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

20 More Fun Facts Learned Thus Far (57 Days)

It’s been 52 days since I posted “25 Fun Facts Learned Thus Far (First 5 days)”. Seems like a fitting time to compile a new list. Either that or I just feel like procrastinating my homework a little while longer.

  1. It’s rare for a bathroom to have paper towels. About 95% just have hand dryers and 65% of those don’t actually dry your hands, they just warm up the water and leave it to sit.
  2. I literally walked through a pair of my shoes. They were both cracked and had holes in the heels, but I had planned on buying a pair each month because they are only €3, so it was expected! And who doesn’t want a new pair of shoes each month??
  3. Coleslaw comes with a lot of our meals as a side. It’s also a common sandwich “salad” or what we would call a topping. It seems to be consistently tasty here. If I’m on campus for lunch I’ll normally get a hot chicken baguette with cheese and coleslaw for €3.
  4. There are no squirrels. I went from the squirrel-covered grounds of SNC, to a country that literally does not have squirrels. Either that or they’re all in hibernation.
  5. The best drink I have had thus far is Rekorderlig Strawberry Lime Cider. Literally the best.
  6. The “police” here are called the Garda. Garda Síochána na hÉireann means “Guardians of the Peace of Ireland”. They do not carry guns.
  7. The eggs at the grocery store are not in the refrigerated section. This is why apparently:
    “The answer appears to be that US regulations require that eggs be power-washed, which removes all organic matter (and any harmful bacteria) but also strips the egg’s shell of its protective coating, thus rendering it more porous and open to contamination. A synthetic coating is often applied in commercial operations to combat this but the eggs are still refrigerated. The USDA also requires that eggs be sold under refrigeration, regardless of how they are washed, so even your super-crunchy health food stores are going to keep their eggs in the refrigerator or risk being shut down.” (
  8. Everywhere you go the two options for bread are White or Brown.
  9. It’s week 8 of classes. So after I go to class tomorrow, I will only have 4 weeks of class left. I’ll be 2/3rds of the way done with classes! [For those of you who don’t know, we have the entire month of April off to study for finals (aka travel Europe!). I personally only have 2 finals in May because 3 of my classes are for international students, so our professors kindly scheduled our finals during the last week of March!]
  10. They have a food called “Digestives” here. They sound healthy, but they aren’t. They are biscuits…or cookies. For a package of like 25 it’s less than a euro. So that’s dangerous.
  11. Today’s date (February 27, 2013) would be written 27/02/2013. Back in the states we arrange it in ascending order based on numerical value, but they arrange it by size effectively: day, then month, then year. Seems rather logical and I’ve gotten use to it.
  12. We haven’t been able to find powder flavoring for water, but they have something called “Squash”. It’s a juice concentrate that you mix with water.
  13. Most times are in 24 hour/military format.
  14. O’Conaill’s hot chocolate is the absolute best.
  15. Fairies are talked about more than Leprechauns by far. And they aren’t fairies like Tinkerbell. The folktales about them are legitimately some of the most disturbing and scary things I have ever read/heard.
  16. Fanta here is like a hybrid between juice and the Fanta we have at home.
  17. We went to the Court House today as part of my field trip and saw judges. The judges actually wear traditional, white, horse-hair wigs that cost around €2,500. Even though this requirement was eliminated last year, they still choose to wear them as a semblance of dignity.
  18. Bread molds ridiculously quickly because they do not use preservatives like we do back in the states.
  19. The dogs are well trained and friendly! They are rarely on leashes, I’d say 95%+ roam about freely on the sidewalks and never run away. Perhaps it’s because they don’t have squirrels to chase after…not sure.
  20. I literally have the most thoughtful family and friends. You guys have been amazing and have made this whole experience easier than I ever imagined it to be. Your genuine interest in what I’m up to gives just a glimpse into how caring you all are and how lucky I am to have you in my life. I don’t think I have gone a day without someone messaging me on Facebook, commenting on my blog, talking to me on skype (regardless of the fact that the connection is so bad you can only understand ever ____ word _ say.), or sending me a package…just to ask how I am, what my plans are for the weekend, or to send me a little present! I wish each and every one of you could come over and see Ireland for yourselves…so if you ever have the opportunity, don’t pass it by. Love you all and thanks again!
    best fam ever

3 thoughts on “20 More Fun Facts Learned Thus Far (57 Days)

  1. I’ve always felt the best way to travel is to immerse yourself in the culture and learn from the locals. I feel your blog is a close second ! Thanks for sharing your life experiences with all of us.

  2. Great blog! So many of your fun facts remind me of times my hubby took me back to his hometown in England or of things I have learned from him…and digestives are great dipped in coffee or tea! I am glad you are able to experience traveling overseas like this. Oh, in case you don’t recognize me, I used to babysit you and your sister. Your mom worked with my mom, Julie.

    • Thanks Michelle! I did recognize your name, not because I have impeccable long term memory :), but my mother has mentioned that you were my babysitter. And I hope my blog about England represented your husband’s hometown decently too! Thanks for reading and for the response. I’m definitely glad I made the decision to study abroad as well.

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