First of all, here are some photos of our modest housing.
Yesterday we visited friends in a nearby housing development called Gort na Corrib. This was a mistake. Their stained glass windows and spacious bathroom were painful enough. But it was the fireplace that brought tears to my eyes. Electric nonetheless.
The only bad thing about Gort na Corrib is the nearby roundabout. It’s a nasty, European devil that leaves unaccustomed Americans quaking and looking the wrong way for oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, we Corrib kids do have to navigate this monster, too, in order to get to Tesco, Aldis, Lidl, or Dunnes, all our grocery options. As my roommate once said, “The entire walk there I’m just dreading [the roundabout] and coming up with ways to make it across. But crossing back over [weighted down with groceries] is worse. The whole walk home I’m just thanking God I’m alive.” It’s okay, Chlo, we’re in this, lugging our groceries back to our fireplace-less apartment, together.
But the Corrib [Village] kids assure us, yes, Gort na Corrib has clean floors and full-size fridges for a thousand euros per term less than us, but the craic is better in Corrib. (For some reason unbeknownst to me, we are “Corrib” while they are always the lesser “Gort na Corrib.”)
[Note: Craic, pronounced “crack,” is as overused a term as “cool” in the United States. It does not refer to the street drug as it is commonly misunderstood in everyday language by unassuming Americans. It loosely translates as “fun,” but can also be a sort of greeting, as in, “What’s the craic?” Translated into drunken Irish brogh, this is: “’S’tuh’craic?”]
So the craic is better in Corrib. This may be true. In fact, I don’t doubt it. Mainly because Corrib doesn’t lull itself into a low hum on weeknights until 4:15 a.m., so I know someone, somewhere within these barbed fences is having some good craic. I know this time so precisely because the cinderblock walls seem to be made of paper (tissue, one would think by its noise levels and ability to hold heat).
Moral of the story, I think I, and my studies, could do with a little less craic.