Hello, my fellow readers, hope ya’ll are well. What a busy, exciting couple of weeks it has been! As much as I don’t really care for history, I do find a lot of it rather interesting. My Irish History and Culture course took a field trip to the Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin a couple weeks ago which was really awesome. The “death culture” in Ireland is different compared to that of the United States. Death is not so much a grieving or mourning time here, but more so a celebration of the life that the deceased person lived. It seems to be a very cherished time here in Ireland.
The cemetery itself is over 150 years old yet it seems to have hundreds of years buried beneath its headstones, literally. There are an estimated 1.5 million people buried in the cemetery, some in mass graves, and the wealthier in their own. There are surprisingly a few thousand more people dead in the cemetery than their are people living in central Dublin today. Many wows. It is also very fascinating that there are people who passed away and were buried ages ago that still get flowers set over their graves. It goes to show how respected those people were during their time and even still today, several generations later. One grave, or tomb, in particular that was pretty fascinating is that of Daniel O’Connell. He has his own family tomb within the cemetery where he lies (or part of him does anyway), as well as some relatives whose caskets can be found stacked in a side room attached directly to the main tomb where O’Connell lies.
As I mentioned, death here is more of celebrated occasion. Next to the cemetery sits an old pub called The Gravediggers, ran by the same family since it was opened in the early 19th century, where family members and friends of the deceased have gone for brews, for almost 200 years, after their loved ones are buried. A couple of us stopped in the Pub to see what it was like (and also because they had bathrooms inside) and got stuck in there for longer than planned. Not physically, mentally. There were a couple of elder people in the pub and on the way out the woman stopped me to talk to her, and I couldn’t just walk away while she was relaying her whole life story to me. She was just happy to have someone new to talk to, I think, and I didn’t mind one bit. It’s interesting to hear the stories of people that have been around for a lot longer than I have been.
A couple Saturdays ago, my study abroad program took a bus trip to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway. Post cards, pictures, and words do no justice to the Cliffs compared to actually seeing it for yourself. And even when you are there seeing it in person, it almost seems too real to be that beautiful, if that makes any sense at all? The views were absolutely phenomenal. I highly recommend a visit to the Cliffs if you are ever in Ireland. I promise you will not be disappointed… unless the wind changes direction while you’re standing on the edge of the Cliffs and sends you for your last ride (or fly). But really, that does happen. An average of 26 times a year, to be exact. So, yeah, if you do get the chance to visit, be cautious of the weather and the uneasy, soggy edges of the Cliffs, and keep your distance. You can still get fantastic views and photos from a safe distance, people.
Galway was cool, what I saw of it anyway. We only had about an hour to spend there, about enough time to grab dinner and that was it. So, of course I will be revisiting Galway again this weekend, because why not? Dinner was fantastic, though. A couple of us ate at a pizza joint and it definitely lived up to the scent you could smell coming from the place as you passed by it. I could have easily ate another whole pizza and not felt bad about it. Well, maybe a little.
I was blessed to have some family come visit me here in Dublin this past week. Man oh man was I happy to have a piece of home here. As I mentioned before, I absolutely love Ireland, but a little piece of home was definitely needed. And I really loved that I got to play the tour guide all week. I guess you could say the history course did pay off as I explained every little thing that we passed by or talked about. I really hated saying goodbye, though, that’s never easy. But, I do miss home, I am just not necessarily homesick.. That probably makes no sense at all but it’s okay. Anyway, that small dose of home was just enough to hold me over until I get home. And, oh yeah, my relatives played mom and dad for the week.. so, I got some Easter chocolate from them before they left. (Thanks again, if you’re reading this!)
My Internship is still grand. Why wouldn’t it be? I work with some of the best people and I am so thankful for that. It could be so much worse. And I have a new drug of choice… CAFFEINE! The amount of coffee and espresso I drink every day at work is ungodly. Probably really unhealthy. But it keeps me alive. Keeps me moving. Keeps me awake and able to get things done. So, it can’t be that bad, am I right?
I am still making phone calls to chamber members at my internship, too. I came across a company called The Hairy Lemon; go ahead and laugh, I did. I was already chuckling when I asked my supervisor what kind of company it was but gathered myself as I dialed their number and then all Hell broke loose. A woman answered the phone and told me I have reached The Hairy Lemon and it took me a second to speak as I held in my laugh, and then I started speaking and burst out laughing for a solid thirty seconds. I gathered myself once again and finished the call, hung up, and then started laughing again, only this time so was everyone else in the office. We sure know how to have fun while being serious.
I had the wonderful opportunity this morning of having a full Irish breakfast. It looked really good and tasted really good (for the most part), with the exception of a couple questionable foods. For starters, the scrambles eggs were fantastic, even though they were slightly, or rather really under-cooked. Like, maybe cooked about half way. But I ate them because I don’t like to waste food, with the exception of the half a plate of mushrooms I was given. Not good. I did try the black pudding, though. I actually ate all of it for some reason. The flavor was flavorful, the texture was a little goofy, and the thought of what it’s made of is really, really goofy. I would try it again from another chef, I think, just to see if it would be any different the second time around.
Well, I suppose; until next time!