Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Entry in 2 parts

Okay, this one was prewritten, since I couldn't actually post on holidays.
So, since I have unlimited time, I'm gonna do a long post this time.
Apparently today is daylight savings so I get an extra hour. YAY!
So here is the hilights of my weekend (skipping Friday which mainly consisted
of trying to beat the Irish girl I'm living with to the bathroom as
we both had the same stomach bug). I felt better by Saturday afternoon,
so I went to this October Fest at the Fransiscan Well with my friend (the only Irish brewery in Cork,
still owned by the Irish, although technically they are a microbrewery).
There's a jazz festival going on outside of the October fests. They had all these imported beers from
Around Europe, including some from Amsterdam that were like 10%
alcohol, I skipped those as I really wasn't looking to be sick again.
They also had some fruit beers that weren't very alcoholic, I went with the Belgian Framboise(Raspberry)
That was actually pretty good. After that we had dinner at this Indian place (there's a lot of them around in Cork and they tend
to be the cheapest restraunts in Ireland, which isn't saying much as most restraunts here are seriously costly)
Then we kind of wandered around to all the places that had jazz concerts going
some were really good, although there were also some bands that weren't worth the walking and crowds.
Eventually we both went home (with a stop on my part at the All night Chinese take away for chips).
Also this weekend apparently was a circus, which was cool, since I was out on Thursday morning
with a friend who wanted a second opinion on these sweaters she wanted to buy, and while we
were in an accesory store we saw an elephant crossing the street (it used the crosswalk)
It was really cool, but unfortunately neither of us had a camera with us. Today I went out
with my friend Nicole, but all the shops were closed for holidays, so we went to the Mardyke Center (School gym kind of)
and I went swimming. I also went to Tesco and bought Jammie Dodgers which are amazing.
I will be sad when I go home and don't have those. Apparently I missed that it's daylight savings,
so I went home at 7 thinking it was 8. I stopped by the only internet cafe that was open to type up the last blog entry,
and currently I'm typing this, eating chocolate biscuits, and listening to Eddie Izzard-Definite Article
because I believe in multitasking. I'm pondering what to wear for halloween, the gothy kids have been
dressing up all weekend, but I think I'll wait for Tuesday (I'm trying to convince some other people
to go out trick or treating with me, cause when else am I gonna get to go trick
or treating in another country?). Now, since this isn't actually a very long blog entry I'm going to
do that list of differences between Ireland and the US (or at least Cork and Oklahoma) I promised earlier.
Food Stuff: There's a whole obsession with Pringles here, that I just don't get. They're everywhere (They have them in pubs in these
things like gumball machines, and they have
mini ones, as well as having gourmet (these come in crazy flavours) and dipping ones.
Cadbury :) They make totally random stuff and coat it all in chocolate (they also make
hot chocolate and cocoa.
Bisuits=crunchy cookies
Cakes=softer cookies, usually with filling as well as cakes
Fairy Cakes=cupcakes
Chips= french fries
Jam=Jam and jelly
Smooth orange juice=pulp free
scones= they're actually more like biscuits than the hard triangular scones you get in the US
They actually use the word cookie, for chocolate chip cookies.
They have a lot of nestle stuff that you can't get in the US, like Aero bars, but
for some reason no chocolate chips.
You can get tea EVERYWHERE (including pubs, although that's primarily during the day) and the tea comes
in cool little tea pots most places. Also most places have juice and other stuff outside of soft drinks, which is nice.
Egg salad apparently involves onions and no mustard :( and for some reason all the premade sandwhiches in shops tend to have bacon, no matter
what the main ingredient is.
One nice thing though, is that everything without meet says suitable for vegetarians, which saves me a lot of time.
Also there is tons of good bread, and they do half loafs of sliced toast bread.
Tons of jam as well as nutella :)
Off license means they sell alcohol to take away. The Pubs all have outdoor sections now as you can no longer
smoke inside.
Also have the best butter. There's also the English market which is open all week except Sunday, which is like a farmers market,
except more meat than produce and it's all indoors (it rains A Lot here). Good place to get eggs and vegetables. but it also has some halls that have random stores like shoe repair
and craft supplys. For some reason the movie theater here has a machine that does coffee, tea, and soup. Soup and a movie is actually quite a good time.
Random Irish expressions:
Randomly say cheers (can mean thanks, can also be used sarcastically, and sometimes just used for no apparent reason) Although still used
more by the British.
Half-whatever= whatver time it is+thirty
Still use random British currency terms even though they're on the euro (like quid and fiver)
Craich(pronounced crack)If you are asked where it is, don't worry it just means fun.
There is also a lot of other random Irish that I cannot spell and still confuses me utterly, as well
as fun regional stuff. Regional accents are also rather confusing and can lead to lots of difficult to comprehend
conversations, but Cork and Dublin accents I've got down.
Groceries : Tesco (cheapest on most things), Dunnes Store, Marks and Spencer (Expensive, but best lemonade) English Market (good for veggies, meat, eggs, some breads)
Convenience stores : Centra,Spar, individually owned things like them
Bookstores : Waterstones<3, Vibes and Scribes (Two of them, one also does used books), Easons (also sell art supplies, magazines, and stationary)
Reads (copy shop, discount books, magazines, writing stuff) Mainly murder (sells thrillers, and mysteries), Other Realms (sci fic, comics, and figurines)
Clothes : Penneys (cheapest, also sell linens, bath stuff, etc),
Marks and Spencer (more expensive), Some Dunnes Stores, Roches (closing), Lots of other individual shops
Music : Virgin Megastore, HMV, Individually owned shops
Electronics : If you know a GOOD electronice store you can tell me (lots of little individual ones, but no major stuff, which is somewhat suprising since Cork is the Europe
headquarters for Apple)
Phone stores : 02, Vodaphone, Meteor (best on prepaid, although I'm somewhat biased)
Tons of jewlry stores, and random one off stores.
I think I have figured out why a lot of stuff in Ireland is more expensive than in other countries in Europe : It all has to be imported, or if it's made here there's a minimum wage that has
to be paid to the workers who live here and have to pay for expensive stuff too. Also A lot of stuff, like magazines, are either British or American, American requires more shipping,
and the British pound is worth about double the euro.
Plus there's the VAT, which is preadded to the prices, it's actually like 20% here, but it's preadded into the listed prices, so at least that's one less thing
to work out when shopping (I get some of mine back :).
I quite like the euro, it comes in different colors, and sizes, and has a cool holographic strip.
It makes it easier to figure out when pulling cash out of wallet, but I'm not as big a fan of the coin stuff.
The euro 1 and 2 euros are coins, and then there are 50, 20, and 10 cent coins that are gold, and then
there are 1, 2, and 5 cent coins that are copper. and these are more difficult to work out when digging through the change in your wallet.
Also on keyboards here, most of the stuff is the same, but some keys are different, which totally messes up how fast I can type, and part of that is
the euro sign instead of @ on top of 2. It totally messes me up when I'm doing e-mails.
I have gotten used to walking everywhere, and the cars being on the other side of the road (left turns on red are okay here, you know who you are)
Also not having to attend as many lectures (my classes are 2 hours one time a week rather than 1 hour classes twice a week) as well as
not having any assigned homework, or quizzes to check up on how we're doing.
And apparently by the grading system in the humanities sections here 70 percent is really great.
I did have another fun suprise today when I went to the pool, apparently you HAVE to wear swimming caps here. So I got to go up to reception were it was freezing in my
swimsuit and buy one. It was fun to go to the pool and have everyone there be as pale as me :)
Another great thing about Ireland they have no : Mosquitoes, Poison snakes (or snakes at all),
Scorpions, Poison spiders, possums (creepy creepy possums)
They also don't have squirrels, but they do have Seagulls and pigeons.
I'm kind of used to the rain, most of the time it's just a constant drizzle, occasionally there's a downpour, and occasionally there is sun,
but most of the time it's drizzle. I've given up on umbrellas, after the 5th one io just decided it wasn't worth it, and I'll just use the school computers, or put my backpack under
my rain coat.
This part was written on Tuesday.
So yesterday was fun. I did absolutely nothing but read, and eat biscuits. Everything was closed for holidays, so I figured it wasn't worth it to go out. Today it's really windy out, but no rain. I'm thinking of going to Galway this weekend to see the Cliffs of Moher with my friend Nicole (who I'm going to Italy with) and next week I've got London and Paris, and then the week after that I'm going to Italy, so I've got a very busy schedule for a while. Today I've got a bunch of errands to run and tonight I'm going out to some Halloween stuff with friends. But I've got class tomorrow, so I can't stay out to late. I still have one weekend free (I've blocked out December since I've got class one Saturday, and I the 16th is out since I'm leaving then, and I wanted a weekend to get stuff done) that I think I'm going to go to Scotland in, but I haven't got my tickets yet, or talked to some of my friends who wanted to go to Scotland too, to see if they could go that weekend. So that's my schedule for the rest of the time. The exact details are not all set up, but I'm getting close. If I do go to Galway I'll take some pictures and you guys can see if you recognize them (hint: rewatch the Princess Bride, also I think I've talked about them earlier, but I'm not sure where).