Saturday, December 5, 2009

Last Day

Today is my last day in Ireland..! I can't believe 3 months have passed already. It's weird how time works sometimes.

I just finished cramming everything I've accumulated during my stay into 2 bags. I'm going to have to say goodbye to a few pairs of shoes (I brought them knowing full well I was going to destroy them wandering around muddy fields and walking in the rain.) but I had to make room for new ones =) haha. I'm going to have to wear about 4 layers of clothes tomorrow - but as I remember it's cold on the plane and absolutely freezing in the Philly airport, so perhaps it wont be so bad.

I had an amazing experience here. I have learned more in the past 3 months than I have in the past year - but that's what a good job will do for you. Not only did I learn about design, but I also learned a great deal more about Ireland and Irish culture. I've decided to compile a list of some of my observations:

- According to American standards, everyone here is a raging alcoholic. (at least everyone I met)

- All of the students wear uniforms and get to freely wander around during lunch

- The most common style for guys is a track-suit, and they all have pretty much the same haircut. The men wear button-down shirts and sweater vests.

- The women get fake-tans to go out

- Every bathroom is the nicest bathroom you've ever been into - especially at the pubs/clubs. They all have marble-color tiled floors and the doors are floor to ceiling.

- Heating is expensive, so people just wear a lot of sweaters and blankets

- The phrase "your man" is commonly used, but not necessarily meaning someone that you know - it's more of just another way to refer to someone without saying their name.

- They say call me "on" instead of "at"

- In the suburbs there are groupings of houses that all look the same and are called estates. Each estate has it's own name like The Maples or Avalon. The address for each house is a number followed by the estate name instead of a street name - Example, 23 Avalon, Arklow, Co. Wicklow. Houses that are on their own in the middle of no-where usually have a name instead of a numbered address like "Mary's House"

- Food goes bad very quickly because they don't use as many pesticides here

- It's totally socially acceptable for older adults (over 50) to go out to the club and dance and have fun with people half their age. I met a guy at a club in town (Sally's) once who was 81!

- The majority of people are obsessed with X Factor

- Everyone talks about the weather. All the time.

- The men drink Guinness. The women drink a lot of girlie drinks like Mike's Hard Lemonade

- Irish people are not big fans of the British

- Everyone travels around Europe. It's very common to take a weekend holiday to Spain... lucky bastards

- Most people who have visited America go to New York. The next most common city is Miami

- Everyone seems very politically aware and want to know your opinion

- Guys buy drinks in rounds for everyone in the group and take turns paying

- They say "ya know that kind of way?" or "that kind of thing" instead of just "ya know?"

- Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain, Sun, Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain, Drizzle, Rain = your weather forcast for the day, everyday

Now I'm heading back to the midwest without much but some vague ideas of what I'm going to do when I get there. I'm not worried about that though, on the contrary, I'm quite excited that at this point my possibilities seem pretty endless. A new beginning to make my life whatever I want it to be. That's not something most people can say...

Farewell land of Eire. I hope we meet again soon.

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