My first couple of days in Dublin I assumed that everyone else moved faster than me because I kept stopping to take in the view, but after a couple weeks in my current home base I have realized that some things in Ireland just move fast.
First of all, the people move at a crazy pace compared to what I am used to back in Madison. Each morning on my walk to class I am constantly being passed by commuters on their way to school and work. As the days have passed I have started to pick up my own pace in order to match, but what I haven’t been able to emulate yet is their confidence to cross the street and pass people slower than them when there isn’t a clear passing lane. For the most part I walk everywhere, but some of my friends and I are going to try the bus out this week after finally getting our transportation cards, which gives us a student discount. Most mornings I don’t mind the walking, but when it rains it’ll be nice to be able to hop on the bus. Due to where we are living we do a lot of walking in Dublin, but the walks are always interesting because it’s easier to window shop and find your bearings on a street corner than in a taxi or a bus.
Another thing that goes quickly is the time that’s acceptable to communicate with people back home in the states. What do I mean? The time change is pretty major between Dublin and Madison, let alone Dublin and Seattle where my parents are, so basically, I mean we have to plan Facetime dates days in advance to make sure they work with everyone’s schedule. So far that has been one of my bigger struggles here in Dublin, in Madison I constantly talked to people in Seattle throughout the day whereas now I talk to my Pacific Northwest friends and family either extremely early in the morning for them or extremely late at night for me. We’re still looking for a balance, but as the days pass I am starting to better grasp the time change and when is a good time to text my mom or Facetime friends.
The last thing that has left an impression on me in the first couple of weeks didn’t come as a surprise but is still taking some getting used to. The amount of daylight here right now is extremely short. Usually when I get up in the morning I watch the sunrise, which is a major change from my schedule at Madison in the fall of 2018, and often the sun is down before I get home in the early evening Yes, the days are getting longer, but I always have to laugh when our group here in Dublin gets excited to see that it’s still kind of light out at 5:00pm. The biggest thing about the minimal amount of daylight is it means if you want to do something that requires being outside during the day you have to plan for it. One of the best things in Dublin/Ireland in general is the striking scenery. During orientation we had the pleasure of visiting Phoenix Park and taking in the views it has to offer. There is a lot to explore here in Dublin and I feel like I’ve barely covered any of it.
Saturday was one of the coldest day we’ve had since arriving so some of our group took shelter from the brisk air by exploring the National Gallery, which is located near where we will be interning and even better, free to the public. We spent a couple of hours exploring the many rooms the gallery had to offer. The area around the gallery is a good place to visit if you want to go somewhere with free admission because the National Museum and National Library are located there as well. It’s a good way to learn about Ireland’s history without breaking the bank.
This week we officially start lectures and hopefully learn our internship placements. While I’ve really enjoyed exploring and having free time I am excited to start getting a set rhythm for the weekdays with classes and interning. Once my schedule is set I hope to go out and explore more of the countryside here in Ireland.
For now, here is some info on the pictures below: The picture of the large grey structure with the crane in the back is from Trinity College, a beautiful campus that I am excited to explore more of. The stain glass window is at the National Gallery in a room dedicated to the craft, which was my favorite room in the whole building. O’Neill’s is a very cool pub that has a lot of history wrapped up in it and just cool architecture overall. The only photo with people: this is part of my study abroad group cheesing in Phoenix Park, behind us you can see a small sliver of the humongous park and the mountains off in the distance. I am still getting used to taking pictures because I’m trying to take it all in as I go, but I’m starting to take more so hopefully each post will feature new photos of my adventures. Till next time!