Happy Friday the 13th! We’re already about halfway through October; I can barely believe it. It finally looks like fall here in Dublin. Most of the leaves have changed color and make the daily walk to the Luas very pretty and enjoyable. My friends and I love to kick through the leaf piles as we walk down the sidewalk. It’s been really sunny the past few weeks; we’ve had very little rain (although as I type this the clouds are starting to come in). The temperature even got up to 20°C (68°F) today, which is definitely t-shirt weather here.
Now that I got the weather out of the way, I can talk about some fun stuff that has been going on this week. On Saturday the Germanic and European societies came to Halls to put on a mini Oktoberfest for those who stayed for the weekend. They had pretzels, sausage, cabbage, pickles, bread, and other yummy foods, as well as beer tastings. There was also a cardboard cutout of Angela Merkel, with whom everyone had to have their picture taken. My German/American friend, French flatmate, and I sang along to almost every popular German pop song they played; it was really good craic. We also met a few guys from India and a guy from Russia and chatted with them for a while (or as much as we could. With the different accents and the music in the background it was sometimes really hard to understand one another).
Sunday was mostly chore day, but my American friends and I went into town that night to find some live music. We ended up spending most of the evening lost, but it was still a lot of fun. Someone in our house was giving away free frozen chips (fries) that day, so we took them and cooked them later that night. (Who just gives away free chips??)
There has been no rest with school, and we’re still plunging through the coursework as the weeks go on. Everything is completely manageable though; I almost never stress about my courses (ha just wait till exam period comes though!). I’ve become closer to some of my classmates in my course, and they spend a lot of time asking me questions about school in America and other cultural things. We talk a lot about food, or how we have different words for different things. Sometimes I’ll say something that I think is completely normal, but they’ll burst out laughing. They said for the final term paper for linguistics they are just going to tie me up and turn me in instead. It is so much fun though to learn about all of these new ways of doing things. At least my American and Indian friends and I can always commiserate with each other over the struggle!
Tuesday was my birthday, and I couldn’t have had any nicer friends or flatmates. That morning one of my flatmates had made me a large m&m cookie to take with me to school. My classmates surprised me with a special gourmet doughnut during lunch at school that day (Kinder Bueno flavor, since that’s illegal in the US). When I got home that evening I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen, so I spent about an hour in my room until my French flatmate came and got me. When I walked into the kitchen, everyone started singing happy birthday, and I blew out the candles that were in a batch of brownies that my French flatmate had secretly made the day before (she said it made her dorm room smell amazing). The kitchen was completely decorated, and there were even balloons and crepe paper taped to the door and walls outside of our apartment. My American friends had brought cupcakes, flowers, and a gift card to the most amazing chocolate cafe in the world (Butlers!). My flatmates were going out to a party later that evening that Halls organized, so later my American friends and I played a bunch of games and ate way too many sweets. The party my flatmates went to was “Frat themed, ” but even though everyone had spent days trying to figure out what to wear or bring to a frat party, my American friends and I had a few good laughs over the Irish interpretation (apparently the party wasn’t that great, so most of my flatmates came home early and joined us at playing cards). Everyone has so many strange ideas of America over here. 😀
Wednesday night our house warden (Dr. Reverend Julian, although we all call him just Jools), invited the flats on our floor to a wine and cheese evening at his apartment so he could get to know us. It was a lovely evening, and our warden is hilarious. Apparently he is the only warden who invites students into his personal apartment. We went through so many packages of biscuits, which made him very happy because apparently in the meeting with the previous flats they didn’t eat very many. Jools said that I very much looked like a Texan (I suppose?) and that he’s always wanted to go to Texas (and no, not everyone here is a cowboy). It was a lot of fun, and a good way to get to know other people in our house.
That pretty much concludes another week here in Dublin! This evening my American friends and I are going to decorate my flat for Halloween, and we’ll probably watch a Halloween movie since it’s Friday the 13th. Until next time, have a great weekend!