Day 32

Feeling: burnt tongue, light rain on my head, my fuzzy blanket
Seeing: sunshowers, a small cluttered mobile store
Smelling: herbal tea brewing, not much else because I’m still a little congested
Hearing: Arctic Monkeys b-sides, some messed-up audio on a Hocus Pocus YouTube bootleg, the Weeknd’s new song “False Alarm”
Tasting: some Irish sandwich cookie sweets, hot chocolate from Alchemy, poppyseed challah

What a long, pleasant day. Simultaneously tiring and relaxing. I started it by trekking off to immigration; I was a little intimidated by the line at first but realized that the line to pick up the GNIB card was a lot shorter than the one to apply for one. Right in front of me was my USAC friend Paulette, who I actually saw leaving the apartment at the same time as me but didn’t know we were going to the same place. I now have enough photo ID to satisfy a desperate identity thief.

After the card, I picked up a challah from the Alternative Bread Company. Only three euros! It was huge but thankfully fit in my backpack as long as I took my water bottle out. I stopped by a mobile store to see if I could find a good deal (I needed a new phone ASAP), but for a couple reasons decided to just find an unlocked phone I could put my SIM in. And, I had to go to class.

We had a new lecturer in Food Quality. Our current one lectures on meat and meat products, although it is not her research specialty. The content was actually pretty interesting, but the lecturer, sadly, was not. I spent the entire class just copying down information (most of which I knew already) and flipping around on my phone.

Then I went out to a store that sells unlocked phones. My options were either a brick phone or an iPhone, neither of which really appealed to me. But I wanted a smartphone so I could look up maps during travel (okay, and play Pokémon Go), so I chose the earliest iPhone they had.

The SIM chip that I had wasn’t working, which after a little too much struggle I realized was because I hadn’t activated it yet. I didn’t want to walk all the way back to my apartment and back out again, so I headed to a café that was two-thirds of the way there whose wi-fi password I knew. Not the most secure decision, but I suppose it wasn’t a day for those. Remember what I said about the identity thieves?

Okay, a brief rant/rave interlude to tell you about the hot chocolate at Alchemy. From what I can tell, they put chocolate chips in a cup and pour steamed milk over it. The result is a hot chocolate milk that’s as light as air, but still fully chocolatey. Oh, and since the chips aren’t emulsified, there’s a puddle of melted chocolate at the bottom. You can choose between dark, milk, and white chocolate Is it the best hot chocolate I’ve ever bought? No. It could be improved a couple of ways: First, when I order “dark chocolate,” I mean I want dark, as in, a minimum of 60% cacao. Not the semisweet that I received. Second, I’m on the fence about the chocolate not completely mixing. I took the cup home so I could add more milk to the leftover melted chocolate and have more hot chocolate (!) so that was a bonus of course. But the perfectionist part of me can’t help but think about how if you melted the chocolate in the milk at a low heat, or heated the milk and continuously stirred in chocolate, you’d get a more homogenous mixture. Of course, they don’t have the space for that in Alchemy, but they could make hot chocolate with cocoa powder instead, which I think would turn out just as well. Alright, rant over.

When I got back, the earliest iPhone that I had my sights on was “gone.” Before I left to go to the café, I had asked the shop attendants if they would hold that phone for me, and they said “yes, we house all our phones.” Uh, okay? Clearly that meant no, we will not hold it for you. So I got the next later one for 50 more euro. And, they only take cash. Not sketchy at all. At least I got a free case with it.

I said the Shabbat blessings with my mom over Duo, which sadly failed on the video end of things but at least we got to hear each other’s voices. Damn, the challah was good. I cut it into several chunks and froze them so I could have challah for the next few weeks. Or maybe just French toast when I want it. Either works.

Since midnight was the first day of October, aka Hallowmonth. I couldn’t let this very important day pass me by, so one of my USAC buds, Sara, and I decided to watch a Halloween movie. We found Hocus Pocus on YouTube, but the audio made everyone sound like they were on one of those pitch-raising Snapchat filters and the video was slowed down slightly. The last few minutes were cut out too, so we had to go snooping around for those separately. It was super cheesy, but I’m glad I got to see a Halloween #classic. And both of us were texting our long-distance boyfriends the entire time and still could keep up with it. That’s how simplistic the thing was.

Then, because I hadn’t had enough chocolate already, we tried some Irish chocolates. I’ll make a separate post for that, but I’m going to try to do lots of sweets reviews in honor of this joyous month. RIP me.

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