Welcome to our flat! I have now been out of America for one week!
Not sure where I could possibly start… Cork is beautiful! You know what makes it even more beautiful? SUN DOES EXIST IN IRELAND! (Don’t worry, I have been told over and over it doesn’t last). We are now all settled into our flat, have some food, made a home cooked meal, and even have phones to contact people! Officially feeling like home for some time.
The first night we got here, we walked into our empty apartment and raced into a restroom that had no toilet paper… So from the start we have had a nice learning experience.
I can tell you that the only culture shock I feel I have faced is that fact that I have never cherished money and cheap America more than I do now! Everything is incredibly expensive! Oh and that when you meet a true Corkgonian, there is no way…. and I mean NO WAY that you will understand them. Therefore, I feel there can be a language barrier, in which they will get upset with you if you do not understand them.
Our first day in Cork we arrived at about 7 pm. We were very hungry and exhausted. We got a quick tour of the city centre aka… “there is a building… and another… and another… and now remember! Oh and in that direction is the campus!” Safe to say that I am still lost. The city goes in literally every different direction and I could not tell you where things are or how I make it back to my flat. I am convinced it moves with me.
At this point I was ready to just settle in and start getting use to my new home. Oh, and I was still very upset about how incredibly expensive this place is.
The next day (Wednesday September 3rd, 2014) was a day full of orientation. They told us how to choose our modules (courses) and that a failing grade is passing! I came home and immediately fell asleep… Maybe jet lag hit me then? I felt like I had been in coma for about 2 hours… Meanwhile there was a man outside my window (Thick cork accent) who was yelling and sounded quite disturbed. THIS WENT ON FOR ABOUT AN HOUR. I was very upset… At that moment I became convinced that cork natives are just CRAZY. (Still not to sure if my opinion has changed yet).
On tursday I skipped orientation because all they do is make you feel like a freshman again. I was just ready to go out, get some groceries, make my room more homely, and talk to Marco because I made sure I got a phone pronto. I could not wait any longer. When you go grocery shopping here you have to bring your own bags or backpack or something to carry groceries in… Therefore I walk from the store back to my flat with a backpack full of groceries. They make you feel like a thief although you just spent a billion euros for this backpack full of food.
I will inform everyone… my diet currently consists of Frosted Flakes, pasta, string cheese, sandwiches, toast, and tea.
One time, my friend Kristyn that I met from Indiana/Ohio forgot her bags for the grocery store and she had to carry home her food in a black trash bag that we had just purchased.
I guess I should go back to Dublin considering that is where I spend my first few days in Ireland!
The first day they set us free with a bus pass. Stop number one was the Guinness Brewery (Felt that was appropriate). I enjoyed my first Guinness at the Gravity Rooftop bar. This bar is at the top of the brewery. It is a circular glass room that overlooks the city. Shockingly, I loved it. (Only if I drink it fast though because then it is cold… But it is too hard to drink it fast becasue it is heavy. Therefore, they were not lying when they said drinking a Guinness is truly an art.) I was the only one to admit in the tasting room that it was my first time having a Guinness so I then had to go up in front of everyone and ring a bell… Welcome to Ireland!
Dublin was craic! I learned craic (crack) means fun! They made sure to inform us of this at orientation or I would have been very taken back by the Irish.
Breakfast at the hotel was delicious and I even had baked beans! I had toast with bacon and a fried egg on it, which I then topped with baked beans.
Most of Dublin was spent wishing I was in Cork already. I was done with living out of a suitcase, BUT I did have lunch in the Clarence Hotel which U2 owns. They informed us that it is not uncommon to see Bono roaming the streets of Dublin when he is in town and that the people do not approach him.
One night there was a protest right outside my window of the hotel! It was funny to watch because I couldn’t understand what they were chanting and the guards (police) could only watch and more or less attempt to direct traffic. Men and woman of all ages were a part of this. Once they finally finished their rant, I went with some of the Arcadia people to the bar in the hotel (Legends) and watched some live music and Irish dancing! I loved how much live music was played in Dublin.
FINALLY, I start my modules tomorrow. I am not sure how I feel about my last summer coming to a close. I am very thankful for the summer I had and this opportunity.
OH! How could I forget, they have this store called Penny’s (aka Primark in England)… best store I have ever come across in my life… Makes me feel a little more at home… ITS CHEAP! :) And all the clothes are so wonderful there.
Anywhoooo, I miss you all <3 and I love you!
(please forgive any spelling and/or grammatical errors lol)