Monday, January 11, 2010


Yesterday we woke up to a snowstorm that was pretty substantial, even by U.S. standards. It made for an interesting day full of coffee shops, movies, chili cheese fries and frozen water pipes.  Ireland is having a record breaking winter in terms of ice, snow and sub-zero temperatures, and accordingly, they do not have the skills, knowledge or resources available to account for it all. There is virtually no conception of rock-salt or shoveling, which leaves the sidewalks permanently coated in an inch-thick layer of ice.

By yesterday evening, as things began to really ice over, we all were expecting the school to shut down. A lot of Irish students tend to pack up and go back to their home-towns for the weekend and were going to have to find a way back with the streets a mess, airports closed and buses called off. Nevertheless, school stayed open and I slipped and slid my way the mile or so walk to school to register with the English department this morning. While I may have felt like a bit of an idiot in my rainboots and jacket, I was happy to have them when the not-so-used-to ice natives were falling in their heeled boots and tennis shoes.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Good Craic in Corcaigh

Okay, so first off…I LOVE CORK (or Corcaigh as they spell it here). It is a beautiful, interesting, friendly city. Every day I walk on cobblestone along the river to school and pass brightly colored doors and buildings that look like castles, all the while listening to the lovely Irish brogue that surrounds me. Our apartment is great. It is really big, with a balcony that looks out over the river. Save for the severe lack of hot water, a showerhead that refuses to work and a dryer that leaves clothes soaking wet, I love it. Hopefully all of those kinks will be worked out within the next few days.

My roommates are great! Erin, my actual roommate, is from San Francisco and goes to school at Loyola Chicago. Our apartment-mates Kelsea and Kristin are also from the West Coast.

School started on Monday. Us International Students spent the whole day in meetings so we didn’t attend classes until Tuesday. So far, I have been to my Irish Folklore Class (which seems very interesting, but is only for international students which limits my interaction with Irish students, unfortunately), my Art History Modernism to Postmodernism class (this one is good, all Irish students and me, which is intimidating but definitely a good experience), my Themes in Celtic Literature class (very interesting and different from anything I have taken in the states) and my Anglo-Irish Lit course (which seems like it will be cool especially since I am not familiar with any of the texts that we will be studying). I should go to my Culture, Literature and Language of Ireland class for the first time tomorrow, so we will see how that goes. The Irish school system is very different, and has definitely been the biggest adjustment for me since I have been here. I am not technically registered for any classes yet, which is strange and a little annoying since I am not able to access certain information on blackboard etc. By Tuesday, when I register, hopefully all of that will be sorted out.

The weather here has been quite different from what I expected. It is very cold, icy and snowy, which is unusual for the normally rainy and mild climate of Ireland. It feels a lot like home right now in that sense.

Aside from exploring Cork, we also ventured out to Blarney Castle (a 15 minute bus ride away). It was absolutely stunning. The castle itself was impressive, and with all of the frost on the ground it looked beautiful. We climbed to the top and kissed the stone despite the fact that we have heard people like to both pee and spit on it, and that by doing so we are declaring our allegiance to England.

So there is the first update! I am definitely going to try and write here more often to document all of the great craic we have been having! (Craic means fun, by the way).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Blog Post From The Airport!

Hey all,

This is a blog post from Sunday at the airport:

Saturday January 2, 2010
10:48 PM US time.

So I have been sitting at the gate for approximately four hours now. The flight has been delayed from 9:50 to approximately 11:58. I met up with Kasey pretty soon after I got through security so we have been rotating patterns of eating, bathroom, napping and magazine fetching to keep ourselves occupied. Surprisingly, I am not nearly as nervous as I expected to be given the fact that I am leaving the country for five whole months. I don’t know if it is just that I am too busy to be nervous or if I am still in denial about the whole thing. A combination of both would probably be responsible at this point.

So if the plane arrives when they say it will, we should be arriving in Dublin around noon Ireland time. Then comes the lovely adventure where Kasey and I find a way to carry our suitcases and selves to the bus by 12:15. Not going to happen. So, we are banking on the bus company allowing us to exchange our tickets for a later departure (the next one leaves around 2). If not, we will most likely make our ways over to the train station and hop on a rather expensive train. We’re crossing our fingers on the bus company being accommodating.

So till then I’ll be sitting here on a row of plastic blue chairs, feet up on a carry on, anxiously awaiting the arrival of our aircraft. Next update will be from overseas (hopefully!). 

I am here in Ireland now and loving it. I am very busy and haven't had a chance to update yet.