Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Flowers and Snow Leopards, Among Other Things…

I’d like to start this post off with a short anecdote that briefly describes why I love Ireland – the people are so dang friendly!  After going to the market in Temple Bar on Saturday morning, Sarah and I crossed the River Liffey to wait at the bus stop.  Right next to the bus stop is a florist, so I stopped in to buy a stem of lilies (all white; two of the flowers are blooming and two have yet to bloom J ) – they make my room smell glorious and remind me of my wonderful boyfriend (the bouquet he sent had them).  After buying the lilies, I checked the status of the bus on my phone (yay for interwebs on my mobile) and found that we had another 15 minutes to wait, so Sarah and I sat on the steps leading up to a building with our purchases from the market and my flowers (completely unwrapped, I was just holding the stem).  All of the sudden an older gentleman comes down the street and sings “You don’t bring me flowers” to me as he walks by.  We just laughed and couldn’t stop smiling – what a silly/friendly thing to do! (And he wasn’t half bad, either!)

 

On to the next thing – snow leopards.  I’ve had dealings with two kinds in the past week, so I’ll tell you all about it (I’m sure you’re dying to hear about it aha).  First, I realized that my computer is two updates behind – my Mac is running on Leopard when it should be on Lion.  Snow Leopard is the intermediary step, and you can’t upgrade to Lion without first upgrading to Snow Leopard soo I had to buy Snow Leopard from Apple.  They’re shipping it to me – hopefully it’ll be here by Tuesday and then I can immediately upgrade to Lion woo-hoo!  Then I’ll be really technologically advanced (..or at least not so far behind)…

 

The other snow leopard story involves the actual physical prowling version.  Sarah & I went to the Dublin Zoo on Sunday – what a cool place!  It’s located inside of Phoenix Park, which is truly gorgeous, and the weather was SO cooperative (aside from semi-gale-force winds which are basically ubiquitous at this point).  I didn’t take many pictures because it was sunny, actually, and the whole shadow thing really makes me nuts…but anywho, the setup of the zoo was really neat. SUCH a fan of zoos. J In two separate places they had lakes with exhibits around them, and little “islands” on the water that attached to the land-side of the exhibits to allow the different animals more room to roam about (each island was separated from the other, so animals from separate exhibits were still apart).  The first was at the beginning of the zoo, with lemurs and spider monkeys and macaques, and the second was a bit more than halfway through, with chimpanzees and gorillas – I thought that was a neat way of doing things.  I really love zoos so much – it is kind of a mini dream of mine to be a zoo/aquarium vet, at least on the side.  Such a wide range of animals with interesting features and characteristics…I think it’d be pretty cool.  So obviously I enjoyed our trip to the zoo.

 

We actually took a kind of round-about route to getting to the zoo, so I’ll put that story on here for your general enjoyment, also.  We started off the day planning to go to Bray, a seaside town about a thirty-minute bus ride south-east of campus.  The route is fairly straightforward – take bus 84 towards Newcastle; the bus was scheduled to arrive at UCD at 11:30 am.  Sarah and I made it to the bus stop with our lunches packed (I mean, what’s better than a picnic on the beach?!) five minutes early; after waiting around for 20 minutes, we decided the bus probably wasn’t going to show (sometimes the buses just don’t show up for no reason…).  We then walked onto campus to attempt to find a computer to use to plan travel to Howth, a location a cab driver suggested we visit at some point – we figured it was a good idea to try to get there.  However, Sunday at UCD means everything is closed (except the library, but we didn’t really feel like going in there…), so we ended up going back to our rooms for the computer.  We ate lunch in our rooms, and amended our plans (again) to going a bit closer to home – Phoenix Park.  We took bus 49a all the way to the end of the route, and then spent about 30 minutes wandering around Phoenix Park, including getting some hot chocolate at The Tea Room (in the park), before heading into the zoo.  After about two and a half hours we were getting pretty worn out, so the 20-minute bus ride was enjoyable – nice and chill.  Overall, even though our plan changed quite a few times, it was a great day!

 

Ok, one more story about Dublin adventures before I let you go on with your life again. J  Sarah and I went into the city on Friday evening for dessert (we made mac and cheese with veggies and ham for dinner first, no worries) – back to Bewley’s Oriental Café.  She got an apple and berry crumble with ice cream which was super-delicious; I got carrot cake (also fantastic).  This is our life – we go into the city just to get dessert!  Our trip home was a bit more than just “let’s hop on the bus” – because the bus never came! L  Sarah actually recognized a girl named ­­­­Bronagh at the bus stop – they are taking a theatre class together.  After waiting for twenty-five/thirty minutes, we decided to give up and cab home; Bronagh wanted food first, though, so we headed into Temple Bar to a “chippery” where she got fish & chips. After she received her food, we got in a cab back to campus; we were becoming acquainted when all of the sudden the cab driver jumped into our conversation (I think it had something to do with Sarah & I asserting that we love Irish people because they’re so friendly).  He was Polish, and had been living in Ireland for five years; however, he thought the Irish really aren’t that friendly – and that people in the US are way nicer!  It was really funny to hear that, coming from the NY/CT metropolitan area – people at home aren’t that nice, although people from the South and Mid-west are…

 

Whoopsies, I lied. One more story! (You can always stop reading if you’re bored, ya know?..)  This regards to fish & chips – it is such a staple of thinking here (you have to get it, etc.), so a while back a whole bunch of IFSA people (probably seven or eight of us) went to Leo’s to get it.  That was my first experience with fish and chips – it’s literally a slab of fish fried in batter with a bunch of French fries (“chips” – potato chips are called crisps here).  Leo’s doesn’t have any seating, so we ended up wandering around for seven-ten minutes looking for somewhere to sit down – our final choice was on a low wall bordering a large intersection.  It was an interesting experience, but I prefer real food for that much money (I think it was 8 or 9 euro for the fish & chips with a half-size can of soda); I think that’s going to be my only fish & chips serving while I’m in Ireland…

 

Ok now I’m done. Hope you enjoyed :)

Share

Leave a Reply

Are you human? *