I was in Dublin this last summer, and if you think Ireland is super Duper white, then you would be 100% right. Yes, you will.
When my daughters and I landed, we increased the island’s diversity by 315%
We were there with two other families as part of a pilgrimage to see the places where my wife’s grandparents grew up.
My daughters are good travelers, but their bodies did not know what to do with the jet lag. People tell you kids will struggle to sleep with jet lag, but they don’t tell you they will never sleep, which, for fourteen days, they came really close to.
On the first night we were there, I took my oldest out of the room and downstairs to the lobby while our youngest fell asleep. It took her a long time to fall asleep, but it didn’t matter since my oldest wasn’t tired.
I tried taking her to bed at around 11, but she threw a tantrum in the room, and afraid she would wake up her sister, I rushed her out of the room to keep walking downstairs until she was tired.
Luckily, the hotel had a long hall to walk up and down. At midnight, the only restaurant in the hotel closed, and the lights and music in the hallway were turned off.
I tried taking my daughter to bed again, but she threw a tantrum again, and afraid that she would wake up her sister, I rushed her out of the room again to keep walking downstairs until she was tired.
We walked up and down the dark and silent hall until, at one, she told me she was tired. I brought her up and laid her in bed, and she threw a tantrum, and then, she was finally out. But she woke up my youngest, who started crying and afraid that she would wake up her sister, I rushed her out of the room to walk downstairs until she was tired.
It was one in the morning, and I could see that my daughter was showing no signs of slowing down; her body wasn’t responding to what we were doing.
At two in the morning, my daughter showed no signs of getting tired, but she started saying, “Food.” I made the conversion and thought that she was probably hungry.
I pulled out my phone and hoped that in Dublin, I could also overpay for Uber Eats.
I was expecting to see restaurants like Corned Beef-R-Us, or Sheperd Pie Express, or Potato Chip Bros, you know, because the Irish have a lot of potatoes. I mean not always, not during the famine. But every other time.
What I found was a wildly diverse set of ethnic food options. The top three were kebabs, Indian, and sushi. For some reason, I thought the sushi was the safe bet.
You know you are in a delicate predicament when you think the safest option you have is getting raw fish at three in the morning delivered by a stoned driver.
The car arrived around three; my daughter had fallen asleep 10 minutes before. I found a dark corner in the hotel; I bent over the plastic container and sadly ate my Irish California rolls while wondering, “How the hell did I get here?”
Like almost everything in my adult life, I can trace back to my decision to move to the States.
In Colombia, I completed 120 college credits, and at that moment, I decided it would be good to stop there and apply to all the colleges in the UC system. At that time, there were nine colleges, and at $60 a pop, I gave the UC system $540.
I moved here without receiving a single acceptance letter. Once here, one by one, I got all my rejection letters. All schools rejected me except for one, UC Riverside.
So I drove from San Diego, where I was living, to Riverside to check out this suspicious university that had accepted me. The day I visited was cloudy, and the campus didn’t feel welcoming.
I went back home and politely declined their offer.
When people asked me why I didn’t join Riverside, I told them, “Because Riverside smells like manure.” This is ironic because years later, I’d move to Petaluma, where it is a weird day when it doesn’t smell like manure.
But that was a lie.
I didn’t go to Riverside because I moved here with my mom and my sister, and at that moment, I didn’t know how my family would do it here without me, and I didn’t know how I would do it anywhere without them.
I took a year off to lick my wounds before joining the community college, where I met my wife while studying Italian.
Everything great about my life now results from meeting her, but even when life is good, it doesn’t translate to my girls knowing what to do with jet lag.
We visited ten cities in 14 days, which is as close as I’ve come to doing an Iron Man triathlon. My daughters would eventually get over the jet lag just in time to come back home and get it here.
The morning after we came back, my daughters thought it was three in the afternoon, but it was four-thirty in the morning. They were running around the house, screaming and shouting and dancing and having a good time.
At five in the morning, we were all sitting at the dining table having breakfast.
You could say that the bright side of being rejected by almost the entire UC system was having my family, but they’re not the bright side; they’re everything.