A Travellerspoint blog

Griffith College Dublin

home sweet home!

rain

Americans are probably the most noticeable group when it comes to being in a foreign country. Besides Asians, maybe. We're obnoxious and loud and confused - but then again what people in a foreign country for the first time aren't like that? The group of students going on the first round to our dorms has grown to about 15 students and we all awkwardly drag our luggage from baggage claim outside to our bus that is waiting for us. It is chilly and cloudy and drizzling and I am glad I have a big cozy sweater to keep me warm. Even though I'm disappointed that I can't get a clear view of the scenery outside, I am not surprised by this glum weather. Womp womp womp.

As we ride the bus, we learn more about Dublin and our next few months here from one of our guides, Anna. She's the shit. We're going to be living at the Griffith College Dublin but taking classes at Dublin Business School which is about a 20 minute walk away. We're in 2-bedroom suites with 2 students to a room, 2 bathrooms, and a common room/kitchen area in each suite. There are 2 Elon students in each suite and 2 non-Elon students (international) in the other room of the suite. I'm rooming with Miss Erin McGuiggin! Our room is a decent size and we actually have a lot of drawer and closet space for our various rain jackets and "wellies" (rain boots as the Irish call them). Erin and I have two French girls living with us, Anna and Carolina, and they seem really awesome. They don't speak a lot of English but they got styyyyle: a language any girl can understand.

By 2:30 the entire group was finally all here and unpacked and at 3:15 we departed on our first walking tour of Dublin, led by one of our fearless leaders, Karl. Keep in mind that we are all jet-lagged, physically exhausted, haven't had much to eat, and haven't slept in almost 24 hours. It is barely 6am our time and we are a group of American zombies walking through Dublin trying to take in the new sights and information, but too tired to process 99% of it. Dublin is a surprisingly small city and I am pleasantly surprised to see no chain restaurants except for a Subway. Not a single McDonald's or Starbucks to be seen throughout our entire walking tour - very refreshing. However there are butchers and "green grocers" (stores just for produce) and small pubs and pharmacies and boutiques lining the streets intermixed with flats and town houses. It is very quaint here; the only thing I hope for is the weather to improve by tomorrow. It rained almost all day today! Not the best way to come to Dublin but can I really say I'm surprised?

After the walking tour I went to a small pub/restaurant for dinner with some of the other girls from my group and ordered my first beer in Ireland. (Side note: there are 37 girls on our trip and 2 boys. Lucky, lucky boys). They are very serious about their beer here; when I asked the waiter what he recommended he started going off on a million different descriptions and types and brews of beer that is completely foreign to me. I ended up with a light, tangy beer from Scotland that I actually really liked.

Now I am back in my half-unpacked dorm room; I have been up for over 36 hours straight and yet I'm not quite ready to go to bed yet. The past day has been a complete whirlwind of knowledge and senses and emotions and weather. Some people are contemplating going out to explore the city on our first night here - apparently it's "Black Monday" which is the first big going out night of the fall semester. A big part of me wants to venture out as well, but a big part of me wants to curl up in bed and catch up on some much-deserved rest and relaxation...hmm...

Well, cheers to my semester in Dublin! Erin go bragh!

Posted by Lindsey308 12:22 Archived in Ireland Tagged rain beer pubs dublin zombie roommates unpacking Comments (0)

The First Stretch of the Journey

the long and winding road of my depart from the US

When it comes to traveling, someone always seems to have some sort of nightmarish story of the worst travel experience of their life: they were seated next to a screaming baby on a flight that was delayed 4 hours and then their luggage was lost, etc. etc. I definitely did not have a nightmare plane ride today as I rode from Boston, MA, to Dublin, Ireland, on flight EIO 136 at 6pm today, but it was no easy ride either.

I board the plane carrying my small carry-on and purse and begin walking down the aisles to find my seat - from what I can see I am the only person from Elon on the entire plane. Of course as I'm walking to my seat, the first pair of mildly attractive young gentlemen I encounter witness as I get my carry-on caught not once, not twice, but three times as I attempt desperately to roll in nonchalantly down the aisle, tripping over it the whole way. I finally just pick the damn thing up and carry it down the rest of the plane until I get to my assigned seat.
If there's one thing I hate, it's assigned seats on a plane - you just have no chance to sit next to someone completely normal and quiet and small. As I come to my seat, praying for a decent seat-mate, I look down at this human being that will be crowding into my personal bubble for the next 7 hours and I can't even tell if it is a man or a woman. There seems to be hair growing where a woman shouldn't have hair, but there are also curves where a man shouldn't have curves...And when I attempted to ask them where they were from - it GRUNTED at me. No verbal response. Just a strange look and a grunt. I don't even know how to go about handling this situation so I just sit down and read my book, 50 Shade of Grey (which I am still deliberating if I like or not; I'll get back to that once I've finished it). Eventually I did end up with a pair of seats to myself when the flight attendant announced that there were extra seats available on the plane and I booked it away from my strange little corner. But even in my breakout, I could not escape The Farter. I don't know who this guy was, but he was sitting very near me and farted the WHOLE time we were on the plane. Every 30 minutes or so I could smell that horrible, rancid stench and I just wanted to punch whoever thought it was acceptable to fart in an enclosed area. You just can't get away from that shit. Literally.

And of course, since I was about to embark on the biggest journey I've ever been on, there HAD to be something wrong with the plane that caused a 2-hour delay. We literally sat on the runway for 2 hours as they pumped up the air in the plane tires. They must have just been using their damn mouths to pump up the tires for all the time it took. But I have to say, when a captain apologizes to you in a nice, thick, Irish brogue, how could you possibly stay mad?

Normally I'm a big sleeper on planes (or anything, really), but how could I possibly sleep on my way to Europe??? Instead I kept myself entertained with the in-flight movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (excellent movie for anyone who is considering watching it). And right in the middle of my movie they brought my dinner: a perfect combination of tiny plane food that I love only because it is so miniature and cute. (The woman two rows next to me loved the miniature plane food as well but I think she was much more of a fan of the miniature plane vodka bottles...)

Finally we land! I am in Europe!!! Customs is easy to get through since we are one of the first flights to land for the day and as I walk to the food court and greeting area, I spy 3 people in FIE t-shirts waiting for my group's arrival. It's around 8am Ireland time at this point (3am my time - still no sleep) and the 3 other Elon students and I that have arrived so far have to wait for about 10 more people to show up before we can load the first bus. We end up waiting till about 9:40 and FINALLY we grab our luggage and head out to the bus that is waiting to take us to our new homes for the next 20 weeks in the heart of Dublin...

Posted by Lindsey308 11:35 Archived in USA Tagged planes travel ireland time_change Comments (0)

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