Hearing: very loud rock covers in a bar
Smelling: clean sheets
Tasting: delicious hearty vegetarian food, Mexican Hot Chocolate Clif Bar
Feeling: tired, jittery, very full, cold
Seeing: salles full of fencers, the Book of Kells, the Trinity Library
I woke up early after not much sleep, hoping that the instant coffee I made would kick in in time for the competition. I was also worried I’d be late for check-in, but arrived on time according to schedule and was early for it anyway. My kind teammates lended me fivers so I could actually pay my registration fee.
As for the tournament, it was emotionally draining. I’m an emotional fencer, and tournaments are the peak of that. To summarize, in the round robin my losses were wide and so were my victories (except for one very close loss) which put me in the lower-middle seeding. For direct elimination I had to go up against my teammate, which wasn’t something I was thrilled about, but I was also relieved to not have to be bottom seed against top like so many times in the past. According to the numbers I actually did better at this tourney than most in my past, but there were some top-ranked foilists there that just skewed the competition balance a bit, so it felt just as hard. And my teammates were there for me through equipment malfunctions and my frustrations.
After returning to Rae’s apartment I showered, then we headed into city center to have lunch, see the Book of Kells and meet her friends for a whisky tasting. We looked up a vegetarian restaurant which ended up reminding me of the Swedish delis. Rae noted that there was much more self-service here, which makes me wonder if that’s just a Dublin thing because there seems to be hardly any of it in Cork. The whisky tours were all sold out, but the Book of Kells and the Trinity Library were breathtaking. I was feeling gross and tired so I took the bus back to Rae’s to nap.
By the time I’d gone down into bed one of my teammates messaged me that they were at a restaurant so I bussed back into the city to meet them, and we ended up walking one of our members to her bus stop back and lying about in the hostel for an hour before reluctantly going to the bar where we had our fencers’ night out. I stayed for like twenty minutes and soon went back to go to sleep.