Picking up where I left off: After posting the last entry, I followed the sound of voices into my apartment's kitchen and common room. It's always cold in there, because the heater is broken, but it has a couch, coffee table, and television set, and the kitchen is fully furnished - albeit with appliances I only have the vaguest idea how to use. Anyway, there were three girls and three guys in the room when I walked in. The three boys were Danny, Ronan, and David, and the three girls were Martha, Seanaid (spelling? It's pronounced Shih-nade), and Jenny. Of them, only Danny is actually my roommate; the rest were just visiting. Later, there were Molly and Connor, my two other roommates. For whatever reason, I always see Molly, Connor, and Ronan around the apartment, and Danny has not reappeared since that first night.
The group had clearly known each other for a long time, laughing and joking and telling stories and talking about every possible subject. They welcomed me enthusiastically, talking 90 miles a minute, and using all kinds of slang I'd never heard before. Once I made sure they didn't mind, I stopped them every few seconds to ask what something they said meant. Danny and Seanaid were the most outspoken, and Ronan was the nicest to me - frequently I would glance over when I had no idea what the others were talking about, and he'd say, "Don't worry, I don't know what they're talking about either!" They were effusive with their advice, telling me never to approve of the British out loud, not to take anyone's ribbing (or slagging, as they called it) too seriously, and not to expect compliments from any Irish. It was a lot of fun to hang out with them; they were unendingly friendly. Also, they took me with them to Tesco's (Irish version of Wal-Mart), and I got some extra supplies and some food.
The next day, my alarm didn't go off, because my phone still believed I was in Central Time and would therefore go off six hours later than I wanted it to. Molly woke me up, fortunately. I showered quickly, got dressed, and promptly got lost on UCC's campus trying to find the international student orientation. Because I had no idea what building it was in, I didn't know how to ask for help, though heaven knows people tried to help out. (Those helpful Irish.) Finally someone knew it to be in the student center, and I showed up 10 minutes late. We listened to some speakers, did our preliminary registration, and were released for a couple hours to get some lunch. I met back up with Kristina, and we went back to my apartment to charge her laptop (she doesn't have a converter). It's a pretty long walk from Farranlea Hall to UCC, though, so we barely made it back in time to buy a sandwich and go back to the orientation. We went back to Farranlea again, Kristina got her laptop, and took the bus home; I ate Spaghetti-O's at home and hung out with some of the others in my apartment.
Yesterday morning, I attempted to take a shower and took the world's quickest one, because the water was stubbornly freezing cold. It's like there's only one water heater for the whole place. >< Anyway, I went to the school and got my UCC ID card, then met Kristina as I was leaving the West Wing. I waited for her while her ID card was printed, and we grabbed lunch in the school cafeteria/restaurant. It was actually pretty tasty. Much better than the non-brand cafeteria food in any school I've ever been to. Then the two of us audited four classes, the second of which (Aspects of Irish Folklore) I'm definitely taking. Between classes, we went off campus and split a panini from a coffee shop down the street. I swear it was the best panini I've ever eaten. :)
Today we audited one class I want to take (Celtic Religion and Mythology), came back to the apartment, and started trying to plan our three-week travels. (We'll come back for the second week while Mom and David are here). We're planning on getting Eurail passes, staying in hostels, and hitting as many countries and sites that we're interested in as possible. Britain, France, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland... anything we can manage.
After we got off the computer, we left for the coffee shop to get paninis for dinner, and I walked with Kristina all the way to the bus station. Which took forever. It took me a full 45 minutes to walk back to Farranlea from the Eireann Bus Station!
And now I'm here. Post later!