Now that I have been here for 2 weeks…I keep wondering when it’s going to hit me that I’m actually living here, not vacationing, for 5 months. I keep waiting for culture shock, a day of sheer oblivion, depression…something. But the reality of it all is, is that currently I feel very settled in. That might change in a month, 2 days, or even an hour. Sure, I miss the U.S. (mainly it’s food…they don’t sell cookie dough here - what) and my family/friends…but I often have to remind myself, “I am walking on the cobblestone streets of Cork, Ireland right now.”
I’ve come to accept the differences that come with Irish (or Cork) culture: everything closes early (7-8 PM), girls wear nothing when they go out, I can’t find a lot of American food, we can’t really freeze things (apartment accommodations, not Irish culture), I will probably get hit by a car while here, Irish t.v. is bizzare, I have to guess what temperature our oven is at, Mass services are extremely different, 2 hour long lectures suck, and my butt better be in darn good shape after walking for at least an hour every day. That’s all I can think of right now, but I’m not sure if I’m still on cloud nine or just at home here? I feel like I’m maybe in limbo or something. Also, it’s gotten to the point where I don’t even notice accents. These people just sound like they’re speaking English now…sometimes I have to really, really focus to even hear if they’re Irish or not (unless it’s some weirdo Cork accent, that’s a completely different language).
Misc. things in my life recently:
1) Yesterday UCC had its Societies (involvement) fair. Here, societies are clubs, and clubs are sports/intramurals. I joined the Art society, Photography society, and International Development (social issues) society. I am beyond excited and loved chatting with the respective members at their booths!
2) I forgot to blog about this previously, but I had a very lengthy conversation with Andy Steves at a pub last week. Who is Andy Steves you may ask? Well….he’s Rick Steves son. BOOM FIRST CELEBRITY MEETING. That counts, right? ….I was pretty stoked.
3) I got a haircut. Now, I only blame myself because this place was titled “Unisex” salon and was sketchy as heck from the outside (also it only cost me 10 euro…), but this thing on my head now resembles a weird, pubescent mop that makes me feel like I’m 13 again. I went in and asked for side bangs…I explicitly said, “I just want side bangs, no length off, and a couple face framing layers”. Next thing I know, this lovely polish girl my age takes a chunk of my hair from the middle of my head (what?! those are not my bangs?!) and just chops four inches off. UMMMMM alright. “Why you no get layers before now?” she asks me as piles of my hair hit the floor, I lie to her and say “Oh because I just thought, ‘new country, new hair!’” - I didn’t get layers before I got here because I didn’t want them ya crazy! So if you can imagine those punk-rock-emo teens (sorry to label), with a bunch of layers starting at the top of their head, going down….that’s my hair. But no worries, she did give me side bangs. I’m not really sure what’s going on, but hair grows, so I’m not too concerned. Maybe I’ll complete the look and put some radical colors in it. Eh, what can ya do.