Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from Dublin, Ireland friends! I have to say I did miss BFF Thanksgiving but here's wishing you luck and love from Eire!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Adjustment to a different culture

It's been just about two months since I've been here in Dublin, Ireland and the adjustment to the different culture has been pretty easy I must say. Some people may think it's not too much of an adjustment and even though it hasn't been for me, there still was a lot to get used to.

I think the biggest thing has been the language. And not just the fact that everyone here obviously has an "Irish accent" (in quotes because obviously here I am the one who has the accent) but the different vocabulary. I briefly blogged about it before but all the slang that's different here and the very particular words they use to describe/refer to certain things. I've learned that a "chipper" is basically a place where they batter and deep fry everything. To go "on the beer" is to go out and get drunk (which is basically the start of many peoples' stories... kind of like "this one time at band camp" if you know what I mean). They use "savage" here to express how awesome something is (i.e. That meal that my friend made for me was savage!). I already talked about your man/your one which I think is pretty cute. Oh yeah and people refer to money as "quid" ... like "Oh yeah I got these boots for 40 quid" instead of 40 Euro. One thing that I had to really get used to was the fact that a lot of times Irish people end their sentences with "like" or "so" (e.g. "It was pretty good craic so.") I kept waiting and saying, "And...? Like what? Soooo what?" The "like" thing was easy for me to adopt into my own speech pattern because I say it so much anyway, I just had to switch where I put it. Ah yes I should explain "craic." It's pronounced crack and the first time I saw/heard it was over text so I immediately was confused on how to pronounce it. Then when I had someone decipher it for me, I had them explain it and basically it's pretty much always used in conjunction with having a good time. For instance, "It was great craic last night when we were out on the beer."

One of the things that's really different is the banking system! Everything is so slow and tedious. I mean yeah they are having a recession but I think a lot of it was in place before the banking crisis. Like to register for online banking you have to call them and then they send you a pin and user name through snail mail. Then if you want to add any kind of other service you have to again wait for something to come through the mail AFTER you register online. It's such a tedious system. Also I came out of the bank with 1000 Euro and thank God Frank was with me because he said there were 2 guys following us when we came out of the bank until we crossed the last street to my flat.

The school system here of course is really different. Now I know that I am doing a masters program but even so, it still feels way different than it would in the states. Like, all of our lecturers want us to call them by their first names. Which is not only weird enough but after knowing how well researched and widely known they are makes it even worse! I was talking to a few people and they also told me that they regularly stood up to their teachers when they were in high school. The grading system is another thing to get used to. A first, which is the highest you can get, is a 70%! And everyone keeps telling us that it really isn't that easy to get. This is the criteria: 70% and up is called 'First Class Honours', sometimes written 1H. 60-69% is called 'Second Class Honours, Grade 1', 2H1. 50-59% is 'Second Class Honours, Grade 2', 2H2. 40-49% is 'Third Class Honours', 3H. Below 40% is a fail... isn't that weird? Well I guess I'm just not used to it. And of course there's the whole primary and secondary school thing.

And there's "Irish time" which is almost just as bad as "South African time" but not quite there. Speaking of South Africa, I have definitely incorporated "just now" in to my everyday speech. It's kind of nice because people don't really know how to interpret it so I hind of have a fall back if they get annoyed. Hahaha. I'm terrible. Of course there's "Korean time" too but I've worked so hard distancing myself from that stereotype that being on time is now a huge deal for me. Another big deal for me is personal space but I think I already whined about that in an earlier post so I won't do that again.

So all in all, again adjusting to the culture is/was not that difficult. I like how pretty much everyone is friendly here and the fact that for the most part people are polite. I don't like how everything is expensive here and people don't get personal space. I think that about sums it up! Haha

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dublin Halloween!

This was my second Halloween out of the States and it was an absolute blast! I was, however, at a complete loss as to what to be. I rolled so many ideas around:
-trying to convince my classmates to be the cast of Harry Potter
-the class being PacMan/PacWoman
-2 of my classmates being Captain Morgan and Jack Daniels, whilst I would be the Absinthe Green Fairy
-80s girl (total cop out I know, but also weird because a lot of girls here dress like that anyway so....)
-Linda from Gimme Gimme Gimme, this HILARIOUS British comedy

-random zombie something (which is what I ended up being)

Me as a zombie ice skater, Meghan as a ballerina doll.
Good yeah? Took me ages to figure it out and I did my own make up! So not only did my classmates and I go out on the 30th and rang in the 31st, Meghan and I went to Temper Trap to celebrate the funness that is Halloween!

Meghan as the ballerina doll and me in my 80s outfit
Right when they came out

Dougy showing his great smile

I think this was Sweet Disposition and me trying to be artsy fartsy

As you can see, I had quite the weekend! This is the week before reading week, a construct of TCD where students get a week off to "catch up on work" but really everyone leaves for vacation, so I think I'm getting my term assignments. We'll see how much I'll update after this. If I do, it means I'm procrastinating! Haha.