four buses, three countries, two taxies, a train, and a boat

This is how you get to Scotland from Limerick.

Set your alarm for 6am because the bus leaves at 7. Wake up at 6:45 instead, finish packing, and catch the bus at 6:55. Realize you’ve forgotten your passport and Northern Ireland is not the Free State. Get off at a petrol station and call your friend, Derek, the taxi driver. Go back home. Get your passport. Take a bus to Dublin. Walk from one bus stop to another. Wait an extra hour because the busses were on strike that morning. Sit next to a girl from Bloomington, IN and do an assignment. Arrive in Belfast and walk towards the ferry. Realize it’s too far and call a cab. Try to pay the taxi driver and discover you can’t count sterling. Give your wallet to the driver and watch his frustration when he tells you that you don’t have enough money. Offer euros and dollars, but get denied. Walk away. Go through security, board a ferry, and set sail for Scotland. Write a paper while you travel. Edit some song recordings. When you arrive in Scotland, ask three different people which bus to get on for the train station because you can’t understand what anybody says. Take the bus and the train and arrive in Glasgow to see your friend Carla who so graciously invited you down and planned a much smoother version of your trip which would have been nice to follow. See lots of friends, get wet, fall off a seesaw, walk around in a cemetery. Buy an Iron Brew and save it for when you can send a video of you trying it to a friend’s little brother who insists it’s the best. Repeat journey in reverse except this time, sit next to an incredibly hospitable woman on the bus from Belfast to Dublin who invites you to spend a weekend at her friend’s house. Eat dinner in Dublin with your grandparents who are traveling for their anniversary. Have your shoes fall apart when you get on the bus to Limerick.

Arrive home with your school work done and a full heart.

That is how you take a trip to Scotland.


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