Ireland: Settling In / Studying Abroad at UCC

Guess what the fine is for smoking in a non-designated area…

Well we made it. The Irish man handling customs at the Cork airport was pretty excited when he saw that my birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day. He asked me if they treat me special on that day. Needless to say, customs was not what I expected, it was a breeze.

We took a taxi from the airport to our apartment Wednesday (Jan. 2) and had no trouble finding Leeside. Our taxi driver gave us a nice little driving tour through the city and was one of the first locals who began proving that Cork is a genuinely friendly place. We tipped the taxi driver, which we learned later isn’t customary (and neither is tipping anyone on any occasion). Good to know.

This is the view from our apartment building stairwell. Pretty cute! The view from my bedroom isn’t quite this lovely, but if I stand really close to my window and look to the right and to the left, it’s pretty nice!
IMG_0728We’ve been here for over 48 hours now. We’ve explored the city a little, we’ve gone on a few grocery store excursions, unpacked (mostly), met some locals, checked out a few pubs, took two taxis and a bus, and today we had our orientation at UCC from 9:30-4:00. Learned a lot, took a tour of the campus, had lunch on campus and received our official UCC ID cards.
IMG_0604Oh and the fine for smoking in a non-designated area is €3,000 ($3,955.50)!!!! Holy smokes!! How punny. But seriously, about $4,000 if you’re caught smoking in the wrong place. That’s one way to make sure people don’t break the law.

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