Three cheers for being a terrible blogger!
Hip Hip... Hooray!

Last we saw our heroine she was headed up north for a quick visit to Dublin. Now, the trip began perfectly. I found the train station without a hitch and made it in time for the good ol' 9:30 service to Dublin. Unfortunately, I had a bit of a cold, which was only exacerbated by the fact that the cars didn't have any heat that morning. So, the trip was a little sniffly but nothing too bad; I had Neil Gaiman's American Gods to keep me company so all was right with life. Aside from the crazy crackhead lady behind me who kept yelling, "How far now!?" and the oddball old man across the aisle who would respond "Ah we've just passed ____, so."

Tangent: I love the way Irish people use the words "now" and "so". I can't really come up with a comparison in "American" but nows and sos are usually tucked into sentences as space-fillers, almost. I suppose a bit like an American like, but still a bit different. Example Scenario: You're at the local Tesco, just running in to get some OJ and eggs - the usual purchase, of course. You run it through the line with a clerk because the self check out lines are just out of this world and your friendly Polish-Irish hybrid says "Now, tree euro, so!" It's just so gosh-darned cute. /Tangent.

Anyway, so the train trip was fine going up. I made it into the city without any trouble and took the Luas (lightrail tram) to the stop nearest our hostel and met up with Anna. We decided to make the Guinness storehouse our first stop (naturally) and picked up some cheap chips en route, having not eaten for the better part of the day. The storehouse was fun, even though I'd been before. This time, all of the computers and things were working, unlike last time when half the exhibit wasn't functional. I also got to pull me own pint this time, which was fun, and mine didn't turn out half bad!

After the storehouse, we wandered a bit and found a nice place to have dinner and it was after dinner that I really began to feel like crap, so we wandered back to the hostel and bought copious amounts of Halls cough drops, OJ and and kleenex, ready to tuck in for an early night. Or what we hoped would be an early night.

We were wronnnnnng. We had decided to book a shared dorm style room at the hostel, 12 beds, mixed gender. NBD, right? We'd just be sleeping there so it's not like we were too invested in who our roommates would be. Well, when it turned out that our roommates were loud, drunken Italian men in town for the big match, it mattered quite a bit. There was a bit of a bed fiasco (everyone in the wrong beds because the first people to arrive had put their things in the wrong spot, etc, etc. not that it really mattered - there were enough beds for everyone). So of course the drunken Italian men and the high maintenance English girls had to have it out at 4 AM. Of course. After much yelling and miscommunicating, everything sorted itself out.

The next morning, we went to the Hugh Lane art museum, which was AMAZING. It was free (woo!!!) and had a great collection of mostly impressionist paintings. There was some more modern stuff, too, one of which is my new favorite painting of all time, I think. It's called Garden Green by Norah McGuinness. That link is a terrible image and hardly displays the completely vivid greens and the contrast of the bright white... It was just gorgeous!
After that, we met up with the other BC kids in town, ate lunch and then I decided that the best choice for my health would be to stay in bed instead of explore more of Dublin. Plus, the places my friends wanted to go were places I'd already been when I went in March. So, I spent another lovely night in the hostel bed, sneezing and coughing and sleeping off and on. Talk about fun trips.

Since I've been back in Cork, I've pretty much fully recovered. Both of my roommates were gone for the weekend, so I spent it cuddled up on the couch with my lovely giraffe blanket and a stack of books about yea high. I finished American Gods, Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl (a really good collection of short stories. Pretty creepy, though), My Left Foot by Christy Brown and Of Mice and Men by good ol' John Steinbeck. All in all, a good weekend - much better than the one before.

I leave Cork tomorrow night for an evening in the Dublin airport and then off to Italia! I'm pretty excited and a bit nervous too. The website for the Italian train system is complete crap, so Laura and I have just decided to wing it and buy tickets as we need them. We found a nice enough looking hostel in Florence, where I'll get to see some friends from high school! It should be a nice week away, and hopefully a little bit warmer than Cork, which shouldn't be too hard to do.

Look forward to some photos and Italian tales!
We went sea kayaking

Our coordinator sent us this picture today... I can't stop lolling.
I've been in Cork how long now??
And yet I've only been to... other places in Ireland. All within a couple hours drive from Cork City. Not that I haven't had a blast, I'm just ready to start in on all my EuroAdventures, which, as soon as they start, they just wont stop.

A brief outline (it's been so long since I've made a list!):
  • Dublin this weekend (I know it doesn't really count, but it's far enough away and big enough to sort of count). Includes: Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres with Fr. Leahy and a BC football game.
  • Italy 22 Oct - 27 Oct. Includes: Milan and Rome, at least, perhaps a few other cities on the way down. I hadn't really planned on going to Italy, but with the promise of a cheap flight over a long weekend, I just couldn't say no!
  • Germany/Belgium 5 Nov - 12 Nov. This is the biggest trip of my semester, I think. Includes: Berlin, Brussels & Bruges. We're flying into Berlin and then to Brussels the next day, spending the afternoon there and taking the train to Bruges (because, as we all know, it's a "f***ing fairytale land" and definitely worth seeing ;) ) then back to Berlin after a few days in time for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall.
  • Liverpool 19 Nov -24 Nov. Includes: LIVERPOOL! I might throw in a short jaunt to Scotland.
And I think that will be the extent of my eurotrips for this semester, aside from my Christmas holiday in Aspiran. I'd like to perhaps go up to Belfast but maybe I'll save it for next semester. I've got to remember that I have to write a crapton this term AND that I have all of next semester to travel as well.

I'm excited
Hello, October!
Time is flying by way too quickly for my liking. How is it already October?? I try not to think about how much time is left, focusing instead on each day.

The last week or so has been kind of mleh, taking care of a few business items and getting into the swing of classes. I finally registered with the Garda. It only took, oh, 3 hours of my life. The plus was I got some reading done for my first paper for my film class (we have to compare a book version and movie version of a story... she gave us a list to choose from and nearly all of them looked terribly depressing. Hooray for Irish literature.)
I'm still kind of confused on how to refer to my teachers. I guess professor is higher than doctor here, though that seems strange. I guess "lecturer" is the safest bet, but that seems so weird and kind of like I'm glossing over their true status. Whatever. The same thing goes for the way they talk about the bathroom. They (they being Irish people) say 'toilet' and make fun of us if we say 'restroom'... toilet seems almost vulgar to me, but when in Rome...

Cork is really awesome, there is always something going on. Last weekend (i think...?) was Culture Night with tons of free tours and activities. We went on a walking food history tour of Cork (chosen because we thought there'd be free food in it for us. There wasn't.) I think I was the only one of our group that really enjoyed the tour, though. After the food tour, we went in a "culture cab" similar to the TV show Cash Cab...what a BLAST. Everyone who knows me knows that I would do almost anything to go on that show (I plan to take a long weekend trip to NYC next year and spend the whole time hunting for Ben Bailey and his Cash Cab), so this was by far my favorite part of the night. They put five of us at a time into a vancab and it was every man for himself in terms of points, so the guide lady would ask a question and we'd have to yell out our names as a buzzer, whoever yelled first got to answer, etc. Most of the questions were easy enough, though there were some that were quite tricky for Americans and other non-Irish (i.e. what year did Samuel Beckett die, who won the Booker prize twice, etc).

This weekend the Beamish Folk Festival is on, so there's lots of live music in all the pubs and a Ceili Mor down on one of the main streets downtown tomorrow. I'm not sure what to expect from that, but the music has been good so far. We saw an old man bluesy number the other night at this place called The Corner House. They were awesome, the guitarist soloed for like, a full five minutes and dude was definitely pushing 60. They played some original stuff and some covers... all in all, a pretty good night.

Next weekend the kids from BC have to go up to Dublin to visit Fr. Leahy, who is coming to visit for some reason or another. I think I'll head up Thursday night or Friday morning (I don't have classes on Fridays) and do a bit of exploring, see some of the things I didn't get to when I was there last (i.e. The Book of Kells). I hadn't really planned on visiting Dublin again, just because I've already been there and ... well, why pay to go somewhere I've been and miss out on some place I haven't seen? Seeing as it is a BC sponsored trip, though, I don't have a problem going up.

My two papers for Folklore are due soon and I really need to get cracking on them, so my goal for the day is to finish the one I've started before I go out to enjoy the music, or, as they say here, the craic.