Alright, a lot has happened since I last posted. I've officially been here for two and a half months, with just one month left here in Ireland. It's crazy how fast time has flown by! In my next post, I'll talk more about my research in disability perception over here. For this one, I'm just going to talk about my experience so far!
Politics: I'm starting with this one because it's probably the most frustrating part of my experience. Everyone in the world has been watching the United States Presidential Race, and the Irish are no exception. My American accent is hard to hide, so everyone has asked me about my opinion on it. Before the election, everyone asked me who I was voting for (which is interesting, because that's usually considered impolite in the US), and now I'm being asked who I voted for. Now, I'm usually not afraid to discuss politics and my beliefs with people, but I've had mixed reactions for both candidates. My first week here, a boy my age tried telling me America couldn't afford to have a female president, while other people have told me how they are scared of Donald Trump. Now that the election is over, I've started to tell people I'm from Canada and hope they believe me. I'm from Maine, so close enough, right?
Classes: With UCC being such a large school, my classes were going to be different no matter what. I'm used to having small classes and a good relationship with my professors, while over here I have at least 100 students in each class and have never had a conversation with any of them. Also, I have no homework in any of my classes. No assignments, no reading...sounds like a dream, right? Wrong! I have an exam at the end of the semester that determines my grade for the course. No pressure or anything.
Food/Drinks: Even though I'm not a big fish person, I knew I had to try fish and chips over here. Much to my surprise, they are pretty good! I also LOVE pub food. Maybe it's because I love mashed potatoes and gravy...but I've never had a meal that I didn't like over here. Now, even though I'm only 20 and not able to drink back in the states, I am legally able to drink over here (yes I promise I'm being safe and responsible!). Unfortunately, no matter how hard I've tried, I cannot bring myself to like beer. Not light, not dark, NOTHING. So no, I don't like Guinness. However, I do really like cider. There's a drink called "Orchard Thieves," which is a hard apple cider, and then there's Kopparberg, which comes in many different flavors. Both are really good!
Entertainment: Sadly, Pandora doesn't come in over here, so I'm very behind in what's popular for music back in the States. However, a band that I liked back home called "Little Mix" is actually really popular in Ireland and the UK, so I've been listening to a lot of them! For TV shows, there isn't much that I watch, due to a lack of channels on my TV. However, there are a lot of game show I sometimes watch, my favorite being Tipping Point (if you know what that is, I know this makes me sound super lame). I also LOVE the X-Factor, and watch it every Saturday and Sunday night. I also knit a lot to keep myself entertained.
Travel - Past and Future: I've been to quite a few different places since my last post. For Ireland, I've been to Galway, Blarney, Cobh, and Midleton. I also made my way across the English Channel (by plane, of course) and visited London for a day, and then Swindon to see my family! For those who saw me post about seeing my idol, Doug the Pug in London, I unfortunately didn't get to see him due to the line being SO long. For future trips, I will be going to Edinburg, Scotland next weekend. The week after, I have a "study week" before my exams, and will be going to Amsterdam, Cologne, Brussels, and Paris! I'm so excited!
While I love it here in Ireland, I think I'm ready to come home. I miss my friends and family. While my heart yearns to travel, I always know where my home is, and that's back in Maine.
P.S. I'm a future teacher, so I love insentives. If you made it this far and actually read my blog, thank you! You deserve a prize. Give me your address and I'll send you a postcard. :)
Here's some pictures from my recent trips!
Yule Ball, put on by the UCC Harry Potter Society
Kissing the Blarney stone for good luck
Rugby Game! Go Munster!
London with Lauren!