home sweet home!
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!