Sunday, February 15, 2009

A very long week, not so briefly summarized

Seeing as I was reprimanded by not just one, but two people, on my neglect of my blog, I apologize for the error, and hope to make amends by explaining just what has kept me so busy lately.

I spent last Saturday with Susan. We wandered around, went shopping around town (Susan got a blanket from the same store where I got my purple dress), and got her groceries from the Tesco in City Center (or City Centre, if I really want to be Irish). Then we came back, did a little homework, and met back up at dinnertime in my kitchen. We made pancakes! They were delicious. ☺ One of the things about Ireland is that there is very, very little brand diversity, no matter where you shop. It takes a bit of getting used to, after the United States’ practice of selling three or six different brands of any given product. We Americans must like our choices or something, haha. Anyway, there are 2 different kinds of pancake mix you can buy, and only 1 kind of pancake syrup – which honestly isn’t pancake syrup in our conception of the term. It tastes like maple syrup and honey mixed together, maybe with a little extra sugariness thrown in for good measure. (The same people who make this stuff, make the one and only kind of chocolate syrup you can find, and oh MAN is that stuff good).

The next day, Sunday, I went to St. Francis for church and met Kristina there. We went to Burger King for lunch in town, and met Kristina’s house-mate Paloma there. They were planning a surprise birthday party for Kristina’s host mother, so I tagged along as they bought streamers, balloons, and banners. We parted ways pretty soon after that; the buses to Carrigaline, where Kristina’s host-family is, are pretty few and far between on Sundays especially.

Monday is a fairly busy class day for me. The professor seems to have changed midway in my Human Sexuality class, and apparently the same thing’s about to happen in my Celtic Religion and Mythology class. I can’t figure why that is. Anyway, regardless of teacher, the psychology class is very interesting, and I met a few nice people there this past week.

On Tuesday evening, I went out to a pub with Susan and Kristina. The pub is called Costigan’s, and it’s pretty cool. It’s right on Washington Street, about 25 minutes of walking away, and we all bought ourselves drinks and laughed and chatted and had a good time. I only had one drink - which will probably be the extent of my drinking at any one time while I’m here, don’t worry.

On Wednesday evening, Susan and I went back to the same pub to listen to the live music there. There were 2 guys; one played guitar and the other sang. They were excellent musicians, and we enjoyed listening to them – as well as critiquing the clothing of the young men and women congregated around the table in front of the two of us. Actually, overall, people seem to be rather well-dressed around here – especially if they’re going out to the pubs. You catch people in slouchy dress only if they’re headed to class; otherwise, they seem to prefer heels, dresses, button-up shirts, and well-fitted jeans (American boys who can’t keep their pants up, take note!)

On Thursday, everything started to come to a head. Kristina’s host-mother had not been treating her very nicely, and Kristina was tired of the treatment she was getting there, so we started poking around other places for her to live. Needing to take care of some things, she skipped our third class of the day (I now love that class. It's the tutorial for Celtic Religion and I think the instructor is fantastic) and stopped in a little place near my apartment building, called Fusion Cuisine, where we frequently buy food for its cheapness and quality. She vented her accommodation problems to a friendly waitress (Erica), and lo and behold, her boss, Sania, has empty apartments she needs to rent! Well, if that isn't a sign from God I don't know what is, so even though we checked out another house that night - which was actually adorable, I loved it - Kristina immediately decided on the apartment which Sania is renting out. Without getting into the messier details of the issues with her host mother and family, suffice it to say that both parties were reasonably pleased with Kristina leaving that house in Carrigaline on Friday morning for the very last time.

So then, Friday morning, Kristina came over to my apartment with her backpack and suitcase hastily filled with all her belongings. We did a ton of laundry (twelve euro), got lunch at my apartment, and proceeded to spend a lot of time going to different stores, trying to get Kristina wireless internet. Of course that was way more complicated than it needed to be. (In short: The company, O2, wants proof of address. A form with her address, stamped and notorized by the school, is apparently not good enough. Go figure, right? Sometimes I wonder whether these companies actually want business, or just want to frustrate people.) Anyway, we went out to dinner that night at a really nice Chinese restaurant, then went to the same pub as usual again (Costigan's, remember? Are you keeping up with all this okay?) Also, we originally thought to move Kristina into her new apartment that day, but Sania needed to take care of some things, so she spent that night on my floor.

And we've made it all the way to yesterday! Okay, so, yesterday, we woke up fairly leisurely, but then the rest of the day was more walking than I have ever done in a single day in my life. We got lunch at Centra and spent more time dealing with the wireless internet problem, to no real avail. She can have her proof of address by sometime next week when the bank gets around to sending her a bank statement. Because the branch of the bank that's inside the school evidently doesn't have the authority to print bank statements. I'm pretty sure that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard, but whatever. After that, we went by Penney's and bought her some new bedding, pillows, and towels for her room. Then we came back and packed up Kristina's stuff. Then we went back to Fusion Cuisine to wait for Sania, who was still running errands and came by an hour later. We had amazing chocolate cake while we were waiting, and then Sania made us both free chicken sandwiches for the road! :) We picked up Kristina's luggage, loaded it into Sania's car, and went to the new apartment. Sania took us to a couple of places where she had errands to run before dropping us back at the apartment again. We made the bed, then walked to a nearby grocery store called Lidl (pronounced "little"), then walked the long way round to Tesco, where we got a few things. Then we got very, very lost trying to get back to the apartment. This place is in a nearly completely unfamiliar part of town to the both of us, and in an effort to not take the long way back, we wasted even more time trying to find the shortcut that we knew existed somewhere or other. The sun had set; in the dark, we tramped down the side of a road, which turned into a highway, and suddenly we were so far off anyplace we wanted to be, that we had to turn around completely and go back. We tried another road, and thankfully that one led to a landmark that Kristina recognized. We got lost again, but fortunately were headed in the right direction and made it back to the apartment... thirty minutes after the Skype date I was supposed to have with Jason. Keep in mind that we both had full backpacks of heavy groceries during all of this. We were so tired and frustrated (after this 3-hour grocery run!) that we just sat in that internet-less apartment for another half hour, grumpily eating cookies and putting away groceries. We took the bus out to City Center, walked ANOTHER thirty minutes back to my apartment, and briefly both got a chance to talk to our respective boyfriends for about 10 minutes before having to turn around and go back to Fusion Cuisine. Sania's husband took us back to Kristina's apartment, and I spent the night at her place.

So today, Kristina and I woke up, made breakfast, and walked to City Center (we finally figured out where we were going, Buichas le Dia!) where we met the aforementioned waitress, Erica. She took us back to her place, where she made us sandwiches and soup for lunch, and we chatted a while. As it turns out, her husband works for the company that makes World of Warcraft! Bwahahaha, I can't wait to tell Jason that. Then we went to church (St. Mary's), and came back to my place. On the way, we met Ronan - remember him? I met him very early on. He walked back with us, and we chatted with him on the way. Kristina and I picked up popcorn and Coke, and once we got back to the apartment, the two of us watched part of The Tale of Despereaux.

And now I'm here, writing all this up.
And I need my groceries for the week, so I'm about to leave.
And now you know why it took me so long to write.
Have a good day, everyone!


  1. Fun times! I'm sorry to hear about Kristina's troubles, but I'll be hoping and praying that everything ends amicably. You sound like you're having fun, and that's good. Hope you and Jason have made up your missed Skype date... although that sounds epically nerdfighterly. :)

    DFTBA, Erin!

  2. Erin, the fact that you have met a boy named Ronan in Ireland makes me think that you are going to have magical adventures... watch out for talking cats.

    I'm so glad you're having a good time! We miss you!! :-(

  3. Oh man, I know, right? In my Celtic Religion and Mythology class, we keep talking about the Tuatha de Danann and the three treasures of Ireland, and I'm like A WIZARD ABROAD, yayyyy!

    The Ronan that I've met here is nothing like the one in the book, though. The one in the book is all black-haired and full of his tough-guy facade... and the one here is cheery, blonde, and kind of petite. :D