I’ve been distant, I know. It’s not you, it’s me.
You see, I’ve been hanging out with another blog whilst in Dublin for a five week study abroad program. I’m now four weeks in, and if I’m being honest here, I don’t have really have time for this. I just really needed a study break.
But I feel it’s important to communicate something: even though I’m up to my ass in school work, I’ve been trying to do a good amount of “experiencin,'” too, and I have to say, Dublin is kind of amazing. It’s got all the beauty and charm of other European cities I’ve visited, with the added bonuses of a language I can understand and really unpretentious citizens. In fact, I can easily say that Dublin is one of the most pleasant cities I’ve visited, at least, once I got my bearings.
At first I got exceedingly lost here. In the literal sense, and in the not-so-literal sense. You know how I’ve been saying that I wanted a chunk of dedicated time to “just do school” and focus in on one thing at a time?
Well, I lied.
The truth is, I came to understand about myself that I’m better when doing a variety of things, and when I’m around a variety of people. But I wouldn’t have known that without coming here, and once I realized this about myself I diversified my experiences and have had a wonderful time since.
Yes, there have been highs and lows for me in Dublin, sometimes simultaneously. For example, it was REALLY COOL to attend the Pride parade here, and really sad to miss Pride at home. Being anyplace for five weeks, you have to settle down a bit and actually live there, because being a tourist for that long is really unsustainable. Having done this, there are many things that I really appreciate about Dublin, like the fact that the whole city can be walked top to bottom in about 45 minutes and you’re expected to not tip your bartender. In fact, these are a few things that I mean to adopt from Dubliners into my daily life whence I return home:
- E-mail isn’t a big thing. Neither is Facebook messaging, really. If you want to connect with someone, you call him (WHAT?!?). Face-to-face meetings seem to be the norm for getting things done, which is also kind of weird, but totally awesome.
- Bike commuting is really popular, and most bicyclists wear reflective vests so that they don’t, you know, get hit by buses.
- The word “feckin'” (pronounced very close to a favorite word we are all thinking of right now) is regularly used to add emphasis to a statement. I figure that adopting it into my every day vocabulary will keep people guessing, which seems like a good idea.
- When you come into someone’s home or business, you are almost always offered tea or coffee, and some sort of biscuit. Irish people drink more tea per capita than British people (that’s a lot of tea). The biscuit part hasn’t been great for my waistline, but I’m willing to workout a few extra minutes to make this a thing.