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Things I’ve learned About Ireland So Far

This is just a short list of the things I’ve learned in my time here so far. Definitely more to come!

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If you think you can leave without your umbrella, you’re wrong. Even if it looks sunny now it will probably be raining in half an hour.

The UK loves Fanta soda. And chinese food.

Don’t count on a hot shower (or a long one for that matter) even if the heat is running.

If you’re afraid of going abroad and gaining weight - don’t be. I think I’ve walked more in the past week than I did in my whole fall semester at Fisher.

A module is a course and a course is major.

If someone says “Do you want a bit of craic (pronounced crack) tonight,” they don’t mean the drug. Craic is a way of saying fun, so always keep your fingers crossed for some deadly craic. ”What’s the craic,” is also a way of saying “what’s going on?”

Profanity is more like punctuation here.

If you ask someone for a ride, you’re actually asking for a sexual favor. Ask for a lift instead.

Always look RIGHT before crossing the street! 

It’s okay to wear tights under shorts, high-heeled sneakers, Hollister everything, Adidas track suits, and Ecko Unlimited.

Tic tacs are produced in Cork.

Tea to the Irish is like coffee to Americans.

And of course, their vocab is a bit different than in America.

  • French fries are called chips, and chips are called crisps.
  • Cabinets and cupboards are presses.
  • A que is a line and a query is a question.
  • Nail polish is called nail garnish.
  • If a man asks you to “shift” at the bar, he doesn’t mean move over. He wants to kiss you.
  • To “greg” someone is to tease them.
  • Calling someone a muppet or an eejit is an insult.
  • A cookie is called a biscuit.
  • Oatmeal is porridge
  • You ring someone, not call them.
  • You ask to be collected, not picked up.
  • If you’re being shady or sketchy, you’re being dodgy here.

Departure from NY, Trip to London and Arrival in Limerick

I know I’m a few days late starting this but we haven’t had much time, or internet access for the matter, to post anything.  I left home five days ago so bear with me as I try to recap the past few days in as few words as I can manage.  We saw and did a lot so hopefully this will be my longest post in the next few months.

Saturday:

I waited to pack until the morning of my flight, which is not something I would suggest to another student going abroad in the future.  It made for an extremely stressful day and a lot of last minute running around.  After a long morning, we finally made it to the airport.  It was really hard to say goodbye to family knowing I wouldn’t be home for such an extended period of time.  They watched me go through security and then I was on my own aside from my roommate, Amanda, who is traveling abroad with me.  We waited the long two hours until our flight and finally were able to board.  I think I should also mention that before that day, I had never flown before.  Needless to say my first flight to Chicago, and the following flight to London, went smoothly.  When we finally landed in London it was 9:30 am (4:30 am NY time), so by the time we made it out of the airport and to the hotel we were all ready for a nap.  We were able to shower and sleep for a bit and then headed out for something to eat and then to our first English pub where we saw a stand-up comedy show.

Monday:

Monday started off with a little bit of homesickness and a bus tour of the city.  The tour guide was fantastic! London is such a beautiful place so it was a shame that we didn’t have more time there. The tour guide took us to see Buckingham Palace, the Tower Bridge, London Tower, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, the London Eye, Millennium Bridge, and so many other parts of the city.  At the end of the tour we were dropped off at Covent Garden and left to explore the city on our own. Amanda and I, along with our new friend Kirby, visited Abbey Road, Platform 9-3/4, and retraced our steps to some of the attractions we saw on the tour like the Tower Bridge and the London Eye.  We had our first REAL fish and chips in a pub across the street from Big Ben, and were swindled into buying cheesy homemade bracelets from some men on the street.  We ended the night with dinner and a ride around the city on a double decker bus.

Tuesday:

Finally flew out to London and made it through the long wait at customs in the airport.  We arrived at the school with the rest of the AIFS students and moved all of our belongings into our houses in Plassey Village. Amanda and I are living in a house with three other American girls from our AIFS program along with two French students and a Chinese student.  The house was very cold when we arrived and we had a hard time figuring out how to turn on the heat and how to get hot water.  It turns out that our boiler was broken and we ended up spending the night in the cold.  We had to sleep in our winter jackets and hats to keep warm.  It definitely made us appreciate our warm beds and hot showers at home.

Wednesday:

Amanda and I, along with our roommate went to a store called Penneys where we were able to get towels, sheets, and other housewares. We settled into our rooms and were able to FaceTime our parents for the first time.

Thursday:

Today we started UL orientation and took a tour of the campus.  The campus is amazing! It’s so green and the buildings are beautiful.  I have a feeling I’m going to get pretty lost though because the campus is HUGE. Tonight we were invited by some of the UL students to one of the bars on campus (yes, on-campus bars!!) for some drinks and to meet some of the other UL students, both Irish and international. I’m excited to go to my first Irish pub! Tomorrow we finish up orientation and then have the rest of the weekend to shop and explore before classes start on Monday. Wish me luck!

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