Hearing: my boots click on the pavement, music playing in the grocery store, trad music being played live in a crowded bar
Seeing: a glimpse of the new campus, emptier streets
Feeling: light raindrops on my head, fatigued everywhere on my upper body
Smelling: Murphy’s, Barry’s tea
Tasting: the first meal I made and shared with my roommate, homemade scones
I was able to get up early enough to go to the welcome meeting they hold for international students, and even more amazingly, able to find the building and the room where it was. The meeting didn’t tell me much of anything I didn’t already know, but its main purpose was to get students to meet each other. It was definitely worth going to know that there was in fact a campus, and students on campus, and some of them coming from countries outside Ireland. I also signed up to go on a day trip to Kinsale, a nearby town within Cork county.
I met up with my roommate to do the grocery shopping we had planned to do last night. She informed me that, last night, when she called “hello!” through the apartment door, she didn’t actually expect a response! Nor did I expect anyone to know I was there. The store that we visited had home delivery service, but we had arrived a little to late to take advantage of it. Once I do get to the store early enough, I’ll stock up on even more pantry items. We also have a fruit & vegetable shop near our apartment, where the owner is very friendly and has even begun to teach me a bit of Irish.
After returning, I found out that the resident coordinator of our program invited us to tea at her house, so my roommate and I headed out again to meet up with the other USAC students who had arrived. I enjoyed meeting them, as well as Mary, the coordinator. She very kindly made us scones which she served with butter, cream, and jam. I tried a little butter on it, but I think I prefer jam and cream. Tea was delicious, and apparently some random wasp thought so too. It tried to fly into the cream. Seriously? There’s no sugar in there. If anything, it should have been trying to go for the jam. Also, I liked seeing my classmates try Jaffa cakes for the first time. I knew them as Pim’s in the US, but I’d be willing to learn a few new words while I’m here, heh.
A large group of us met up later that night to go to one of the local bars. It was exactly what you’d expect– crowded, full of freshmen (“freshers”), and emptied out a little before 11 when everyone went over to a club. What I was really there for– live music– didn’t disappoint. It was casual, with a keyboardist (who sang), a concertina, and Uilleann pipes. You could request songs, and request songs to sing yourself. So you know what my new project is.
Hearing: the terrifying rumble of the laundry machines, Richard Thompson lulling me into the evening
Seeing: the clean and brightly-lit interior of a pharmacy, raindrops on my glasses lenses
Feeling: like my wrists haven’t gotten any rest from carrying heavy things and probably won’t for a while, a bit of a chill like autumn is right now
Smelling: something like Belgian waffles in the pastry section in the discount grocery store
Tasting: peanut butter! yes, I found peanut butter in an Irish grocery!
I decided this day was going to be much less eventful– I needed it that way. I needed to do laundry, a lot more shopping, room-cleaning, and writing this post. And just as importantly, I need an early bedtime tonight. Because as much as I want to take advantage of the free time I have now, I’m still not quite on track with either time zone I’ve inhabited.
(also: I found Canadian maple syrup for only 7 EUR! Just thought that was worth mentioning)
Sorry I don’t have any pictures for y’all yet! I’m still trying to learn the place by sight myself.