So how about a real post? Not one done really quickly on the bus, or one done just to say 'Hey! I'm still alive!", but a real I-actually-sat-down-and-thought-about-what-to-say post. Well...sorta thought about what to say...
First things first, I apologize for my negligent behavior. While I can't promise that it won't happen again, I can promise that I will work harder to make sure it does not happen again. I am after all a student, and you know how we get, constantly wander off and needing supervision and all that.
Quick re-cap of the major (at least photographically) events of the last two months, with some smaller things thrown in for fun. October - Connemara, Culture Night, Maynooth, and Trim. November - Rome, Florance, Cliffs of Moher, Newgrange. December - SNOW. For the record though, the snow started in November. No really, it did. Also in the last two weeks-ish, I've added another page. This one is called the 'Links for Pictures' page. Guess what it has. Links for picture albums on Picasa! You're right! How did you know? I'll probably update it more than this, simply because it's quicker, and easier around 3 am. It will also provide you with one place to find all the links gathered instead of searching through posts.
I've also updated some of the other pages. Here's a brief highlight:
Things I miss from Home: Thanksgiving. Not having to leave the building to do laundry.
Things I've learned: a trip to a goal can be profound. So can a trip to a whiskey distillery.
Run down of picture albums, links for which can be found on the afore mentioned 'Links for Pictures' page (link above). Dublin is the new album for random pictures, it includes things like small mini trips like Kilmainham, or a few pictures of our snow days. Yes, I said snow days, but I'll explain later. Cliffs of Moher Trip is everything that happened on the bus ride to the Cliffs of Moher EXCEPT for the Cliffs of Moher. Those can be found in a separate album called, you guessed it, Cliffs of Moher. Newgrange has it's own album. I've also made a whole album for the Castles I've seen, but Trim and Maynooth have their own albums as well. Florance is in an album by itself. My trip to Rome is broken up into two albums. Area Sacra and Rome.
I just finished writing my last paper of the semester...five and a half hours ago. I'm not entirely sure when my first exam is, they rescheduled it, but I'm thinking they might have to do so yet again...if not, well no biggie. Why did they reschedule it you ask, well because of the snow of course! Didn't I mention that? I thought I did...Oh well, I might as well tell it again.
So, as of this past Friday, yes, Black Friday for the US, it's been snowing on and off. My friends have informed me that this kind of weather is completely unheard of for them. Ireland does not know how to deal with it the same way we would at home. While I'm sitting here going, it's just snow guys, the news casters have been throwing phrases such as 'state of emergency' and 'severe weather conditions' around since Saturday. How much snow you ask? Ummm...somewhere between 2-5 inches around campus. Yes I said inches, not feet. I know that some places have more, but I'm not sure how much. They really don't know how to deal with it. No, really, there aren't any snow plows and I doubt they have shovels or ice choppers like we have at home. It's kinda really pretty though, look at the pictures...just not in front of any little kids.
I've officially survived taking classes in a foreign country. I still have to hand in the last paper, and take the exams, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm not sure I'm ready to start walking towards it yet, but I've already done some small things to prepare. There's a box sitting in my room packed and taped to be mailed home, and another that's half full. I've started a list of things to leave with a friend in the event that I can come back (I'm very very very very hopeful).
I love catching the bus into town and just wandering around. I love walking past the guy by St. Stephen's Green Mall who sings and plays the spoons. Spoons! He plays spoons for instruments for gods' sake! There's a guy near Marks & Spensers who made a guitar out of an oil can. And there's the old man with his bundle of sand who shapes it into a dog named Sandy. There's the guy who dragged this organ like thing into the middle of Grafton Street. And the guy on Henry Street who plays the violin absolutely beautifully. And the random groups of teens who sing or play instruments. There's the dog in the sidewalk in Temple Bar and the golden eye like thing. There's the mosaic by Kilkenny Design, and the bullet holes in the Daniel O'Connell monument. The Molly Malone Statue and the Dublin Spire. The Ha'Penny bridge and the Meeting Square market. There's the food market and the used book market. The ice cream shop and the store with jewelery from around the world. There's just so much to see and take in, even without the shopping. Some days I just love to walk around for hours. Up and down the same streets, feeling it in the air.
My mum and gran came to visit in the beginning of November, and I'm so very glad they were here and I got to see and spend time with them, but when they left, I wanted very much to go with them. I love Ireland, really I do...but as much as it finally feels a bit like home, I want to go home. I want to sleep in my own bed, and see my nephews, and drink with my cousins and pet my cats, and fight with my mom, and bitch about my brothers and yell to my gran (not at, she's really just very very hard of hearing).And I wanna do it in person. While wearing clothes other than the one's I've been wearing for the last four months. I want to wear my favorite jeans and my purple sweater with the hole in the shoulder. I want to wear those brown boots I bought before I left and still have to break in. I want to not have to think about food in terms of how much I can make and have enough to save for later but still be small enough to fit in the fridge I'm sharing with five people. I want to make a pitcher of margaritas and watch my mother get seriously tipsy (sorry ma, it's true and you know it). I want to talk food with my dad without subconsciously thinking about how long I'm on the phone. I want to walk into a supermarket and be able to find things. Like evaporated milk. Without having to ask someone.
These past three months, and the next three weeks have been and will be absolutely amazing, and I wouldn't trade them for the world. I'll remember them for the rest of my life, but I'm starting to look forward to going home and having people understand me and me understand them like 85% of the time. It'll be nice not to have to think whether people will understand the things I say. Not that I'm complaining, that's part of the adventure. I'm just ready for a lack of stress for a while. And I know that within a few hours of being home all I'll wanna do is come back. Mum and I already have a bet that we'll be fighting on the car ride home. Neither of us doubt it, it'll absolutely happen. And then I'll walk in the side door, and get bitched out by one cat, then the other, then scare the shit out of the new cat, then fall asleep in the bed. And then, when I wake up completely disoriented and confused and see my wall and bookshelves and desk and dressers and John, then, and most likely only then, will I feel like I'm home. At which point I'll probably go pick another fight with my mother...or maybe my brother. Yeah, it might be my brother's turn....