Well this is definitely going to be the hardest blog I’ve written. In the past few days I have had to overcome something: crying in public. Before coming to Ireland I frequently have said to folks, “Well, I rarely cry in real life but I cry in every movie and TV show”. This changed this past week, though I still do cry in every movie and TV show. Let’s back track a bit. Since the last blog a few exciting events occurred. Continued to practice with a volleyball team and it was so fun being way more connected then we were before the tournament.
In a hotel room in Dublin watching some boy band I have never heard or seen before. Turns out they are some HUGE UK 90s pop band called Take That. The concert is huge with like tons of guests. Guess one of the 90s boy bands made it through. They are the ‘top selling band on Amazon’ and had the fastest selling album of the 21st century. I didn’t Wikipedia them or anything. lol weird that I have never even heard of them. Sometimes the world is so small and other times still so big.
END OF SIDE NOTE
Per suggestion of my lovely roommate Nicky, my roommates threw me a surprise going away party/ you’re done with your Fluids final party. See the Irish don’t take exams for classes they take in the fall until the summer. Basically they get all of April off school to ‘study’ and then have like 12 exams in May. Since I won’t be here, I had to take exams students have a month to study for with a week to study. I was pretty stressed and it sucked because I wanted to be fully enjoying my last two weeks in Cork but studying held me back. Held back is in the Irish sense though lol. That weekend my volleyball team went paintballing and then had a lil’ get together afterwards. Now when you normally experience pain, it makes you not want to do that event that caused you pain. Yet, for some reason I enjoyed paintballing. It was strange. It hurt so bad but was actually really fun. It has been over a week since we went, and I still have bruises. Plus, the next day due to an unfortunate series of events I had to ride my roommate’s bike somewhere and it was a horrible experience. I was so so sore. Then, the get together went uh well. All I can say hard-circular-object destroyed me. I know that doesn’t make sense. Sorry I’m not sorry. The next week I had to say bye to my dear Conal. L Going to miss that boy too much. But we sent him off with our last family dinner. The last week just Jamie and Lisa were around. I, again, had a lot of studying to do but took time to hit up the Jameson factory with Amanda and her fab sister. Then, said good-bye to her and the wonderful Irish gals we hung out with Tuesday night. Amanda was a bit easier to say bye to because I will see her in February when I got to San Diego for a medical imaging conference.
So, I have a bit of a flaw. Well, I have others but only one to address right now. I tend to care way too much about the people close to me. I know that probably does not sound like a flaw but me wanting a pat on the back but seriously I invest a lot in every relationship I have. However, the downside is that I easily get hurt when the care is not reciprocated or a friendship I invest a lot is broken so easily by the other person. Hence, often don’t let people in because I know this little weakness of mine. Sadly, one of the producers of tears this week was someone taking advantage of that. Had met someone and thought we both considered it just a casual/ enjoy each other’s company sort of thing. Had a talk clarifying this like 3 weeks before I left and gave an out then if that was not okay. Then, had him promise to just not freak at the very end. Guess what happened? He ended up letting what other people thought mean more than what we had talked about. And freaked about having ‘commitments’ when I was leaving literally the next day and would likely never see him again. Ugh. Boys are so annoying. In his defense, was nice about it all but wish it could have waited one more day. So, that sucked. But maybe just a little way to make it easier for me to leave, hey? Met up angrily with Chenae right after and the restaurant we went to (our favorite) got to see sad Bri. Luckily, Chenae and others reminded me that it was not worth getting bothered about.
ANYWAYS. The majority of the tears came from saying good bye to the rest of the people that have made this trip so great. I just really love the person I was here and that I could be completely myself in any given situation in Ireland. In the states, there is a lot more pressure at parties to always be on you’re A-game. In Ireland, no one really cares and they just want to have fun. Like the last party we had at our house consisted of a bunch of art students, rugby players, Americans, musicians, and those in-between, and everyone got along great. I don’t believe I would ever see such an eclectic group like that back home. It’s sad. It will be hard to go back to a place where I have to think more about what I say or do, especially because I never realized I had to do that in the states until I came to Ireland. Plus, the Irish are pretty much impossible to offend and put fun before work (definitely the opposite of the states). I am someone prone to migraines, and I haven’t gotten one in Ireland. That says something. Saturday we all did the ’12 pubs of Christmas’ AKA go to the 12 pubs on Barrack street and get a drink at each. I think everyone was just a little off because we all wanted to have a blast but at the same time were all super bummed to be leaving each other. Ended up going to a bunch of places not even on Barrack street and took little Lisa home early. Rachel, bless her heart, made us pancakes upon return. The next morning I packed and said good-bye to my lovely Jamie. «Insert more tears». Did I mention my roommates got me the most fabulous ring ever?? Then, went to breakfast with Chenae, her man Sean, Rachel, and Lisa. Tried black pudding (made from blood). Felt I had to before leaving and then hit up some of my favorite places in Cork: AKA got hot chocolate. I spent SO much money this week on Christmas shopping that I avoided going to any of my favorite Irish stores that day. Then said bye to Lisa and Rachel. LOVE THEM. «Insert more tears» Then dududu said bye to Chenae (and Sean lol). You know in the movies where one lover stands on the platform waving while the one on the train tries to remain in view for as long as possible? Yea, we did that. So, the whole train got to see a teary-eyed Bri.
Now, I sit in Dublin airport eating my final fabulous European scone. The other American roommate in my house was more of the stay-in sort of person and decided to write not such nice things about my housemates in one of her final blogs about what she “won’t miss about Ireland”. I mean I guess to each its own but it’s sad because my roommates and other close friends MADE my experience in Ireland. It has literally been the most amazing experience of my life. So here are some things I will miss from Ireland:
1. How words in America do not match those in Ireland. Recent example: when someone in Ireland asks for a rubber, do not think they are asking you awkwardly for a condom. A rubber in Ireland is an eraser.
2. Scones. They are so good.
3. Butter. Though their dairy made me sick, the butter here is just a million times better. Fresher I think.
4. Tea. Mmm. Barry’s Tea changed me from an everyday coffee drinker to an everyday tea drinker.
5. Laid-back lifestyle. The Irish, again, put enjoyment before work, and I hope to bring that attitude back to the states.
6. Volleyball team. My volleyball team was amazing and my weekend with them was one of my best. It was so great to be a part of a formal team again.
7. Travelling easily. RyanAir makes travelling within Europe so cheap and everything is so close. America is so far away. Will miss being able to go to London or Scotland or wherever for the weekend.
8. No political correctness. Again, the Irish cannot be offended and don’t care at all about being politically correct. If you take it offensively, they view that as your fault. “It’s all good craic man. Relax.”
9. Style. People here dress much better. Especially for classes. Sweatpants are a no no.
10. The city. Cork is a rather large city with 150,000+ residents. Will miss living in a city not too big like Chicago but much bigger than Iowa City. It really is a fun experience.
11. My pharmacists. My lovely New Zealand pharmacists were so helpful with me not agreeing with Irish food. They even gave me chocolate the last time I visited them. Too cute.
12. Mentoring. Got to read with underprivileged kids in Cork. Will miss my mentee.
13. Accents. It will be so lame going back to a place where everyone sounds the same.
14. HOT CHOCOLATE. Convinced the best hot chocolate is in Cork.
15. English Market. Fresh markets are hard to beat. English market was so cute and great.
16. Penney’s. Yep, I will miss their darn cheap prices and cute clothes.
17. Rain and green. Though the rain was frustrating at times, I will miss how green everything is here due to the rain and that everyday whatever happened yesterday sort of gets washed away.
18. My house. Living in a home was so much fun. Apartments are nice but it is hard to beat a house. Except, here homes come fully furnished, making it that much more enjoyable to live in one and not have to worry about that. Too many good memories at 7 N Mall.
19. Different opinions. When you study abroad you meet people from all over America and all over the world. In the Midwest there are different opinions but not to the extent when you get Irish, Australians, Germans, Italians, Californians, Colorado-ians, East Coast people, Midwesterners etc in a room: opinions vary A LOT more. Loved learning new perspectives
a. Best recent one: talking to Jewish , American friend Adam on the train to Dublin and he was explaining the Jewish version of the devil. That he is not someone not under God’s rule that tempts you to do bad things, but works for God to notice when you do bad things. Thought that was a very, very interesting way to view the devil. As more of a police officer rather than an evil force.
20. My roommates/ Chenae/ Amanda/ Rachel/ Tara/ Brit/ Meg/ errone else – You are truly the reason my trip was amazing. Thanks for everything. I love you all.
So much more I will miss but 20 things for now is good. I had no internet service at the airport and am actually home now. The day I get home its rainy. How fitting. On the plane I felt tears come to my eyes a few times but there was a very good looking English guy sitting next to me I chatted with. He held back my tears. Well, I guess this is it. The last Irish blog. I love you Eire. Love you all.