Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Journey Begins

Today is my second here in Cork. The sky is gray throughout the day, and already once it's sprinkled. Right now it's sunny but cloudy, and the air is somewhat chilly. In fact, I'm wrapped up in my K-State purple throw blanket with the window cracked slightly.

The way here was somewhat rough but not too difficult. I flew from Kansas City to Chicago, which was a mere one hour flight. From O'Hare, I went to straight my gate, ready to fly to England. The front of the plane surprised me, because there were large gray circular areas with chairs and big screen TVs. At the back of the plane where I sat, there were three rows in the middle (just like the movies!), and I only had one person sitting next to me. She was an older lady from England who was very kind and talked to me throughout the seven hours. We also had TVs, but they were smaller and the only films I was interested in was Robin Hood (Russel Crowe and Cate Blanchette), and Merry Poppins. I was able to fall asleep when I first got on, but the lady beside me woke me up for a snack and then dinner. I tried going back to sleep, but that didn't turn out so well because there was baby screaming for a good three minutes.

Landing was the best part. It was dark when we flew over London, and with all the little lights shining in clumps, it looked as if they were their own islands. After making it to Heathrow Airport, I got off and went straight to customs. I ended up being in the wrong line and was directed to the Irish side. After informing the lady about why I was staying here, I was allowed to go on through. The worst part of the trip was sitting in the airport for two hours. The airport doesn't show which gate to go to for the airplane until about thirty minutes before it takes off. I was afraid that someone would try and steal my carry on or purse. After talking to a group of people who were flying off to Portugal, I felt a little bit better and didn't freak out as much. You hear so much about people stealing things or trying to pick pocket you, but I guess due to the 6am crowd being so few, it was less likely to happen.

The airplane to Cork was so-so. By then I was starving but the only snacks offered were for sterling, and I kept nodding off to sleep. It was only an hour and we were there in no time, so I didn't mind it much.

I had to go through customs again, but this time I panicked a bit because the lady looked like she couldn't find something on the computer, and I was praying to God that she would let me through. Then she handed me my passport and I was on my way (PHEW)! I went straight to luggage claim, and to my relief both of my bags made it. Then I hailed a taxi, but the driver didn't know what street I was talking about. Then he asked the cabbie behind us and was able to get me to the right place. The whole way there I was trying to call my land lord, but the phone number didn't work. After about nine or ten times, I took out the zero in front of the number given to me and was able to get a hold of her. Then the cabbie dropped me off, but it ended up being the wrong building. It was the white building with the red door across the street, and about two minutes of sitting, my roommate and her dad appeared.

My apartment is really cute. It's got a good view of the large hill full of houses from my bedroom window, and in the living is a view of one of the many narrow city streets. The kitchen is small with the tiniest washer and dryer (combined may I add!), and the fridge is just a bit bigger than the small ones you take to college. Copley House is one of the most convenient locations you'll ever find! Right around the corner is a juice shop, and just down from there is hundreds of stores! Books, shoes, phones, grocery, Chinese, Irish pubs, literally everything. It's so easy to get lost in, but I know I'll eventually figure my way around. There's also lots of bridges due to very long river that winds around the city.

I LOVE my roomates! I share a bedroom with Jillian, who's from New York, and then my other roomie, Jamie is from Minnesota but she attends OSU. It's so nice having Americans to live with, because they speak English, and it's just nice to have someone that understands where you're coming from. I do want to make an effort to meet new people that live here and befriend them, though. I'll probably get that opportunity once classes start.

Classes are exactly like KSU, only less work. You get two essays, one after the first semester and then another one at the end. Both are three thousand words. There are rarely any textbooks, and most of the classes are lecture. The only disappointment would be scheduling, because there is only one lecture per class. So if two conflict, you can't pick a different time. It's pretty much note taking all the way through, and preparing for the big paper at the end. I'm hoping to take Fridays or Mondays off. Oh, another cool thing is you don't permanently schedule for the first two weeks. You just pick the classes you want to sit in, and decide if that's what you want to take. For my theatre courses, I have to go to a meeting with the professor in charge and go from there. I won't be able too until next week, so I'll sit in on three or four until I figure it all out.

Random facts:
-Most women dress mix matched. They also wear lots of ballet flats with the same color tights (White shoes with white tights, black shoes with black tights, etc).
-The hot water and the cold water have their own water sprouts.
-Coca-Cola is the BEST. It's a lot sweeter, and you can get it served right from the bottle at the local pubs. It's probably the original recipe.
-It takes forever for the toilet to refill the tank. You have to wait at least three minutes!
-You have to pay extra for trash, and for plastic bags at the grocery.
-Soda cans are a lot smaller and cost about $1.30 in American money (one euro).
-The people of Cork are extremely nice. Many of them are cheery and like to help out. However, that wasn't the case last night when a man at the pub started yelling and got kicked out. Lol.
-Over due books cost one euro per day from the school library. Also, only students and staff with ID cards can enter. The best part about the library is the giant screen computers on the 5th floor next to all of the DVDs. Too bad I can't play them on my laptop. :(
-Even Kansans have an accent! I got complemented on mine today. :)

Will write more in the next few days. I'm very tired and sore from carrying my extremely heavy backpack and standing and walking around all day. Off to the store to get some food in the next hour or two.

No comments:

Post a Comment