I was on a pub crawl, heading to our final destination, drunk, out of cash, and slowly beginning to realize I’d messed up. Historically, I am excellent with directions, but this time I had alcohol, alcohol, and fog working against me.
Before I recount the many blunders, I’d like to offer one point of defense. I had spent the daylight, sober hours exploring Dublin. So, I was justifiably confident in my ability to get around the city thus far. Unfortunately, that confidence was centered around a giant spire that stood in the middle of Dublin. It was my sole point of reference. From it, I was always able to find the way back to my hostel. Well, when I could no longer see the said spire, finding my way back became a tad more difficult.
The night had started out promising. I was with friends, relatively sober, and having a great time. At some point, my friends decided to head back to the hostel to sleep before our early flight the next morning.
I, however, had apparently not had enough of the crawl. So, I stayed out and continued to drink. A bold choice, by a naive woman. While I wasn’t all that drunk when they left, a few games of flip cup cleared that problem right up.
Staying on the crawl: Blunder Number One.
A few unnamable places later, and we ended up at the bar from the movie P.S. I Love You. Everyone was excited, but I didn’t know what the big deal was, so I just went in and grabbed another pint or two.
Considering I was already quite drunk, it’s only fair to call this: Blunder Number Two.
At that bar, the crawl leaders told us the next bar would be our last, and we’d be on our own to get back. It was then my drunken stupor cleared just enough for this realization: I had no clue where the hell I was. Amidst all our bar hopping, I’d lost my barrings. Simultaneously, darkness and fog had taken a hold of the city, concealing my point of reference: The Spire.
On the walk to our final destination, I decided to ask someone if they knew where we were. The girl next to me seemed nice, so I mentioned I didn’t know how to get back to my hostel. Turned out, we were staying at the same place. Excellent. Unlike me, she had bought a data plan, so she wasn’t worried at all. A smart one she was.
I hadn’t purchased a sim card because, at this point in my early travels, I thought I would enjoy the experience more if I was disconnected from my phone. Whatever that means.
No sim card: Blunder Number Three.
We hung out the rest of the night, so I was feeling better about my prospects of getting home. Just as my anxiety had eased to a dull pulse, she told me she was heading to the bar for another drink.
I waited and waited. Dancing and glancing at the bar more frequently, refusing to accept my fate as it became more obvious. She never came back from grabbing that beer, and I never saw her again. I do hope she is doing well.
Just like that, I was back to square one. More drunk than before, still lost, and with limited options.
Finding my way home: Blunder Number Four
Here were my options as I worked through them on that night:
Option 1: Find my lost friend, or the leaders of the pub crawl, and try to get directions.
Neither were anywhere to be found and the other friends I made that night were entirely unhelpful. They were drunker than I was and confused as to why I was stressing.
Option 2: Use my phone to map directions back to the hostel
I couldn’t. The bar didn’t have wifi, and I was still without a sim card and “living in the moment.” FOOLISH.
Option 3: Catch a ride back in a cab or pedicab. That would solve everything.
It would have, but I had no cash. I spent it all on beer like the truly irresponsible drinker I was. I didn’t bring my card so I wouldn’t spend more money than what I had allotted myself for that night out. Genius, right? No, FOOLISH. AGAIN.
No money: Blunder Numer Five.
Always have a backup payment method. Or, just don’t spend all of your money on beer.
Option 4: Begin walking and ask for directions along the way.
Being my only plausible choice, I went for it. The streets were almost empty, and I felt positive we had come from the left. So, that was where I headed.
Going left: Blunder Number Six.
Of course, it started to rain just as I began walking. I picked up the pace, trying to ignore the possibility of someone jumping out and attacking me from one of the numerous dark alleys I was passing. I kept my eyes locked above the skyline, searching frantically for my point of reference.
The Spire. All I needed to see was The Spire, and I would be set.
After walking for about 15 minutes, I came across people to ask for directions. They informed me my oh-so-precious spire was in the exact opposite direction of which I was walking.
I made a u-turn and retraced my steps, eventually walking past the bar I had just exited. The bar was now nearly empty, and it was raining even harder.
The thought of ending up on Forensic Files began to enter my mind. Panic was setting in. Not only did *I* not know where I was, no one else did either. If anything happened to me, the police wouldn’t even know where to start looking. Not to be dramatic or anything.
After what felt like hours (probably minutes), a pedicab driver peddled up and asked if I needed a ride. I told him I had no money, but he kept insisting. I assured him, again, that my wallet was empty. He emphasized it would be no charge. I am sure he sensed my hesitation. He told me he had sisters whom he wouldn’t want walking around drunk and alone, and he promised he’d take me to my destination.
I weighed my options. Death by pedicab driver or death by sudden alley attack. At least I could be prepared with the pedicab driver. I got in. He asked for my destination, and the worst happened.
I couldn’t remember the name of the place I was staying. Between the alcohol, the cold, and the panic, the name of my hostel had managed to run from my memory.
Panic induced memory loss: Blunder Number Seven.
So, I told him all I knew. TO THE SPIRE. He took off.
Due to the rain, there was a plastic cover over the pedicab, and I couldn’t see the direction in which we were heading. I looked at my phone incessantly, hating myself for not buying a sim card. I was in that pedicab for eleven minutes. Anxiety increasing by the second. When we finally came to a stop, I peaked my head out, praying to see something familiar.
IT WAS THE SPIRE. He had actually brought me to The Spire. I got out and thanked him profusely before walking the rest of the way to my hostel. My faith in humanity was restored that night, and I will never forget the man who gave me a free ride home in my drunken state. I truly hope he is doing well.
Seven Blunders later, these are the two most important things I learned that night:
- Don’t spend all your money on beer
- JUST BUY THE DAMN SIM CARD