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Clean Undies

May 27, 2008

corey says…The ladies had one request today… “We’d like to have clean underwear for our trip tomorrow,.” so Liam and I went into Nenagh to take in the laundry and the recycling.

The laundry is pretty straight forward. However, when Liam asked about getting a few drops of blood out of a shirt, the woman said, “Oh, just spray some Vanish on that and it should come up.”

“Is that something you could do?”

“Oh, no, we don’t have any of that kind of stuff.”

We almost laughed out loud to hear a laundry doesn’t have stuff to get out stains.

We then went to the shop to get a broadband modem that should give us highspeed internet…if everything works as it is supposed to. It takes about 24 hours for the SIM card to be activated.

Then it was off to the recycling centre to drop off our plastic, aluminum, glass and a broken toaster and a coffee maker. Oh boy, that was an overwhelming experience. The place looks like one of those country garages that someone runs out of a pole barn in the back lot of their property…instead of junker cars, the perimeter was lined with dumpsters and miscellaneous rusty equipment.

Inside the dark pole barn, we could see people entering through the large sliding barn door with their bags of recyclables. When we entered, the man in the neon yellow vest peered down at our garbage bags. I asked, “Pop bottles?”

“Number 2,” he pointed to the long metal trough that was half yellow and half rust. The trough was divided into about six different categories and the machine was used to press the plastic into bales. “Make sure you take off the caps before you throw them in there,” he advised.

We began uncapping the bottles and tossing them in the trough. I wasn’t sure what to do with the tops, so I started stuffing them in my coat pocket. After my pocket started to overflow, the man came over and said, “Once you take the caps off, you can throw them in with the bottles.” Evidently, they just want to remove the caps so they don’t explode under the pressure of the baler.

He then pointed us to the aluminum bins…one for aerosols another for food cans. Each bin was marked with handwritten signs that were scuffed and worn, and although it was all quite organized, the whole system was a bit overwhelming and confusing.

“Glass goes in the skids outside. Dry newspaper and cardboard go there too.”

We separated our glass into the “clear,” “green” and “brown” skids, and then went to the other side of the building to put our discarded electrical equipment in the big metal cages. “Gas cookers yes. Gas heaters no,” said one sign next to the stove and refrigerator section. I had seen something about this on TV; they said most of this stuff ends up in landfills in China somewhere…not sure where our coffee maker would find its final resting place.

Liam went back in to ask the guy, “Isn’t there also a place where you take regular garbage too?”

“It taint here,” the man said. Liam waited a bit in silence hoping for a bit more information. “You can take it to AES just passed the roundabout, but they’re a different crowd.” He was pointing to the two AES dumpsters in the corner, “They’re nothing to do with us.”

We weren’t sure why they had AES dumpsters on site, but we opted to drive passed the roundabout and inquire there. It costs €6 ( $9.45 ) per bag to drop off a small bag of garbage…not even standard garbage bag size.

Then we picked up our laundry and an apple tart before heading back up the mountain. Gaeney and Pat had walked to Anna and Mehal’s for a visit. Liam opted to go for a drive and was alone in the cottage for about an hour.

I heard the front door open. A few moments later, Gaeney walked in wearing her rain jacket wrapped with the hood tied tight around her face. Just a fraction of her 87-year-old face was visible. “Where the hell is everybody,” she tried to say with a straight face.

I said, “They’ve abandoned us Gaeney.”

Ended up that Liam’s mom’s hip was a bit sore, so she wasn’t up for the walk back (she is recovering from hip replacement) and they couldn’t get through on the phone because I was tapped into the internet (another reason we need the highspeed modem to work).

Once my files finished uploading, I rang Anna and she told me Liam was there with his mother…so she had her ride back.

Gaeney called her daughter Mary and caught up with her…Mary’s had a glimpse at some of the photos I’ve posted and was especially fond of the photo of her mother curled up on the settee in sitting room.

Over dinner, the Ishpeming natives began to reminisce for a while. I find their stories charming for about ten minutes…then I just think, “How many different ways can they connect the different characters from their hometown?”

We’re taking to the road tomorrow to take Gaeney to Northern Ireland where she taught at the Christian Brothers school in Armagh for a year, so everyone was in bed early tonight.

This Week’s Photo Album

My Ireland Expense Report

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