Ireland: The Magic of Everday Life / Studying Abroad at UCC

Back to the Basics

I realized over the past day that I’ve failed to inform you all of some of the day-to-day basics of life in the wonderful city of Cork. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with friends and family back home and those question-filled conversations led me here to this.

The time change. If you’re in Wisconsin, the time difference is 6 hours. I’m 6 hours later than you. And for the rest of you…hit up Google. By the way, I know where my readers are from, so Ecuador, France, and Australia…pretty sure I have you  figured out.
Screen shot 2013-01-14 at 5.55.00 PM
The weather. We’ve been really lucky so far with the weather! The first week we were here it was comparable to our spring weather back home. One day I went out in a sweater comfortably. Over the past week it has gotten a bit chillier, but we had absolutely no rain during our trip this past weekend, so that was lucky! And about it raining…it definitely does rain a lot, but often it’s literally a mist. So even though it doesn’t rain everyday, the ground is pretty much permawet. But I’ve seen the sun more than I expected!
This is the view from our sitting room/kitchen!

Prices. They’re comparable, but the exchange rate is currently 1.33. So when I spend €100 (100 Euro) here, it’s costing me $133.00. So I’m still looking for some 33% off deals. Groceries from the grocery stores are roughly the same. We go to the English Market for most of our fresh food and that seems to be relatively cheap and of good quality. The English Market is an expansive covered walkway right in the middle of the city centre. It is set up like a Farmer’s market. I get my vegetables, fruits, and meats there. Other than food, clothing seems overall cheaper. There’s obviously items that are insanely expensive, but it’s easy to find good deals and I love bargain hunting. Their “JC Penney’s” is just Penney’s here (not 100% sure they’re related) and their “TJ Maxx” is TK Maxx. Hard liquor is expensive at the grocery store/liquor store. A pint of beer at a pub is generally €5 ($6.50). I don’t like beer.
Food. I eat lunch on campus a couple of times a week because my schedule doesn’t allow me enough time to walk back to my apartment. It’s nice having meals on campus, but I really enjoy cooking too. I’ve always enjoyed it, but now I actually have the time to make decent food! Other than the fact that not a single light bulb in our kitchen/living room currently works (the circuit breaker is not tripped, they’ve literally burned out), it’s been great. I thought they were going to replace the bulbs today, but they didn’t. Hoping for tomorrow! I’m thankful for the countless opportunities I’ve had to watch/help my mother while she’s cooking. She’s an amazing cook. I do my best to be like her…experiment and throw ingredients together. It’s turned out well so far! Besides the time when I burned a piece of toast. Amateur.
Some chicken stir fry!

My apartment. I live in a two bedroom apartment and have my own room. My two roommates, Katy and Genna, share the second bedroom. They knew each other before they came here, so no worries, they didn’t get the short straw! Our complex is called Leeside Apartments and they are in a prime location. They are right on the river, just like St. Norbert. I’m a 15-20 minute walk from campus and about a 15 minute walk from the city centre. The city centre has everything I could possibly need. Back home if I wanted to walk to a TJ Maxx it would take me about 11.5 hours…that’s if I didn’t get tired after the first hour, which I would. I genuinely love being able to walk everywhere.

Oh, and they spell “center” c-e-n-t-r-e, that’s not a spelling error.

Laundry. We have a washer/dryer in our room, next to our kitchen sink. It’s one machine. The first time I tested it out I just had socks and underwear in the little guy and it worked just fine. Washed it nicely…dried it relatively well. The second time I tested it out, I had a towel, washcloth and few articles of clothing. The knobs are really confusing, so we usually just take a wild guess and hope for the best. This time the machine washed the clothes, wrung them out, but didn’t dry them. I was going to just go with it and hang dry them, but I thought I’d try and set the washer/dryer to dry only. Mistake. Read the instructions, set the dial to 7, water started gushing in like crazy. That entire process happened TWICE. So my clothes were washed 3 times. They’re so clean. And the machine never dried them or wrung them out again. It has been about 3 days now and my sweatshirt is still damp. Oh, and it use to be black/white, but now it is blue/grey/black, but let’s get real, the black/white thing was getting a little old anyway. Things shall improve!

Friends. I am making friends…or at least I’m taking pictures with people who stand closely and smile nicely. They’re great.
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4 thoughts on “Back to the Basics

  1. Ah! I was so excited to see Ecuador on the map! Even though I’m assuming it was electronically created. And also I’ve prob made up at least ten of those 17 views… hope you’re reading mine too!

    • Haha I was equally excited to see Ecuador on the map! My blog automatically keeps track of all those stats. It’s a smart one! And thanks for checking it out so often. I’ll credit you with 59% of the views from Ecuador. 🙂

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