So can you tell I’m falling in love with this country? I sure can because I keep forgetting to blog because I’m so busy taking it all in and enjoying the Irish experience. I apologize for the long delay but I promise I will make up for it. For this post I would just like to talk about some basic things that I am completely in love with here in Ireland.
First off, one of the things I love about this country is how easy it is to get around. Back home, I am not a huge fan of public transportation. I was always afraid of it and never wanted to try it because, lets face it, American public transportation is not the greatest. Over here it’s a different story. The University of Limerick is situated in Limerick of course, but it is not near the downtown itself. You have to take a bus or a taxi (unless you are highly adventurous and feel like walking, which I am determined to try at some point) and it couldn’t be easier. The university itself has three bus stops! Also, the bus is rather cheap so going into town is a weekly occurrence. In town, there are lots of cool shops (Penney’s will eat your money with it’s awesome cheap clothing) and there are tons of great food places. Altogether it’s an easy way to spend a fun day, and when the bus runs every 15 minutes, it’s easy to just hop on and go. I am planning to hop on a bus a few times in December and go some places around Ireland but that will be more detailed in a post dedicated solely to travel.
Secondly, the people here are amazing! It’s not a lie when people say the Irish are so friendly. Yes of course, there are always those random few that are just naturally crabby people but overall they are a lovely bunch. They are so helpful and their hospitality is incredible. I live with three Irish girls, two of which I see on a daily basis. These two girls, Nicola and Margaret are two of my favorite people ever (side note: my computer now thinks it’s Irish. It just tried to tell me favorite was misspelled and that it should be favoUrite). They are witty, friendly girls who I never get bored hanging out with. One of the first things they did was sit down with me and go over some basic Irish slang. All Irish people think it is absolutely hilarious to tell Americans that they are having the craic (pronounced crack) and watching them freak out. It was funny the first time, but this joke unfortunately continued for about 12 renditions too many…but that’s besides the point. Irish people also know how to have a good time. Here at University of Limerick, we have two bars/pubs on campus, The Stables and the Scholars Club. Stables hosts the famous Friday night international parties which is a great time to mingle and meet tons of people from all over the world. Scholars is by far my favorite place on campus (again with the incorrect favorite spelling). They have delicious scones among their array of fabulous food. My friends and I have come to the conclusion that being attractive is a requirement to work there seeing as all of the staff is rather good looking. It is a great place to sit and study because they have wonderful wifi and you only have to get up and walk two feet to get some much needed food. Having bars on campus was an entirely new concept for me seeing as I don’t think it would ever happen at home. The food is good and the atmosphere is great. I have also begun to notice that there are TONS of different accents here in Ireland. I’m not good enough yet to be able to identify where each one is from but I’m proud of myself for being able to even notice a difference.
Lastly, one of the things I love about Ireland is the food. Sure there are things I miss desperately from the states (…cough cough peanut butter, Chobani yogurt, and cheetos…) but overall I think there are many items that are better over here. I have noticed that when looking at food labels here the ingredient list does not go on forever; things tend to be more natural. So maybe the one downside is that it goes bad more quickly, but again, that’s because it doesn’t have so many preservatives. There is this lovely place called Aldi here (hey have a few in the States, I can remember going to one in Minnetonka, MN) that has very cheap, yummy food. For example, bread is only 82 cents! Dairy over here is especially delicious- butter and ice cream in particular. My favorite places are in Limerick city. There is a fabulous milkshake place, a cupcake cafe to die for and a little place called Badass Burrito that is a slice of heaven. It’s like Chipotle but better because you can tell everything is super fresh and the woman who owns it is awesome. I thought I would have to adjust to the food over here more than I actually did.
I realize this is a long post, but these are just three of the basic things about Ireland that I love. Three things that are going to break my heart to leave, the people in particular. I will enjoy them while I’m here and dream about them all when I have to leave.