1.13.2010

Advice from an Irish Student

“In 4 months we won’t be able to tell ye’s Yanks.”

It’s a pity taxis are so expensive because the drivers are some of my favorite people here.

We went on a campus tour the other day, so that we could feel justified in being angry when we get lost from now on. Unfortunately it was rather helpful, as well. No thanks to the tour guide. James’ informational tidbits held more sexual innuendo than actual information. But he did give us some valuable advice.

1. “The only thin ye need to know is the big yellow thin.” (A giant yellow sculpture in the middle of campus). “Nobody knows what it is, but ye know where it is. And when yer smashed ye come here and stare and try to figure out what’is.”

2. “That’s a good building ter know. It’s the IT building. The guys in there haven’t had sex since before 9/11.”

3. [pronounced “tree”] “All Irish men are interested in three things: sex, food, and football. Not necessarily in that order.” What about alcohol? we asked. “Ah, drink’s a given. Didn’t think I needed to mention that.”

4. “Don’t be an American while yer here. Try to blend in.” James works at one of the most exclusive nightclubs in the city and we wanted advice on how to get in. “Ye got to dress the part.” If there’s one thing we’ve noticed, it is that the girls here dress…differently than us (they wear more sparkles and less clothing). James explained this. “Irish girls, they’re generally less attractive than their American and European counterparts. So they’ve got to make up for it. With the heels and the make-up…” I’m sure we looked shocked. He just shrugged as if it was obvious. “I’s the truth. We are an island.” You’re lucky there were no Irish girls around to punch you, James.

And then he left us at the library with the other tour guide. “I leave ye now, this part’s boring. Good luck.”

And this is the upstanding guy they found to represent their university?

In other news, it rained all day yesterday. It was warm enough to melt the ice and give us some “normal weather,” according to our neighbor, Mairead. Just a few more weeks of the unbearable cold and then it should be just miserably cold.

I’m more tired than I’ve ever been before. I guess it’s the toll of all this new stuff; everything is mentally and emotionally and sometimes physically exhausting. I woke up with a bad cough this morning, but I’m lucky. Doug and Bridget (Americans from St. Louis) are just getting over colds, as well, but Dan finally went to the campus health place (an Irish kid had to take him there, I’m not the only one that gets lost) and the verdict was swine flu (none of that H1N1 bull over here).

Anyway, some of us wanted to hop over to Scotland for a few days, but we haven’t been registered with the Garda yet, so there’s no guarantee of being able to get back into Ireland. Until we’re registered, we’re stranded here. So we’re hoping everyone will be feeling better by the weekend for some Irish day trips. All the Irish kids will go home, so we’ll be on our own again.

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