Today was a whirlwind to say the least. After flying to Boston yesterday, watching the Packers beat the Cowboys (woo!), then boarding a plane to Shannon, Ireland that was probably 1/3 study abroad students, the day felt like a week.
After landing, everyone that was on my flight navigated through customs, then met up with University of Limerick students in yellow shirts (meaning they are International Student Guides). They shuffled us all onto a bus that took us from Shannon to Castletroy, where the University of Limerick is (the city center of Limerick is actually about 20 minutes away from us). I tried to take photos of the drive, but it doesn’t get light here until about 8:30am, so I’ll have to snap photos some other time.
I got to my apartment complex – Troy Village – around 8am (local time). I immediately got to unpacking so that I wouldn’t have to do it later.
At 10:30, we (meaning the other international students in Troy Village) walked to main campus for a tea/coffee social. From Troy Village, campus is about a 20 minute walk, which I moaned about at first, but it’s beautiful and it’s pretty nice to be off campus.
I shopped for bedding and for some food that would tide me over until tomorrow when I can focus more on what I want to eat throughout my months here in Ireland.
I have my own room here at Troy Village, but I do live in a three bedroom apartment. One of my roommates is from Venice, Italy. She is so so nice and funny. We get along great and she even offered to show Italy to me over spring break if I wanted. How could I say no to that?? I have yet to meet my third roommate because they have not yet arrived.
I met up with some people from my flight at Scholars Café, which is just a pub with a fancy name on campus. They are so nice and sweet. We went from there to another pub a little ways away (don’t worry, Dad: Castletroy is safe, plus I was with a group of people which included three men). This was a real Irish pub full of Irishmen drinking whiskey and Guinness. Here, I found Orchard Thieves Apple Cider so, while I could not participate in the trying of Guinness, I could still have a pint in my hand while chatting.
At said authentic Irish pub, we met Eoin (read: Owen). Eoin is a 40 year old Irishman who was all too happy to chat with the group of us at the pub about Ireland, ourselves, and himself. He was funny and was such an interesting person to meet. It’s definitely an encounter I won’t soon forget.
We returned to UL campus where I met up with my roommate, Marzia. We walked back to Troy Village together, ate a quick snack, and then retired to our respective bedrooms.
Today, I learned that Ireland has so much in store for me – friends, learning, culture, etc. Today, I learned that the University of Limerick is huge and that I can’t wait to start classes. Today, I learned that Ireland is beautiful and cold and wonderful.
Today, I learned the Irish/Gaelic/Celtic word for cheers. Everyone says it slightly differently, and it’s definitely a strange word. But that’s most of Gaelic for you.
PS: in my local grocery store, they sell taco ingredients, so a few people and I are going to have taco night tomorrow night (yay!). Taco Tuesday in Limerick is real now.