I stood there and watched them sort through whatever it was they were doing. It seemed like they were doing an inventory of various objects. I noticed boxes of Jackie Chan memorabilia from the shirts and key chains I just received, to gloves, hats, and so many other INCREDIBLY COOL JACKIE CHAN things!
“Allen, come here,” Dorothy poked her head in the room and called me over. I followed her back to the office. “This is for you,” she handed me a few hundred funny-looking dollars! (I later found out it was the Irish currency that they called “punts” – pronounced “poonts”)
“What’s this for?” I hadn’t even done anything yet and they were already PAYING ME?! I didn’t even expect to even BE paid – hell I would’ve PAID for this experience! I politely refused, “Oh no, it’s okay, thank you,”
“It’s per dium, money for you to buy food and anything else,” Up until now I hadn’t even thought about money or how or what I was going to eat or anything else for that matter! You might say I was young, unlearned, and naïve but I guess I was still caught up in all the excitement – what with being whisked away to work on a movie with Jackie Chan and all! I guess I just thought that they’d feed us while working on the movie.
Dorothy went back to work and left me standing there for a few minutes with a handful of cash wondering what I was supposed to do with it. Presently Brad and Paul came in.
“Let’s go,” said Paul.
“Where?” I didn’t want to leave Jackie.
“Home.” Brad said shortly.
“Uhh…okay,” I said bye to Dorothy and walked into the other room and awkwardly said bye to Jackie, “I’m going with Brad now, I…uh…see you later?”
“Wait for me!” Exy yelled as he hopped up from his comfortable position on the couch in front of the tv. In all the excitement I’d almost forgotten he had come with us!
“Yes, see you later,” Jackie said quickly with a half smile. I think he knew I was still very intimidated by him and wanted to make me feel welcome but also maintain an air of “I’m the boss,” which he did very well. I took one last look at Jackie’s immaculate room as if it were the last time I’d ever see it again and followed Brad and Paul back down towards the parking lot. I hadn’t realized how much time had passed it was already dusk. We climbed back into the SUV we came in. Brad drove with Paul up front beside him while Exy any myself sat in the back. We pulled out, waited for the gate to the lot to open, and drove out onto the road. I was still getting used to how much more compact Ireland was than Canada. The roads, houses (I think they called them “flats”), and the entire layout of Dublin in general were as small and condensed as the back alleys of Chinatown in Toronto! Then I realized that Ireland, and for that matter the rest of Europe were hundreds, maybe thousands of years older than Canada. They not only had population centers much more dense than any city in North America, but many of their roads evolved from dirt trails that people used to ride horses on! I mean you see and hear about these things from movies and books but to actually be immersed in it is a totally different story! And this was only my first day here! I looked forward to experiencing all that Ireland had to offer!
It was still a little awkward between Brad and me. I wasn’t sure if he was still mad at me for trying to comfort him about backing into the pole. Brad and Paul didn’t seem to be talking either – I wasn’t sure if there was tension between them or whether they just had nothing to talk about. Maybe it’s just that I was still incredibly nervous about being around the people who back Jackie up in his movies. To me, both these people have lived lives and experienced things that I had only dreamed of!