    1. ieatmypigeon says:

      Just entered; thank you for the heads up, Sophie!

  2. Katja says:

    I really like that shot of the giant ticket landing on the fields and hedges of Ireland. HERE BE BOOKED SEATS. Ace.

  3. lara dunston says:

    What a lovely post! You captured the journey so well!

    Thank you for entering the Grantourismo competition, but I’m so sorry, unfortunately the brief stipulated just one photo.

    I hope you’ll enter again next month!

    Lara

  4. Anca Popa says:

    Just thought I should let you know that this month Grantourismo is running a new competition with the theme ‘Food and Travel’, so if you have a memorable food experience from your travels please feel free to share it with us. We’d love to hear from you again!

    http://grantourismotravels.com/2010/05/05/grantourismo-travel-blogging-competition-may/

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