My first weekend in Ireland was really quite eventful, to say the least. What happens in Ireland does(n’t) stay in Ireland. Dublin is such a global city and I think it makes the experience here all that much more enjoyable and relaxing. It lets you know that you are not the only foreigner in the country (it’s weird to say I’m a foreigner). There are students here at Griffith College from all over the world; I have met a few students from Venezuela, France, and Italy and that is only a tiny portion of all the nationalities here.
It is so helpful to have people from other nationalities in the country as well, because, for me at least, I don’t feel as though I have to talk in an Irish accent to fit in. Everyone speaks their own language and when speaking to “Dubliners,” everyone does try their best to speak English even if it is not their first language. Just as with any country, if you try to fit in and do your best to speak their language, it makes it much easier to gain respect from them.
With that being said, there are parts of Dublin that really attract tourists and visitors from sports teams such as football, or soccer as we call it in America, from all over the globe. Pubs and bars are a hotspot not just for the people of Ireland, but for tourists and athletes, as well. Friday evening a few of my study abroad friends and I went to The Temple Bar, where there is a live band playing almost each night and it amazes me how popular a lot of American music is here. There, I met a soccer player from Westchester, named Simon, who was in Dublin to play a match on Saturday. He told me how delighted it was to have me there and that he probably wasn’t going to be fit to play tomorrow, which is self-explanatory seeing as he was more than a little drunk in the bar.
Outside the bar as we were leaving we met this wonderful young lady, named Anna, from Iceland. She and a friend were in Dublin celebrating her birthday. I have never seen someone so excited to meet a group of Americans and I have to say I was excited as well as I’ve never met someone from Iceland before. And I am not sure if her last name was more impossible to say or to look at but she made the four of us Americans each say it until we pronounced it the right way. And just for the record she told me I was the winner of that game.
On another note, about 20 of us study abroad students went to the Guinness Storehouse here in Dublin on Saturday. That was a very exciting and memorable experience. I will say, though, that the free pint of Guinness you get while there was a little much on an empty stomach but maybe it made it that much more enjoyable? There is so much history in one type of brew and that is rather amazing.
Walking to and from the Storehouse we noticed all the different colors and designs of doors on the homes here and I am positive I had the most fun of everybody while pointing them out. Not two doors were the same in design nor color. It’s an old urban myth that wives would paint their doors different colors so their drunk husbands would know which house to come home to. It makes perfect sense if you think about it.
Lastly; gas stations? WHAAAAAT AARRRRE THOOOOOSSSSE? It seems as though the vehicles here run on beer; you have to be full of it in order for the car to run. Not really, though. (Drunk driving is still heavily frowned upon here just as it is in America). But really, there are hardly any gas stations in the city center. I saw two or three outside the city toward the airport and that is about it. That’s all for now folks, until next time!