Day 8

Seeing: a light rain fall over a green GAA pitch, the soft ambiance of the inside of a restaurant during midday
Feeling: hot under a raincoat, heart pounding as I sprint across a pitch, hair wet with both sweat and rain
Smelling: carrot and courgette soup, a bar
Hearing: loud music of many kinds, a Gaelic football coach shouting at us
Tasting: okonomiyaki, fresh cherry tomatoes

It was a very sweaty and active day, first beginning with a trip to the natural foods co-op where I, as predicted, spent way too much. What can I say, I know I’ll be using everything I buy! The single bag that I brought was straining on the walk back and I was slightly worried it would break. Oh, and the walk was uphill. As I write this the day after, my biceps are quite sore despite not having done a single curl for weeks.

Some USAC girls and I met up to go back downtown to go shopping for clothes to wear out later that night, but I was the only person who ended up buying anything and I didn’t even wear it that night. But we stopped at a bar/restaurant/café called The Oliver Plunkett, which has a lovely atmosphere and I’m sure is great at night when they have live music. Unpopular (?) opinion: Ireland has the best bread. Germans, Frenchmen, Italians, Baltics, Nordics, come at me with your opinions. Seriously I wanna hear.

I finally got to meet my two other roommates, Julia (from Spain) and Faustine (from France). Both of them are going to stay the whole year, like everyone in the apartment. I look forward to practicing my French with Faustine, but I have always wanted to learn Spanish so maybe this is a good opportunity to do so!

The same group of us who went shopping headed to the arena where we were taught how to play Gaelic football. It’s like soccer, but I can best describe the differences this way:

  • the ball is light,
  • you can hand-pass by bumping it a few meters the way you would with a volleyball,
  • you punt (not sure what the correct term is?) the ball to score and for long passes,
  • you score three points by getting a goal (under the crossbar) and one point by getting, well, a point (over the crossbar and through the posts),
  • and you move the ball down the pitch by  alternating between soloing (punting to your own hands) and dribbling the ball.

That was my completely unqualified explanation of questionable accuracy of Gaelic football. Maybe just look at these photos in which I am taking a minimal part.

I may sound sort of lukewarm about it, but trust, me, I had a lot of fun. I’d definitely try it again.

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