And don't go into Mcdonald's asking for curly fries (they have those here), because it's Twirly fries, and if they say crisp, don't be surprised either. Crisps = fries, chips = chips or fries. It's a complex thing.
Holy. Mother. of. Pearl. When they say "Big Tasty" they actually mean it! When every single thing around here comes in tiny cups and little boxes, it will blow your mind once you actually see this sandwich. Oh, and expect a medium fries when you order a large. That's just how it works.
What's strange to me is how they try and get you to buy things. Chips, cola, beer, etc. will have "20% more!" or "35% extra." Lots of percentages are used, but what gets me is that I don't really fall for it as much as I do when I read "Buy one get one free" or "50% more." 10%-40% just doesn't sound like a lot to me, so I don't feel eager to buy the item as much.
This past week I tried my first Swedish strawberry-lime cider, and it was heaven. Tastes just like strawberry soda pop. I also had my first wine cooler, and that was pretty good as well. For those of you who are not 21 yet, it might be nice for you to know that the drinking age is 18 around here. The only thing is, most pubs will only serve drinks to people between the ages of 21 and 23. Not all of them, but don't be surprised if you're denied alcohol.
Just a side note: If you want hamburgers, go to Burger King, but if you want chicken, hit up either Mcdonalds or Hillbillies. Mcdonald's has the worst hamburgers around here. My Big Tasty was charcoaled black, and the last few times I've had a Quarter Pounder, it was dry and tasteless. Super yuck and disappointing. Also, in the afternoons Mcdonald's is so packed that you have to wait almost 20-30 minutes to eat, but if you go right across the street to Burger King, it's nearly empty. ;)
I'm currently thinking about taking a pastry class from a little known shop called Petits Fours. The website is: http://www.petitsfours.ie
I haven't looked at their courses or anything yet, but I always walk past them on my way to UCC (on Washington street), and there are chefs rolling out dough every morning. It looks and smells amazing! Oh, and if you buy their hot chocolate, you can get marshmallows that they made themselves! It is a bit expensive for hot chocolate (3.75 euro), but that's what I normally pay for chai and the occasional mocha, so it's not too bad.
I've spent the last few days coloring and sitting around the apartment while listening to French music. I now have three day weekends, so tomorrow I'll be hanging around, too. Wednesday Morning there's a free Thanksgiving breakfast, and on Thursday there's a dinner as well. The free dinner is located at the Iona chapel, and in addition to that there's also The Bar, which is serving turkey, ham, and hot dogs (lol) for a fee. I'm so glad I won't have to miss out on my favorite holiday! There's no way I was going to learn how to bake a turkey all in one week.
12 days till Paris! Did you know that the Republic of Ireland is more expensive than Paris? Which makes life so much more awesome, because I really want to bring back some amazing souvenirs. And yes, do not be fooled into thinking Cork is going to be cheaper than other European countries. Although England tends to be expensive, my guess is that you end up spending just about as much here as you would outside of London. In fact, here's a price list of what one would normally pay for basics:
Bread: 1.50 euro
Starbucks coffee: 3.50 euro (medium/grande)
2 litre soda: 2 euro
Tooth paste: 2.50 euro
Chips: 3 euro
Meal for one person: 3.50-5 euro
Canned veggies: 1.35 euro
Candy bar: 1.50-2 euro
Pound of ground beef: 3-5 euro (2 euro at English Market)
Pricing for some essentials:
Comforter: 30 euro
Pillow: 10 euro
Sheets: 15-25 euro
Headphones: 16-35 euro
Blanket: 5 euro
Shoes: 9.00-200.00+ euro
Shirt: 5-25+ euro
Pants/jeans: 25-40+ euro
Colored pencils: 15 euro+
Drawing paper: 3.25-8 euro+
Anyways, that's all I've got to say. Time for some music and pastry class searching. :)