Tag Archives: Chianti

Ireland, part 5

Another excerpt from my travel journal, dated Monday, April 14, 2008:

Early the next morning we were off.  Before leaving Dingle Town we’d picked up some sandwiches, post-cards, and woolen souvenirs. The highlight of the trip to Galway was a thirty-minute ferry ride in the crisp, cool sunshine.  The cold wind blew across the sound as we huddled on the upper deck of the ferry to enjoy the view.


The next stop was the Cliffs of Moher.  I properly waited behind the fence while David ventured with others onto private property for better photographic opportunities.  The sun shone brightly on the green hills and turned the water into silvery waves lapping at the foot of the cliffs far, far below.  We ate a picnic lunch on some steps before admiring a tower and continuing our drive through the rugged and barren “The Burren” with its treacherous roads to Galway.  (Cliffs of Moher picture belows, and my masterpiece panoramic in the blog’s header.)



We arrived at Galway during rush-hour traffic and checked in to Eddie and Helen’s Four Seasons Bed and Breakfast near Eyre Square.  We wandered down to the town center, had dinner of sub-prime lasagna and sub-prime Chianti (David, on the other hand, had excellent roast duck quessadillas), explored the waterfront, and then enjoyed a pint at a crowded pub which featured a piper, three violinists, and an accordian player who might have been carrying a staff and garbed in a grey woolen cloak on a normal basis.  Eddie had told us we’d have to “find the crowd,” and his one piece of advice had been to “follow the short skirts, lads.”  Well, I didn’t see many short skirts in the warm, jolly inn, but there were many a person enjoying the folk music, fellowship, and satisfying drink.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008:

I could tell David was slowing down as he pushed his sausage and hash around his plate.  We were downstairs the following morning enjoying a big breakfast–an omelette for me, and a full Irish breakfast for David.  He’d already supplemented his with a wedge of cheese, toast, tea, and fruit salad.  Partially not wanting to waste food, and partly wanting to see if he’d really do it, I challenged him to finish everything on his plate.  He did, surprisingly and nauseatingly enough, and I gave him the 10 euro as promised in our bet.

The day was spent reading and relaxing–at a tea shop, near a 1960s stone cathedral, and on the quay.  We had a light supper of sandwiches and then a pint at the sophisticated and masculine Skiff Hotel with its dark wood paneling, fireplace, and numerous staircases and balconies, right on the south side of Eyre Square.

This picture is either at the tea shop or at the sophisticated and masculine Skiff Hotel, I can’t remember which.


Sitting on the quay in Galway in the late afternoon sun.




Filed under Photos, Traveling

My first call

Again, I awoke before my alarm feeling a little nervous. After a little tossing and turning, I eventually decided to go ahead and shower. The night before I’d thought ahead and packed an overnight bag. It contained:

  • A fresh tee-shirt and boxers
  • Clean socks
  • Toiletries (though I left the razor and shave cream at home…if there’s anytime a man deserves a day without a shave, it’s a day after a night without sleep!)
  • Spray shoe freshener. This is essentially spray deodorant designed for shoes. I suppose any spray deodorant would work, and would probably be cheaper. With my small closet at home with eight pairs of shoes inside, I feel better about not polluting the limited airspace with musty aromas.

I also thought it would be good to bring some reading material, in case it was a slow call day. As usual, I totally overestimated the amount of free time I’d have to read. In any case, armed with these books I marched into my first call:

  • Massachusetts General Hospital’s Pocket Medicine. My copy is already annotated with helpful notes, such as how to properly analyze a patient’s acid-base status. (This one stays in my white coat, as does my palm pilot, and a pocket notebook in which to jot notes. And of course a pocket Pharmacoepia.)
  • The Washington Manual Intern’s Survival Guide. This book’s a bit overpriced at $30 and essentially contains the bare bones of Pocket Medicine. However, it is a briefer read and has some witty comments.
  • My new pager’s user’s manual. One of these days I’ll figure out how to use all the buttons.
  • Billy Collins’ Questions About Angels. The beauty of poetry is that, much like a juicy grape or a cruchy Triscuit, you can enjoy it in a very brief period of time. Sure, steak and wine is nice on occasion, but my first call is no time to make an attempt at finishing Anna Karenina.
  • Critical Care Handbook of the Massachusetts General Hospital. With an open ICU, I could always be admitting a unit patient.
  • Clinical Anesthsiology, published by Lange. This book came with enthusiastic recommendations, and being at a private hospital training program which emphasized “reading time,” I’d like to make my way through this book over the next 12 months. At approximately three pounds, this is a literal heavy-weight, but well worth reading potential.
  • Felson’s Principles of Chest Roentgenology: A Programmed Text. A slim book which reviews chest radiographs. In the time since radiology rounds as a third year medical student on internal medicine when I asked a radiologist what exactly a roentgenogram was, I’ve become much more comfortable with this esoteric, even archaic word. It seems to harken back to the golden days of radiology, when simple x-ray technology was the best way to look at the mediastinum, and radiologists didn’t have to compete with Pulmonary docs in CXR expertise. In any case, it’s a rudimentary text which should be a good refresher, even if it doesn’t probe the extent of the implications of distinguishing between reticulonodular and ground glass patterns.
  • Stationery, to catch up on the thank-you notes I need to write. These range from graduation gifts to a dinner with friends at their cozy apartment on Marquita Street. We had a bottle of Ruffino Chianti that night, which I believe we all enjoyed.

I don’t think I used a single item from this list. Perhaps that makes all the other interns feel a little better.

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Filed under Poetry, Work