Solo in Dublin, I hadn’t been on Irish soil for more than a few hours before I decided to leave my hotel and grab some food. I had been running late for my flight out of Amsterdam earlier, so I didn’t get a chance to eat that day. I walked over to this burger joint in Ballsbridge and found a table inside for lunch. Once comfortably seated, I glanced around at my surroundings and noticed another black woman also sitting alone at a booth adjacent to me. She had her head down while looking at her phone, and her overall vibe gave me the impression that she was on holiday. I was wondering if she was American because she was rocking a small afro and a shirt that said something quirky.
I ordered and received my food, and looked her way every once in a while to see if she noticed me. I was trying not to stare, but I wanted to make eye contact so I could start a dialogue. I needed a friend, and she was about to be it. I checked her body language and assumed she was an introvert. Me, too! We already had something in common, BFF! I eventually heard her speak to the waitress, and confirmed by her accent that she was definitely American. Oh yeah, she was about to be my bff for the next few days and she didn’t even know it.
I had navigated my Eurotrip without making a single friend. It was unusual for me, even as an introverted solo traveler, to have experienced all meals by myself. I didn’t realize how much I missed the sense of friendship until the possibility of it presented itself.
I was chewing on a really good burger when I noticed her gathering her things and standing up to walk out. I’m socially awkward, so I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t say anything because my mouth was full, but I was still staring her down, hoping she caught the energy of my eyes watching her. I slightly waved my hand hoping to get her attention, but she escaped without seeing me.
Damn. As quickly as the excitement of navigating Dublin with a friend had come, it had also gone.
The next morning, I took a taxi to city center to take a tour of Cliffs of Moher and Galway. As I arrived to my destination, I saw same exact girl out of the taxi window. I paid my driver, collected my change, and hopped out of the taxi with hopes that she was going to be on the same bus. A second chance at friendship! By the time I had stepped out of the taxi, she had disappeared. I looked for here on the tour bus, but she wasn’t there. What in the entire fuck? I was disappointed again.
I chatted a bit with the guy sitting next to me and his friend, but my fake best friend was still on my mind. After a good lunch in Galway, I walked the streets for a bit of window shopping to kill time. I was in an ice cream shop when I glanced out of the storefront window to see her strolling ever so slowly outside with an aloof grin on her face.
It was fate, I tell you! The third time was the charm! We were meant to be friends!
I grabbed my Irish whiskey ice cream, and jetted out of the door. Now, Galway is dealing with over tourism, and this was also the same day that Ed Sheehan was in town, so it was a bit crowded. I looked all directions for her and couldn’t find her amongst the crowd of people I mean, there weren’t that many black people in Galway, Ireland that day. She shouldn’t have been hard to spot, but I couldn’t find her anywhere. Perhaps she had drifted into one of the stores? I started walking around a peeking in windows, but didn’t see her. By then, it was time for me to head back to the bus to begin the ride back to Dublin.
I knew that if I had saw her then, I’d probably see her again. I didn’t. The duration of my trip was spent glancing around Dublin in hopes that I would find her, but I never did. Missing out on her friendship didn’t spoil the fun of my trip. I still had a great time in Ireland; I just regret introducing myself to that woman when I first met her.