Dec 30, 2012

The last post

Some of you have only had time to pop in here occasionally.  And some of you have been walking with me since August.  Still others among you fall somewhere in-between.  But no matter where you land on this spectrum, I'm grateful to you.  Thank you.

When I began this blog, I did so with modest expectations and an admittedly chirpy intro.  (For goodness' sake, I used footnotes.)

As the months passed, I was continually surprised by how many of you were following me.  As I had expected, this space became a helpful place for me to process all that I was experiencing, especially after the end of October.  (Also, I scrapped the footnotes.)

Today, I write in an attempt to close this chapter with some grace.  A few friends in Galway have actually asked if I plan to continue the blog, because - imagine this - they like my writing.  have toyed with the idea.  It might be a good way, after all, to keep them in the loop.  And writing is one of the best ways that I process.

The penultimate post

Since I've come home, life - in all of its to-do lists, color-coded schedules, and long-term agendas - has rushed forward to meet me.  In the spring, I'll need to start apartment-hunting.  On June 16, I'll graduate from college.  Two months later, I'll receive my white coat.

But I'll come to those bridges soon enough.  For now, a narrower focus will suffice.

Tomorrow marks two weeks since I arrived.  Two weeks.  And a week from then, I'll be moving back to Schenectady.  This is hard to believe.

Dec 19, 2012

Homebound, Part III: finally.

On the plane, just after I finished the second post in this series
Hi, friends.  Here's the last part of the story for you...

The rest of the flight went surprisingly smoothly...and I will admit that when I felt the wheels hit the ground, I bounced in my seat like a small child.  "I'm home!" I squealed to my seatmate, a graying old codger who surveyed my glee with obvious amusement.

In hindsight, perhaps having my camera out at Customs and Border Control wasn't the wisest decision...but hey, I was excited.

Dec 18, 2012

Because quiet time is precious

There is a little boy curling into my side, breathing soft and slow.  I wonder if he's dreaming of Spiderman.  Spiderman's his latest hero, you know.  How I've missed this...

I'm home...and it's good.  So good.

Homebound, Part II: ready or not...

Hi, friends.  I'm sorry that I've been AWOL for a little while.  Being home has proved to be a greater shock than I anticipated.  I'm going to need some time to process...but in the meantime, here's some reading material.

The plane out of Shannon was tiny - it looked like a baby bush plane.  As I toted my bag across the airstrip, I thought, that thing's really too small to be carrying anyone anywhere.

There's the airport from my window.  And it's hardly visible because of the glare, but directly below those letters is the arrivals corridor where I remember standing in August.
Despite my apprehension, the hour sped by and I soon found myself in Manchester...or, to be more specific, at baggage claims in Manchester.  My bag's checked all the way through, though.  Where am I supposed to go?

Dec 16, 2012

Homebound, Part I: camping out in Shannon

It felt a little strange to turn in my apartment key.
My bedroom for the past four months, stripped bare.
I spent my last few hours in the apartment writing some letters...
...but had to put that on hold when my friends came round to pick me up.
This is a quiet airport, friends.  It's literally me, three security guards, and the lanky guy napping at the departures desk.

Dec 15, 2012

To my Galway family

I love these two...but they're a little camera-shy.
To my dear Galway family:

Oh, gosh...I'm crying already :P

Business first: I'm leaving for Shannon around 6 pm tonight with M and R, and will hang out there until my first flight (to Manchester) leaves at 7 am tomorrow. I'll have two hours there and then it's 8 more to if all goes well, I'll be in New York by 1:40 pm on Sunday (6:40 pm Galway time).

Now that that's out of the way...look, you all know by now that I like to write. And usually, I can find words. But in this case, words really aren't enough. Still, let me try...

Dec 14, 2012

Because my family's the bestest family

A few hours ago, I said goodbye to two friends who have become family.  Wow.  I thought I'd never have a reason to want to return to Galway...and then I met these two.  I'm going to miss them more than they know.

And then there's the whole community-family to which they introduced me.  Check this out: upon hearing that I needed a ride to the bus station, two (other) friends offered to drive me...all the way to Shannon.  Now, my flight leaves at 7 am...which means that they've offered to leave here at 2:30 am to get there by 4 am.  And then they're going to drive all the way back.  This, friends, is friendship, service, love...and it's crazy, but it's also true.

Because I found these as I was packing

It caught me off-guard, this little postcard.  I was holding a pair of pants, mid-fold...and had to stop and remember.
I bought this for you at Clonmacnoise, a monastery I saw on my trip to Dublin.  It's a Celtic cross; there are lots of them here, especially at the monasteries.  You'd appreciate the way the stories have all been carved that anyone might see and understand.

After the trip, I tucked your postcard away, resolving to write the letter later so I could give it the proper attention.  I had the words already, though...words about Galway and being this far from Mum and my friends here and what I've learned to cook and med school classes and how I miss you, I miss you.

I was going to send it.  Would that still be appropriate?

Dec 13, 2012

Because it's important to be real

On some mornings, it hits like a wave.  A tidal wave.  Out of nowhere.

I hadn't cried for days.

For days, I'd been preoccupied with "lasts": my last weekend with dear friends, my last time at church, my last hug with this person or that person.  They're bittersweet, these "lasts".  Each one pulls me away from the ones I'll miss, yet nudges me toward those whom I've been missing all this time.  And it's simple physics, isn't it?  Two equal and opposite forces, battling it out...and I'd been motionless, pleasantly lost in the distraction of it all.

Dec 12, 2012

Because I have a thing for candles

I had grand plans today - to clean the apartment, write some letters, have a conversation that I've been putting off, finish a book that I put aside many weeks ago.

It's almost 4 pm and I've done a whole lot of nothing.

Why?  Because as I untangled myself from the sheets this morning, fumbling for the snooze button on my phone, one of my feet hit the half-packed duffel beside the bed.

A travel update and some puppy pictures

The clock is ticking.

My bus ticket to Shannon airport
My first flight (I have a layover in Manchester) leaves at 7 am on Sunday, and there are no buses that leave early enough on Sunday to get me there in time.  So I'll need to take a Saturday bus and camp out overnight in the airport.

Dec 11, 2012

Because home can be complicated

Yesterday, in mentioning my mixed feelings about going home, I wasn't as complete as I could've been.  In describing all of that nervousness, I focused on thoughts of Union and ignored one important factor - something that, yesterday, was too intimidating to write.  Friends, writing something - the very act of molding the the raw idea into words and sentences - lends it weight.


And this is the reality I avoided yesterday:

A few winters ago, right from the driver's seat

Dec 10, 2012

What happens afterwards?

I'm 21 years old, and yet have been told that I sometimes read like a 35-year-old mother of two.  But there are days when I feel more like I'm 21-going-on-3: like today, for instance.  Today feels like a prime day to throw a toddler-sized tantrum because my heart hurts and that's not okay.

Don't get me wrong; I've traveled a long way since the end of October.  Getting out of bed used to be a chore.  But I've finished my exams and am now using these final days to reflect and process as much of the past four months as I can.

And by this time next week, I'll be home!  Yes.  This is a thrilling prospect indeed.
In fact, I'm halfway packed.

Dec 7, 2012

Good heavens, my brain is tired.

Let winter break begin.


For better or worse, I learned and crammed and remembered and wrote as much as I could.  My results won't measure up to my standards, but I've known that for awhile.  Still, I tried and that's all anyone can ask of me - including myself.  Right?

Why waking up early can be rewarding

5:30 am: Silence usually spooks me before it stills me.

Regardless of the context - conversation, driving, trying to sleep, writing, studying - I generally need a fair amount of time to settle into silence.  There's something about the early morning hours, though, that renders all of that settling-time unnecessary.

In the interest of full disclosure: it could be the coffee, kicking in.

I'm strongly considering a refill.
But it could also be this hush, this undisturbed calm before all of the day's demands begin to clamor into the places where they ought to back off, thank you very much.

Dec 3, 2012

Distraction...or avoidance?

The periods of distraction are growing longer and longer.  This weekend, in fact, was one long loverly distraction.  Here are some specifics:

I baked a walnut-cinnamon apple crumble,

began to journal in this gift from one of my friends here,

and, on Sunday morning, sang (yes, sang!) soul-settling Christmas music with a family I will miss dearly.  (I wish I had a photo of us to post here for you - that, I suppose, will come in time.  But trust me - if I ever return to Galway, it will be to visit this family.)

Dec 1, 2012

In which I remind myself about what matters

After the official end of term (which was the Friday before yesterday), the university gives students a week off before exams begin.  I call this the study week.

My upstairs neighbors call it the play-techno-music-that-shakes-the-walls-until-4-am week.

So on Thursday night, I braided my hair, slipped into bed, and thought, it would be nice if they would just go to bed so I could rest.  We all need to study.  Don't they know what really matters?

Nov 29, 2012

This is how I know

Someone asked me this evening, not unkindly, how I know you're proud of me...and the answer slipped out easily, as easily as my own name or a weary sigh at the close of the day.  With some answers, you don't have to think - you just know.

"Because she told me so.  All the time."

Will you forgive me for using the past tense?  I had to, although it feels wrong; people give me strange looks when I use the present tense.  Won't you just come back?  This is so complicated; I've never had to think about my verb tenses before.

Nov 25, 2012

Handling the "no"

Yesterday, 10:35 am: Saturday.

There is a measure of relief in Saturday.  All is quiet - so quiet, in fact, that I can hear the clock ticking away on the mantle.  We don't use it because it runs slowly unless it's on its back, where only the ceiling gets to know what time it is.  And when I sit still enough, stop the trembling, I'm surprised by what I sense: a heart, beating, a pulse, steady.  I don't even have to feel for it.

That's how grief used to be - like a pulse.

And nearly a month later, there is a measure of relief in what it's become.  These days, it's more like my breath.  It ebbs and flows, draws back for a moment before it crashes on the rocks.  In every day, though, it's always in the background...a reliable sort of soundtrack.

On Wednesday, I donated my old boots and promptly bought a new pair.  They weren't very expensive, friends, and I do like my heels.

Nov 19, 2012

An end-of-the-day toast

Here's to that second glass of wine...because a little more Merlot couldn't hurt, right?  (Right.)

Here's to an evening chock-full of the most mundane (read: satisfying) accomplishments - laundry, dishes, and laying out tomorrow's clothes.

Here's to using peppermint tea to ease a heart that now panics on a daily basis.  (I'm thinking that can't be good...)
Here's to a normal-ish weekend spent watching "The Lorax", horsing around with a puppy named Joey who likes to park himself on my feet, and helping to teach a Christmas song in junior church.
Here's Joey!  Isn't he a pretty puppy?

Nov 17, 2012

My little corner of Galway

This afternoon is a remembering afternoon.

Everyone was always after you to exercise.  It hurts your knees, I know, but we just want you healthy, and some exercise is better than none at all, right?  You must know this.  But I'll bet you never knew that some of my favorite - yes, favorite - summer afternoons were spent walking with you in front of the house.

On the flip side, Commercial Street is plenty exciting.  I'm pretty sure that whoever came up with the phrase "thrill of the hunt" did it after a day of shopping on Commercial Street.  After years of exploring, I still don't know every little alleyway and shop - that's A.  (I never told you this - or her, for that matter - but I've always thought about saving her name for one of my children, if I have daughters.)

Nov 15, 2012

30 days (give or take a half-hour)

30 days.  In 30 days, I will snuggle under the comforter with my sweet boy.
He wanted to give the snowman a belly button that winter.
In 30 days, I will grab my guitar and we'll sing every single tune on Taylor Swift's new album.  And then we'll tackle Selena Gomez and Bieber and whoever else has gotten popular since I hit Irish soil.

Nov 14, 2012

Thank goodness she's here.

The room was spinning.  Spinning.

Where are my legs?

Let's backtrack.  At maybe 9 pm this past Saturday, I was knee-deep in a mental checklist for the next morning.  It probably wouldn't be responsible of me to bike all the way to Salthill.  My body's a little too beaten up to tackle those hills.  Surely someone could give me a lift to church.  After posting a Facebook message on the church page to see if anyone might be available, I left the laptop open on my bed.

The Sunday before this past weekend, I’d been in Derry, and the Sunday before that was the one I wish I could forget.  This was the first time in those two weeks that I was planning how to get to church the next morning.

I padded over to the dresser to plan an outfit – oh, it would be cute if I wore my new leg warmers with those jeans – and draped my choice over the back of my desk chair.  This chair is borrowed from the living room table, because my real desk chair has a loose bit of plastic that snags my clothes.

Nov 10, 2012

The milkman

My friend Emily spent her October writing a series about rest - or, as she so endearingly dubbed it, hush.[1]  Now, I'm the type of person who's in constant pursuit of rest - yes, I mean sleep, but rest is broader than that.  Rest is different.  Rest - at least, for me - is more buoyed by perfect calm, more intertwined with joy and its lightness, more anchored by the hopeful heart.[2]  So as October slipped by, I eagerly followed, read, commented, absorbed the lessons she was teaching me, and delighted in walking beside her.

I almost finished October beside her, too.  But toward the end of that month, life dealt my family a rough hand.  The cards haven't been staying in my hands, either - on the contrary, they've been flying everywhere, bouncing off the walls.  And on examination, none of them say anything resembling rest.  (I may be asking too much when it hasn't even been two weeks yet, but like I said, this is a constant pursuit.)

Nov 8, 2012


As a junior, I was really lucky in the campus housing lottery and landed myself a "dingle".  (For any non-college students reading this, that's a single student living in a double, a room meant for two).  I had more space than I knew how to use.
And this was just my side.
This arrangement, which came without the company of a roommate, did get lonely sometimes, but it also gave this introvert the privacy she treasures.  It had a thermostat just for me and a carpeted floor beneath my toes.  It was able to contain all of the family and friends who surprised me there, on two separate occasions, for my twenty-first birthday.  The two beds gave me the freedom to have sleepovers whenever I wanted.

But do you want to know the best thing about that room?

I had my own bathroom.

Nov 7, 2012

Irish dance and Dixie cups

Do you dance?

A friend suggested yesterday that I dance.  "Dance angry," she wrote to me, because that was clearly all I could manage in the midst of the panic - "but dance."  The five minutes I spent trusting her directions were tiring, but they also gave me a nudge: go back to class, Sonika.  You need to move.  She put it best: "You are a whole person: spirit, soul, and body.  Don't get so stuck in your head that you forget to involve your body and spirit."

So that's how I spent an hour of my evening today - moving.  In a dance class.  And it was an hour of stamping-my-feet angry, but perhaps that was the point.  €2 bought me the rush of pushing my body as far as it can go...and then further still.  Just focus for an hour, I told myself.  Make yourself focus for just one hour - focus on nothing but turnout, speed, and height on your toes.  You can do that.

Nov 6, 2012


"There is a sacredness in tears.  They are not a mark of weakness, but of power.  They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.  They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love."
- Washington Irving (American author, essayist, biographer, and historian)

I'm all tuckered out.  It's been a long day.  But tonight, I'm going to try to write an essay.  Thanks to a dear friend's exhortation, this is now the goal.

Nov 5, 2012

A season of many naps

For some reason I wouldn't be able to explain, the Bay reminds me of this song I learned in grade school choir.  We always sang it in canon: "By the waters of Babylon/We lay down and wept/We remember thee, Zion."
To all of you well-intentioned, shoulder-patting, suddenly-wise-and-theological crazy people out there: you're being awkward.  You are doing nothing constructive by telling me that "at least she's not sick anymore!"  Offer me all the hackneyed platitudes you want, bud, but do it at your own risk - the risk being that I will find the energy to explode at you.

Whew.  Now, to the rest of you:

This is a season of many naps.

Nov 4, 2012

The North, Part III: legen...wait for it...

The wound is yet so fresh.  How is it that an entire week has passed?

Four hours to Galway, friends.  Thus ends the last class trip.  This morning began with a tour of Derry City, the longest continuously inhabited city in all of Ireland.  (People have been here since the 600s.)  It bears many names, including Londonderry, Doire (“DEW-ruh”), The Maiden City, and – perhaps most obviously – The Walled City.
A view from atop the wall.
Just over a mile long, this formidable barricade extends around the entire settlement.
Ferryquay Gate is one of the four original entrances to the city.  In December 1688, James II was met here with a famous stonewall (beg your pardon) when his troops tried to lay siege to Derry.  The Irish, being Irish, refused to budge.

The North, Part II: we all need peace.

Saturday morning: The sauna was real.

So was the pool, and the (surprise) steam room.  Last night was like a Sunday afternoon at home; by 10:30 pm, I was thoroughly worn out and burrowed into the hotel comforter.  Had I not woken with a frenzied start at 4 am (and 4:30 am, and 5:15 am), it would have been a completely rejuvenating night.

Still, the sauna was real and warm and woody and I've breathed relaxation for the first time in days.

Nov 3, 2012

The North, Part I: think of the sauna.

Friday evening, around 6 pm: Hello, friends, from the coach bus I’ve gotten to know quite well over the past few weeks.  I write as the bus trundles up a hill, on the last leg of a journey up to Co. Derry.  This will be the North – yes, the bit that’s part of the UK and prefers sterling to the euro.  My itinerary boasts accommodation in a Best Western, and rumor has it that a pool and sauna are there, just waiting for this overtired girl.  (Since there hasn’t been any hot water in the apartment for a week, I hope this sauna actually exists.  It might just be what my shoulders need.)

Nov 2, 2012


I'm up too late (or early, perhaps) mulling over something N wrote to me a few nights ago.  It's giving me a headache, her whisper that your ashes will be kept in the grotto on the balcony.  You'll live beneath those tangled flowers you loved.

Do you remember that as a girl, I used to ask about the etches in your nails - where they came from?  And that I would play with the veins in your hands because it fascinated me to see them pop out like that?  You said that's how you knew I'd love the piano - because I "played" on those veins.  Confession time: I still do that now, but with my own hands.  Sometimes.  I once thought it was just restlessness - an absentminded habit - but now I remember why.

Nov 1, 2012

Come back

The River Corrib, on my way to campus.
I got out of bed this morning because I promised K I would go to school for one day.  I washed my hair, too, and it feels light and clean but is falling out in clumps.  Something told me it wouldn't be responsible of me to bike to class, so I walked and stopped a few times along the way because my calves were cramping.  It was a long walk and I vaguely remember a classmate passing me at one point.  She offered a few quick remarks - the ones people give because they don't know what else to say.  I know you meant well, friend, but you said, "time heals" and the rage bubbled up like kettle steam.  You're lucky that I was using all of my energy to focus on the walking.

It felt surreal to be in class; everyone was making the usual lewd jokes and carrying on intelligent discussions about a book I stopped reading on Sunday.  But 11 am finally came along, whereupon my professor walked my dazed little body to his colleague's office.  A kind woman named M made me tea and - thank goodness - did not say that "time heals", but that "time helps you get used to it".  She said she was proud of me for finally leaving the house (thank you for understanding how much effort it took), and then she asked about the funeral.

I missed it, M - it was Tuesday afternoon.  Cremation.  How do you do that, I wonder - reduce a whole person and a whole life to ashes in a jar?  

Oct 31, 2012


The past few days have blurred together.  I think today is Wednesday.  My computer calendar agrees.

I remember that on Sunday night, I couldn't sleep.  I stole catnaps here and there and kept the music on.  (Please keep sending music.)  And since Sunday night, I've done nothing but sleep.  Why? bed is safe.  My bed is warm.  No one dies in this safe, warm bed.

On Sunday night, I caught a few of my cousins on Skype, and we chatted some.  (They live all over the world, so someone was always online.)  The conversations weren't exactly cheery, obviously, but it still felt good to connect with them.  I know they love me.  I'm jealous that they got to fly to Bangalore from all over while I lay in bed on my left side and typed with my right if that might be enough.

Oct 29, 2012


If you're expecting another post about green hills and sheep, let me do you a favor and gently direct you away for now.

For those of you who haven't heard yet and are concerned, there's been a death in my family.
A few cousins and me.  The story goes that they used to put on plays and I wanted so badly to be they gave me the pink ribbons and let me run around.  Ladies and gentlemen, my family.
She's not in this photo, because I will cry if I have to see her face...but this is her home.  She is one of the most important people in my life.  I will not use the past tense, primarily because I'm not convinced that the past tense is necessary.  If you want more detail than this, ask.  And look, friends - I know this blog is supposed to be about my experience of being abroad, but this intrusion is now part of that experience.  So if you will, allow me a bit of flexibility, because things aren't following the rules I set out in August.

These words have been brewing since yesterday afternoon, when I crawled into my bed and decided not to leave until I was good and ready.

Oct 25, 2012

There's something about a hot shower...

My Endocrinology professor requires white coats for her labs.  I feel like I'm cheating, wearing this when my white coat ceremony isn't until August...but it does give me a thrill to see myself in it.  I'm choosing to view this as practice (yes, at wearing the coat.  August is mere months away, after all.)
Although I'm posting this now, I wrote it at noon, huddled warm in a library chair and dreaming of coffee.  It's been a tiring day.  (And to my Union pals: I have yet to find anything at the NUIG library that compares with the couch tubs in ours.  I never thought I'd miss the library - that's a laugh and a half.  You all may also be interested to know that this one closes at 10 pm on most days, unlike our oh-so-healthy 2 am.  Preposterous!)

Oct 24, 2012

Cork, Part IV: Moher and Moher cliffs

It's a little Hallmark (which I'm normally not attracted to), but I couldn't resist.
Our last stop on this trip was the Cliffs of Moher.  They're one of the more popular tourist attractions near Galway (at this point, we were about 90 minutes away from Gort.)
The view, just moments after I alighted from the bus.
And yes, that is real.

Oct 23, 2012

Cork, Part III: in which I crouch, climb, and dangle

I probably wasn't supposed to do this, but it felt necessary at the time.
As you can see, the Blarney Castle gardens brought out my inner child.  And yes, that's Blarney as in the Blarney Stone.

Oct 22, 2012

Cork, Part II: Jack, I'm coming!

There's really no eloquent or profound way to put this - at least, not as far as I can figure out - so I'll just say it.

I love "Titanic".
They said, "God Himself could not sink this ship."  With those dimensions and a nickname like "Queen of the Ocean", I wouldn't have disagreed.
"Titanic", friends, is the gem of Hollywood, the love story that trumps all others, the story that never fails to bring me to tears.  Every.  Single.  Time.

Oct 21, 2012

Cork, Part I: a tour

I found this in downtown Cork City.  Right on!
Some Irish wisdom, straight from the backs of the sugar packets.
I'm back from Cork, friends!  This weekend trip was packed with things to do and see...but I understand the difference between "good" fatigue and "bad" fatigue, and this soreness along the soles of my feet is of the "good" variety.

Oct 14, 2012

Dropping anchor

Today's one of those days when all I need is this:

Over the past six weeks, as I've explored what it means to live abroad, I've been on the lookout for reasons to be thankful.  Gratitude (when I can manage it) has an "anchoring" effect on me; when I don't make a conscious effort to embrace it, I'm liable to spin off in a thousand chaotic directions.

Oct 10, 2012

Kerry, Part II: the quaintest little town...and some more churches

On Saturday, a few lone seagulls joined me as I watched the buoys bobbing at sunset.
Back when I was looking at colleges, my mum took me on most of the campus visits.  (Ironically, I ended up at one of the three schools that I visited with my dad...and the first time my mother saw Union was the day I moved in.)  We had a joke, Mum and I, that grew out of the similarities between all of the Connecticut colleges.  (When I say "all"...I should explain that I applied to eighteen schools, and visited more like twenty-five.  I've since become a lot less insecure.)  One afternoon as we drove through central Connecticut, it occurred to us that our experiences were all beginning to blur together.  Each college town seemed to have cobblestone streets and vintage streetlights.  Each campus seemed to have identical sets of verdant lawns and an easygoing, peaceful vibe.  One, in fact, called its academic requirements "General Education Expectations", as if it would be just fine if a student didn't finish all of his coursework before graduating.

And then I ended up in a program choc-a-bloc with requirements and limitations and rules.  Figures.

Oct 8, 2012

Kerry, Part I: lime trees and turrets

That's right - they added a door at Bunratty Castle just for me.
I'm back in Galway again, friends, after another weekend trip.  Pardon my absence, if you would; there were many moments this past week when I wanted to write, but sensed that what I needed was to be still.  Indeed, I've been wondering lately whether, in fact, I should be spending these months (i.e. this time away from friends and family) learning how to be to be to rest.  I am easily overwhelmed by the loudness in silence, but press on nonetheless.

Oct 1, 2012

Me, a waitress?

It's true - I waited tables today.  It looks like no two days at CROI are going to be the same...

When I got there this afternoon, the building was positively bustling.  In the sea of staff rushing to and fro, the first thing I noticed as I shed my raincoat was the wall to my right, where two tables sagged with the weight of many, many plates.  And each plate had a slice of cheesecake on it.  Hang on there; isn't this supposed to be a cardiovascular health charity?  (I would later find out that the "cheesecakes" were posers - the caterers had had some Bailey's whipped cream on hand and decided that a little creativity was in order.)

Dublin, Part III: locks and tombs

Here’s my last post about Dublin, friends.  It’s a little overdue, but better late than never.  A few quick updates before I begin:
  • I’ve decided not to switch apartments after all.  (Again, if you haven't heard the details yet and would like them, let me know.  It's probably for the best.)
  • I’m not sick anymore.  My voice is still irritatingly rough-sounding, but on the whole, things are much, much better compared to how I felt last week.
Back to business, then.  Saturday was spent touring/exploring Dublin:

Sep 26, 2012

Dublin, Part II: poetry in a pint

At 4:30 pm on Friday, I woke up with an imprint of my scarf on my cheek and the following graffiti on the wall outside my bus window:

It doesn't get any clearer than that, I thought groggily.  The excitement in the air was nearly tangible as the group trooped off the bus; as you might imagine, the Guinness Brewery visit is one of the most popular excursions on this entire term abroad.