It’s been quite some time since we’ve last spoken; I hope you all are well!
Two Sunday’s ago I was talked into going out for a few drinks, when I knowingly had an early flight the next morning to London. It was well worth it, though, even if I was extremely tired the next day. A couple friends and I went out to an Irish Pub for some good ole Irish music and dance. And dance is what we did, and plenty of it, too. The music was just too good to want to stop and go home and sleep like normal people do on Sunday nights. While dancing, we happened to run into a group of students from my home college. Like, OK, it’s one thing to be in the same city at the same time, but another to be standing (or dancing) right next to each other.
As I mentioned in my last post, I went to London this past week, all by my lonely. And the best part is I wasn’t even lonely, it was more so some quality “me time.” Being only my second time flying, it was a pretty awesome experience having a window seat on the flight over. It was early morning when my flight took off so I got to fly through the fog and clouds and got to see all the tiny dots of objects down below. I did sleep when we got over the ocean, for maybe 15 minutes, as it was only a 55 minute flight.
I have never traveled completely alone like that so it was definitely an experience. I was slightly stressed when we landed because I wasn’t really sure of where to go at all. But I put on my big boy shorts and bought a coach ticket that took me into the city. That was about another hour ride before I got into the city at about half 11 (11:30 for my fellow Americans that are not sure what I just said). I was still extremely tired but the excitement of being there completely overpowered it. And that is where my marathon began. Seriously. I walked a total of 28 miles on Monday and Tuesday. I honestly thought the bottom few layers of my feet were just going to fall off. But I still have them today, so it’s all good.
One of the first things I noticed in London is that everybody runs. EVERYBODY. OK, not everyone, just a lot of people. Old, young, small, large, and even at midnight when I was walking around looking for food there were people out for runs. I really struggled to find food, by the way, as everything seemed to close around 10 p.m. and I didn’t decide what kind of food I wanted until well after closing time. So, I settled for a supermarket sandwich and a coke. Not so bad, I guess, food is food.
A real “Casey move” happened to me while in London. I was so excited to take awesome pictures with my camera so when I got off the bus I took it out of the bag, turned it on, took a photo, and realized when the message came up telling me there was no memory card in it, that there was no memory card in it. Go me! Thankfully for iPhone and their amazing cameras, though, I wasn’t stranded without awesome pictures. I took photos of Big Ben, the London Tower and the London Tower Bridge, the London Eye, and a lot of other random things that I thought had significance to my trip to London.
Tuesday Morning, I went to Costa for a hot mocha latte and a buttery croissant (because I have developed an addiction to croissants since being in Europe), and it was wonderful. I will say, though, that the hot mocha latte doesn’t tickle when splashed up into your eye.
There are so many nice cars in London. Literally, every other car on the street is a BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes, and the occasional Bentley and Ferrari. Much wow. One thing I noticed is that London is a lot more like America than Dublin is. There is greater diversity of people, and everyone is a little less friendly, but not in bad way. They’re just not as chummy as the Dubliners.
In the wise words of the lady next to me in McDonald’s who didn’t think I was listening to her whole phone conversation while she was yelling about people she clearly had poor relations with now:
“There comes a point in life when you have to stop cussing people out and just say goodbye.”
In other news, St. Patrick’s Day was pretty good here in Dublin. I think I did that day completely wrong, though. The parade was amazing but wet towards the end. And I was extremely tired and wasn’t really in the drinking mood. So, after the parade we got burritos and went to a Pub and danced to a couple songs and I had one Guinness before leaving to take a nap. The nap turned into a three hour deep sleep and when I woke up I had zero motivation to go back out. I may have done it wrong, but at least my wallet thinks I did it right.
I really feel like this study abroad experience is just a semester-long vacation (aside from the two papers I have to get done by the end of the week). I am enjoying every second of it, even when I am feeling a bit homesick; it’s just a reminder of how much I enjoy my family and friends back home. But, like I mentioned before, the time here is flying right by and will sadly be over within another few blinks of an eye. So, I want in no way to wish away the time I have left here.
I’ll end with this really deep, inspirational and motivating quote.
“Remember, lads, when you’re drinking in Ireland, it’s a marathon not a sprint.”