I’m sorry it’s taken me precisely forever to update, but the past week of my life has been an absolute maelstrom. The good news is, I’m alive! As I said before, I made it safely to Dublin and am tucked away in my new home with my new friends all nice and cosy. :3
I arrived early (7am instead of 8am) on Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 to a brisk but unseasonably sunny day. I got my luggage together, managed not to lose anything, and got into a cab. I’m about 90% certain the cab driver ripped me off, since my fare was 20 euro more than it should have been and everyone else I know got it for cheaper, BUT WHATEVER. The funny thing is, I used him as a chance to practice my Southern accent, and he thought I was from Alabama. I suppose my deceit is worth a large tip.
I got to my dorm (82.12.01 — building 82, flat 12, room 01), moved my stuff in, and met my new flatmates! We have two Americans — including me — a Canadian, and a British girl, all named Madeleine (Maddie), Alex, and Victoria respectively. Alex was the first to meet me and the first to show me how to take the Laus (tram) to Trinity College Dublin, among other places. Back to my flat, though, it’s a tiny thing with a bathroom that can only be described as closet-like, but I somehow really like it. The bed is comfortable, one of my walls is red, and the shower-in-the-corner-right-by-the-toilet-with-only-a-thin-curtain is somehow hilarious.
Now, about campus. I feel the best way to display the insane beauty that is Trinity College Dublin is with photos. Please enjoy the eyegasm:
Yup, I actually go to school there. And those are just the buildings in the main square.
Oh, and here’s a shot of most of my new friends, including the flatmates and some others:
So, a bit about my new living place. They weren’t kidding when they called it green. The grass here is like ultraviolet green, as is pretty much everything else. The buildings are all on the taller-than-average size, but they don’t have skyscrapers like we have. Cars are much smaller, as are sidewalks (pavements, as they call them) and you walk literally everywhere. I’ve been walking to a grocery store once every few days and bringing back small amounts of food, as everyone is wont to do. The walk to the Laus (pronounced Luis) is a good fifteen minutes, and then it’s another 15 to walk up Grafton street (a street lined with pretty buildings and shops) and onto campus itself (which they call college). In other words, if I don’t have legs like Luis Armstrong by the time this year is over, I’ll be shocked.
Oh, and there are foxes everywhere. Like, everywhere. You know how we have raccoons that come along at night and raid our trash can? They have foxes. They’re lovely and cute but also scary because they’re so big. I feel like they could do some serious damage, but it’s still fun every time I spot one.
Euros are crazy. On top of their paper money, which is much like ours (1 euro, 5 euro, 10 euro, 20, etc) they have coins which puzzle me quite a lot. There’s a 1 euro coin but also a 2 euro, and then the cents all look the same except for how they’re knocked or ridged or smooth on the edges. It’s rather bizarre, but I imagine I’ll get used to it eventually. Or die trying.
So, I met with my program director that same day (when I got off the plane), and then met my fellow student the following Thursday. The class is incredibly small compared to how they are in the states. We only have 12 students, and this is not as unusual over here as it would be in American. I only met 7 of them that day, so there should be four more to go. It was me, a Canadian boy my age named Colin, an Irish boy my age also named Colin (and my new gay best friend over here), a 24-year-old Irish man named Dean (who I think is cute, tee hee), an older Russian woman, a Chinese student who was difficult to understand, and two mature students: a 33-year-old British woman named Rachel and a 50-something Irish man named Sean. They all seem absolutely lovely, and we went out for coffee after our orientation. I think we’re all going to have a wonderful year together. I like Rachel and Irish Colin in particular. We have no textbooks and only one paper per module, so the workload will be light. That means I’ll be able to focus more on the readings and my dissertation, which is good.
Pubs here are incredibly expensive. I’m talking 5 euro a beer (7$). A night out can get absolutely ridiculous as far as cost is concerned in no time, but there’s not a whole lot you can do about it because the prices are the same everywhere and buying your own beer is not only not much cheaper but also way less fun than a night on the town. I’m thinking I might start bringing water bottles of vodka with me everywhere, just because I can’t in good conscience continue to pay concert prices for beer.
Guinness is delicious, though. It was the first drink I had here, and it’s so fresh on this side of the pond you have to taste it to believe it.
Then again, that’s what boys are for: buying you drinks.
No, but seriously though, the boys over here are so pretty sometimes it hurts to look at them. There’s hardly an ugly one among them, and they’re definitely on average much more attractive than American men. They’re all very tall and fit and have lovely complexions. There are way more blonds than I would have thought and much fewer gingers. In fact, the only true gingers I’ve met have been Canadian. There are LOTS of Canadians by the way, eh. Rugby, hurling, and football are the sports to mention if you want to get a man’s attention. I want to hang out by some rugby pitches if I can and get me a rugged one. ;)
Speaking of which, I already have a date! It’s not with an Irish boy, but hey, dinner is dinner. I’ve actually gotten quite a bit of male attention since I’ve been here, though I’ll spare my poor family the details. ;) I blame the flaming red locks.
Hm, what else. I haven’t had any trouble at all making friends, but to be honest I don’t spend most of my time with Irish people. Most of the postgraduates are American or Canadian, so I can’t really comment on how friendly or not friendly the people are. I haven’t had any experiences one way or the other.
I suppose I’ll leave it at that for now. I’ll try to update with fun facts about Ireland, especially the slang, and of course with my doings.
Wish me luck!