Hearing: the ringing of “fasten seatbelt” alerts, the rattle of a luggage trolley, the bags clunking out onto the baggage claim belt, the sing-song of Irish accents.
Seeing: liftoff and landing from a window seat, European-style advertisements (I’m not sure yet what’s different about them but it’s something), overcast skies
Feeling: cool fresh air against bare legs, sore hands and wrists, dry dehydrated throat
Smelling: petrol and air freshener, manure
Tasting: airplane dinner, plain yogurt, dense yeast-free bread
Maybe I should have expected this, but my first two days have been so busy that I haven’t had the time to write my first post! So here’s your two-for-one deal.
I arrived at the Dublin airport at about 5 in the morning (which felt like midnight for me), then after going through immigration and collecting my luggage, I boarded an express bus to Cork. I then took a taxi from the bus stop to my apartment. I momentarily forgot that the driver is situated on the right side, and when I tried to get in that side of the car, my driver joked that I could drive if I wanted.
I’m pretty pleased with my apartment. I have my own room and bathroom, and the kitchen is pretty nice too.
It was a very long first day. I kept wanting to go to sleep, so I did a lot of Netflixing to relax while staying conscious. I highly recommend Eugene Mirman’s comedy special, Vegan On His Way To The Complain Store. But even after packing, I knew I had to do some shopping. I picked up a few food items at the convenience store (which I ended up visiting two more times that day), but after some more Netflix-chilling, realized that I needed covers for my duvet and pillows as well as some towels if I wanted to sleep well or shower that night. So out the door I went to get those furnishings. Luckily I found a TK Maxx (the British Isles equivalent to the TJ of the same last name) pretty easily in the Corn Market, one of the plazas.
One thing about the streets in a lot of European cities is that they’re not really marked. It was something I had to deal with occasionally in Belgium, but I found even fewer street signs. So when I thought I could find my way back as easily as I got there, I found myself pretty misplaced. Thank the Lord that even with no data, the GPS on my phone showed me where on the Google Map I was, and I used that to find my way home. I found a loch (lake, but essentially a duck pond), a park, and the city library, so I guess that was a silver lining. I guess the long walk while carrying heavy items could just be seen as exercise as well. Sweater-clad, slightly embarrassing exercise.
Speaking of clothes and exercise, I spent most of that day wearing my Roots joggers and Sloan t-shirt. So, dressed like a casual Canadian. When I was out in the morning, most others on the street were dressed similarly, but when I went out later that afternoon the majority of people around me wore Real Clothes. But leggings are still acceptable which is good because I did not bring many pants with me and haven’t gone clothes shopping yet.
Right as I was heading to bed, my roommate walked into the apartment and called “hello!” I was confused, wondering how she knew I’d be there, and when I called “hello” back she informed me (the next day) that she wasn’t actually expecting a reply. But after some brief introduction, I went to sleep. It wasn’t my favorite first day of something ever, but the next one was better. Tell you about it soon.