its been 5 months since my 5 months of irish adventures.
fitting that today is the day my box of overflow possessions decides to rock up after unexpectedly detouring to bristol, dropping of the radar, being unpacked for auction and repacked when it was discovered to be mine.
everything in that box reminds me of a different part of my trip away: from the jumper found on my first primark trip in manchester to the tickets to the international rules game on halloween to the waterford crystal harp my mum got me for my birthday on our roadtrip around southern ireland.
it arrived while i was skyping with my best german friend, elena while she was telling me about looking for a new apartment with our friends hannes and alex when they all go back to DCU in a couple of months. so its been an overkill of dublin nostalgia today.
this is a photo of the box. its looks different from the last time a saw it, but it still has all the same memories in it.
favorite irish folksong. i know its the ps. i love you cover, but whatever. i still like it.
while i was writing my last post, i realised that because i did so much stuff on the weekends and weeks off on my exchange to dcu, i havent really had a chance to tell you about the little random things that happened at college. while the trips were the cake, the little things, as they often are, were the icing and the sprinkles on top.
and anyone who knows me knows how much i love icing.
- being in total awe of nature in the scottish highlands and the german/austrian/swiss alps. geography is my happy place.
- walking into the kitchen to get breakfast on my way to class to find a stranger sleeping on the floor. that stranger is now a friend and he’s pretty damn cool, if a little random :)
- being groped at ‘the george’ by a topless lesbian. enough said.
- waking up on new years day 2011 and turning the tap on to find that nothing was coming out. and the day after. and the next day too.
- walking into the corridor of apartment 86 and realising that every single one of us was listening to ‘the time (dirty bit)’ in our seperate rooms all at the same time
- walking home from a college park party behind a stripper and her….minder…. only to follow her into shanowen square and see that she was performing at the apartment across from heathers.
- playing ‘name all the state in the USA/Australia on bored.com with andy
- watching heather faint while getting her nose pierced in amsterdam
- watching heather stack it on her arse and face at the same time on the donegal hiking trip, having elena laugh at her, reach for her camera and end up the same way as heather
- watching elena deal with her first goon-induced hangover
- chasing squirrels in the dublin botanic gardens
- listen to hannes try and convince me to eat his frozen pizza by telling me that ‘the cheese is from the cows of my grandparents!’
- seeing my cats mega-confused at my voice coming out of nowhere over skype
- watching a live gig at the cavern club, the place the beatles were discovered.
- listening to in irish band cover my favorite john mayer song on my first night out on dublin at fitzsimons, temple bar.
- waking up to carolin’s ‘alarm’ every morning. any type of music, as long as its loud.
- going to mass in ballyvaughn with evelyn, her mother clare and heather and having heather ask what the ‘giant spoon’ was.
- flushing my toilet with sparking water because it was cheaper than still water in the new years thaw
- going on the anorexia diet with heather. and failing at least once a week.
- being stalked with lasers by the creepy creepsters across the square
- meeting nina and kirsten on the way to subject selections the morning after toga party and having absolutely no idea who they were, despite our apparent dnm the night before
- killing myself laughing with caleigh in the lift in glasgow. probably shouldnt say why here :)
- waiting for three hours at the garda office to get our immigration cards, freaking out that we didnt have the right documentation and that we were going to be deported
- going into carrolls gifts the souvineirs every time heather and i went into dublin city
- cringing at brad and heather while they embraced their inner bogan/alf stewart. every argument ends in ‘illbiteyourfacec***’.
- stomping in the snow in gumboots acorss the dcu fields with heather
- comandeeering a bargain bin trolley with emj and emily at swords on our first day in dublin and having to be collected by emj’s dad because of the sheer amount of groceries
- playing drinking jenga with the americans
- waking up in ballyvaughn to a peer gynt-worthy morning.
- watching heather use brute strength to get my stolen aussie flag back from its captors at the international rules game.
- having an entire class turn and stare at you during ‘first lesson introductions’. yes, im from australia. yes, im probably paler than you.
- the look of horror on kath middleton-adam’s face when i told her that sydney avenue, manchester reminded me of coronation street. sorry kath :)
- the thrill of checking the mail and having post. cheers parentals, clare via peter alexander, jess thomas and nana.
- dancing in ‘the formation’ with heather, nina and kirsten in amsterdam. pretty effective actually.
- living off free yogurt and ricecream for a solid month after freshers week
- watching heather drink 2 litres of coke with a hangover. multiple times
- listening to elena’s ‘rock christmas’ cd, again and again and again
- seeing heather and elena go out dressed as eachother. only one of two times ive seen elena touch a dress
- bolting for the train at connolly station with clare and heather on the way to belfast.
- spending every night of stuvac with heather and elena watching a different movie, that was chosen sometime during the morning while we discussed what to cook for lunch
- having my contiki experiences acted out by three pidgeons in st james’ park, london.
- having mum and dad bring over my santa stocking for christmas, then filling it with presents from their trip around europe
- the look on brad’s face after waking up at the airport, in a hotel room, with his shoes in the showe on new years day.
- on that topic, brad getting detained at dublin airport and having to identify me by a laptop lineup
- the time caro exploded the coffee machine. and the second time :)
- having to shower at the gym almost every day because our hot water is… temperamental. or extraordinarily limited
- making s’mores with alex, elena, caro and jo. messy, messy fun
- cooking a time-foil bbq on the floor of shanowen square courtyard.
- renae and i having to sing ‘waltzing matilda’ with heather to get her home on australia day
- chasing squealing piglets at causey farm on my first trip out of dublin
- argueing my weekly argument with the bitchy blonde tesco lady about the fact that your average person does not carry their passport around just so that tesco can see it for id when purchasing vodka. thats what our garda cards are for
- watching clare snort guinness after laughing too hard at her series of unfortunate photos
- being charged 55 euro for 2 minute doctors appointment on my last day in dublin.
- having it snow on my birthday
- seeing my first frozen puddle next to the driveway at shanowen
- meeting someone who licks rocks for a living on contiki. apparently its a legit geology technique to classify a rock.
- seeing the sun shine on leith. proclaimers moment right there.
- hearing about my messy scottish family history: even if it wasnt the proudest moment.
- interpreting the lyrics to yellow submarine, moving to new york and the mulan soundtrack with clare on the contiki bus to liverpool. and realising about a half hour into it that the whole back end of the bus was watching.
so this is the end of my trip down the rabbit hole as tomorrow i start my third year at UOW, Australia. it feels like my exchange went really, really quickly but when i think back on all the things that ive done in the last five months, it kind of feels like that long. a quick five months.
i learnt a lot of things from a lot of different people: from how to be patient from the international office and how to stand my ground from british airways, to how to dirty talk in german from hannes and how to speak like an aussie bogan from brad. how to make irish soda bread and how NOT to do the actions to ‘im a little teapot’ from soon-to-be-teacher evelyn, how to open a front door and set up the internet from alex, how to loosen up from nina and kirsten, how to let things go from felix and how to choose wisely from greg. i learnt the most by far from my best friends in ireland, heather and elena: about how to make vegetarian lasagne, how to say ‘merry christmas’ in german without sounding like an angry german, how to appropriately dance to lady gaga, katy perry and ke$ha and about how important it is to be who you are, even if it takes you your whole life be cool with whatever that is.
but hands down, my trip to dublin constitues my best five months. i did the good, the bad and the ugly, but i wouldnt trade a moment of it for anything.
like all of my flights on this exchange, the final leg of my trip was wrought with complications. upon arrival at heathrow we were directed to a number of different desks due to the fact that whilst clare and i were on the same flight, i was booked through qantas and she was booked on british airways. when we did get to the right counter, we found out that our
lucky we had gotten there so early, because we were able to nab seats on a thai airways flight leaving at the same time with the same stopover in bangkok. little did we know that, for once, this was a blessing in disguise. not only are thai airways seats pink, purple and orange, the economy seats are as big as regular business-class seats and happy things happen to you like pumpkin seeds and lime in your lemonade.
at heathrow, we didnt know any of this. so this photo is what we did with the rest of our travel money: valentines day presents for ourselves. it wasnt quite breakfast at tiffany’s, but it WAS dinner.
day eight: chester to london
day six: scottish highlands to glasgow