Health, Views on Life in General, Mail, & Roomie Interventions
I am currently experiencing my first health issues abroad (I have previously visited Greece with family, and traveled through Austria, the Czech Republic, and Hungary with my youth orchestra), so I’m interested in how the health care works. I had something that strongly resembles strep (but never comes up positive as strep in quick-swab tests), so I went to the student health centre. The doctor asked “What’s wrong?” and I said “I have strep.” A brief conversation ensued (he asked if I’d ever had strep before…which I found slightly silly, being that I straight-out told him I was pretty sure I currently had it, and how would I know what it was without prior experience?), and he prescribed me penicillin! Score! I went downstairs (the student health centre is in the student centre) to the pharmacy, gave them my prescription, and walked out of the building ten minutes later. It was grand.
As I waited in the pharmacy for my magic pills, I had a conversation with the girl working at the counter because I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to wait for the pills to be ready (I mean, at home it’s a 20 minute minimum wait). She asked where I was from, and then asked how I liked Ireland. Of course my response centered around the schooling – how it’s strange that there are no required textbooks/homework, etc. While I was talking, she just looked at me; once I stopped, she said, “But what about the life??” It was like a little mini-epiphany – living here is way more important than studying. No worries, I’m not going to stop studying entirely (although, truth be told, I have yet to start in earnest…whoopsies!), but it was interesting to just take a second and realize that there’s a life going on out there, and that I should take part in it.
Back to my health issues – the antibiotics cured the strep, but I’m pretty sure waiting in the student health centre gave me a cold (rather unfortunate, considering the fact that I play a woodwind instrument and have my first orchestra rehearsal this evening at 6 pm!). I’ve been sleeping as much as possible this past weekend – two naps a day, as much nightly sleep as I could manage, etc. Unfortunately, I also managed to kill one of my toes: on a 5-am trip to the bathroom to blow my nose Friday night/Saturday morning, I opened the door over my second toe on my left foot. It’s now essentially black…and I’m just waiting for the toenail to fall off. It’s pretty painful, and a real pain that I have to walk just about all the way across campus to get to my classes/rehearsal tonight. Yay for flip-flops…and for being the only person on the 20-minute walk to class wearing them.
Alright. Away from sickness/pain and on to a different topic – mail! Mail here is hand-delivered to our rooms at the end of the day (I believe around 5 pm); if you receive a package, they slip a paper under the door stating that you have a package and to please pick it up at your earliest convenience. I finally got the paper establishing that I now have a functioning Irish bank account – I’m still waiting on the Laser card, however. Once I receive the Laser card (essentially a debit card, but it functions a bit differently than credit cards at home), I can order groceries online to be delivered to my apartment – meaning I never have to go to the grocery store again! Unfortunately, they won’t let you order online with an American credit card (silly Irish people – the credit cards work in the stores, why not over the internets?!), so Sarah & I have been waiting impatiently for our Lasers. I also got a slip under my door on Friday night saying I had a “packet” to retrieve from the residence office. I limped down there Saturday morning to find that my boy had sent me his “rush” t-shirt (he’s in a fraternity) – what a cutie.
Oh man, long blog againnn. Hopefully no one has gotten too bored yet…this is the last topic, I promise! Roomie intervention – Sarah is a wonderful person, but she’s rather shy (ok, I am too, but..this is about her, not me!). Ameya is determined to make her more outgoing, especially with members of the opposite sex; to this end, I was tasked with bringing Sarah to the student pub on Saturday night and making her talk to men. Female power and all that…anyways. Only in Ireland would the student pub, which is located on campus, be closed on Saturday night! I suppose that, since nearly all the Irish students of UCD go home every weekend, it is not economical to keep the bar open on the weekends…such a strange, strange system. So I will be accompanying Sarah on a trip to the pub tonight, instead – Monday night = pub night? Seriously bizarre – my Hopkins brain doesn’t accept this as being normal, but I’m just telling it to be quiet at this point. I’ll let you know how it goes…wish us luck!