WAKE UP, AMERICANS! etc…
The time difference (Dublin being 5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time) is killing me! I don’t have that many friends in Ireland yet (nearly all of my classes are 200+, so I’m going to attempt to be more friendly with random people sitting around me next week), meaning that I’m still kind of relying on Americans for avoiding boredom. You may not know this, but Netflix, Hulu, etc. do NOT work in Ireland – so unless you bring movies (which I didn’t) there’s not much to do, except talk to people somewhere. And I’m finding it difficult to talk to people at home because they’re all ASLEEP when I’m bored!!
However, I am finding things to do in my spare time – like clean and search for stove-top-only recipes (no oven ☹) – and I’ve officially survived my first week of classes! My microbiology lecturer is definitely my favorite to date – he’s enthusiastic and funny. We were covering microscopes and, when talking about the use of phase contrast microscopes, he said something to the effect of “this is all a bunch of physics, which I don’t really understand myself, so don’t worry about knowing everything about it – it’s just useful.” If only they taught like this at Hopkins!
One thing I wish I had known before deciding to study at UCD is that nearly all the Irish students go home every weekend – it’s such a short distance home that they all take advantage of it. This is a small issue for us poor Americans who don’t have millions of euros to spend also traveling every weekend (although I’m planning on winning the 250 million euro lotto – just have to buy a ticket or two…), but I have a plan – after I befriend some Irish students, I will beg to join them for the weekend! (Free transportation + free lodging + potentially even some free food = EXCELLENT IDEA!) I’m not so sure how this plan will turn out, but I will keep everyone apprised…in the meantime, I’m planning on using weekends to explore Dublin!
To this effect,I’ve written down a list of 33 places I want to visit (the zoo and greyhound racing track of course being included) – 16 of which are free! I’m definitely going to attempt to get to all the free places first; they should all be accessible on the bus. That’s something new to me here, also – the bus system is pretty fantastic (nearly all the time). I got a 30-day student bus pass for 82 euro (such a large sum of money ahh), but it’s really neat because it allows you to use the bus an unlimited number of times for any 30 days. As in, they don’t have to be consecutive! (It’s good until July of next year, actually.) This makes me feel a bit better about spending the money (otherwise I’d feel the need to go somewhere every day and I’m really not that much of a go-getter…), and it also makes me want to start visiting places – after last night, I have 29 days left!
What did I do last night, you ask? Wellllll – IFSA sponsored an evening comprised of dinner and a show for all the UCD students! We ate at Milanos (huge portions of delicious pizza, oh man) and then we booked it (service was a teensy bit slow for dinner) over to The Lir to see the show “Cult.” Cult is a comedy about five members of a cult who get left behind during the ascension of their group, and have to figure out what to do with themselves now that they have no leader to follow. The best part of the show was undoubtedly when the fire alarm went off, and everyone had to be evacuated…and we weren’t just brought outside the theatre, we had to walk down the street into a parking lot (or “car park”)! Basically everyone thought that it was part of the show (which it actually wasn’t) until we were in the car park, standing around wondering what was going on…and when we returned to the theatre, the actors were pretty funny about everything. One of the actors asked another “What did Leader Peter have you do before tonight?” to which the guy responded “Other than pull the fire alarm?” It was a pretty epic night – the show by itself was a riot, but the fire alarm just added another level of hilarity.
Life in Ireland is turning out to be pretty enjoyable – score for a good semester!
PS. I’m writing so many blog entries because I forgot my travel journal at home, and I have a pretty lousy memory (dangit). So if I bother you with tmi, …sowwy? ☺