Comebacks… and final countdown???
I am just coming out of the loveliest week and a half off that we get here in Galway for “Easter break”. The weather has been absolutely incredible, in the mid-50s and low 60s (also known as about “12 degrees Celsius” – temperature conversions have been and stayed to be the biggest point of confusion) and sunny (sun!! in Ireland!!!). We all spent as much time sitting outside as possible, going down to sit by the bay or just sprawling out in the grass at the apartments.
As of right now, I have been thrown back into the deep-end, schoolwork-wise. I have had to work on writing five 10+ page essays in the past 3 weeks. Thankfully, I am on the tail-end now, with just two to go. It’s been a rough time, especially because I’ve gotten so used to the pace of work here even in the short period of time that I’ve had it this way. I suddenly remember what I feel like at college back home all the time! Yay for the trials of real life!
It’s also very exciting here right now, because Ireland is in the midst of their debates about the upcoming government referendum on Marriage Equality. I really like the fact that “Marriage Equality” is the most often-used term here when speaking about same-sex marriage (or what the government labels to be “same-sex marriage” because who cares about the gender binary and how it makes everyday life awful for so many people – sorry I’m done now) because I feel like the term almost everyone always uses in the States is “Gay Marriage”, which of course completely erases important things, like, you know, bisexuality and trans and non-binary identities and so much more (okay NOW I’m done I promise). There are people petitioning out in the Concourse at NUIG, as well up and along shop street, all the time now. A lot of the shops have also put up posters saying that they support it, which is super-cool. I stopped to talk to one of the people passing out fliers yesterday, being like “I’m American, so unfortunately I can’t vote here, but I’m really excited about all of this!” and he gave me a couple of fliers anyway. I’m keeping my eye on a couple of talks about the Referendum that I think are coming up soon, to be held at NUIG.
Last night, the lot of us IFSA-Butler students decided to try a pub in city centre that we hadn’t really been to before, called Monroe’s, that does trad music and dancing. There was a great band, and all these older people dancing, and they were all amazing, and made it look so easy when it in fact was really hard? At a couple of different intervals they invited anyone who wanted to learn a simple dance to join in, which of course we all did. We were all so bad at it and kind of just fell all over each other but it was hilarious and we all just had a really great time at it.
I actually had another really “great” interaction last night as well. I was standing up by the bar, near these two middle-aged men talking, and I heard one of them say “Thank god they’ve managed to drive all the gays out of Ireland!” and without even thinking about it I snorted out loud. They both turned to look at me, so I went “Did they? Well, whoever they are, they didn’t do a very good job at keeping ‘em from coming in!” and then I winked and skipped away. I swear to god, I am not making this up. I’ve kind of lost all filters? And gotten really good (bad?) at speaking up? It’s gonna make summer really interesting. I came out to my mom last summer, but my dad has no idea and if I have no intention of telling him. At this point if he finds out, it will definitely be me who lets something slip.
With exactly 33 days left until I go home, I’ve had the first real twinges of homesickness (because I think the rest of it was just shock and confusion?) in the past few weeks, thinking about home and my mom and my dogs. As much as I hate New Hampshire winters, I can’t imagine the summers being better anywhere else in the world. For like a month and half, all I have wanted to do was get in a car and drive with the windows open and play music. I’ve made about three playlists up to this point in time, just for when I get to do that.
Nevertheless, I think I’m definitely going to enjoy the weeks off I am going to be lucky enough to have here. It’s gotten a little bit colder than it was during our weeks off, but hopefully spring will come back around again. I’ll write soon!