Friday, July 9, 2010

Ireland day 2, Eyre Square!

This morning I woke up at 5:30 and I couldn't fall back asleep. Not sure what was up with that. I got to bed at 11pm, I guess I was just rested? I hopped online to pass the time and hoped Jake would be on. Lucky for me he was :3 We were able to chat until he went to bed, which was nice, then I got ready for the day. I was hungry so I mosied over to Miriam's house to find food, but I'm not familiar with the kitchen and I felt uncomfortable rifling through her cabinets (even though I'm allowed to), so I just grabbed an apple. FYI, apples here are tiny, as are oranges and bananas. Not sure what the deal is with that, unless we do something crazy to ours in the States and that's why they're so huge? Either way, tiny apples!

Our house in Knocknacarra.

At 8 Maisa woke up and by 9 we were back over at Miriam's place. I had cereal there and then the two of us went into town via the number 33 bus! The ride was enjoyable and strange. The roads here are pretty narrow, so sometimes the bus pulls over to allow oncoming traffic to pass. I was very entertained by all of the low walls made of stones and the huge fields of cows. Once we got to Eyre Square we went to the indoor shopping center. Maisa and I both have internships that take place there. We found the location for Photo One studios and I waited there until Brad showed up. Time is a strange thing in Ireland, no one is expected to keep it! A lot of the stores were supposed to open up at 10, Brad's included, but they were closed until around 10:10 or 10:15. I guess that's common.

So! Met Brad, he's a super nice guy, and he gave me a phone to use while I'm here. I met Catherine, a woman that covers the store while he's shooting on location, and I hung around while Brad did a family photo shoot. I chatted with Catherine and had a muffin and a very watery hot chocolate. All in all, a good time! I went to a Vodafone store and added €20 to my phone, then wandered over to Maisa's store. Apparently here when you "top off" your pay as you go phone and you add at least €20, you can get either unlimited phone and text to your carrier, or unlimited texts to all carriers, both for 30 days. I didn't realize this, and the guy that helped me didn't tell me. Maisa and her manager sent me back to the store to get the unlimited text to all carriers option put on. Apparently even if I'm out of minutes I can still text! Pretty fancy :D I had some Subway after that. The guy working there was Polish. It was difficult to order because some of the menu options are different D: They have some wacky Doritos flavors there, and cool ranch is just "cool original".

Neat alley way across from Holland's.

I went to leave for the bus and Maisa said if I wanted to hang around for an hour we could catch it together. I decided to opt for that and so I walked around the Square and took pictures. At 2 I went to the bus stop and found my spot. The bus came, Maisa wasn't there, and then it left. I thought maybe she was running late so I texted her and told her I was still waiting. She responded saying she went to a different stop because she missed the Eyre Square one and thought I was already on the bus D: D: So I waited another half an hour for the next one. I was joined in my seat by an old man who didn't understand the phrase "you're in my space".

Here's where things got stupid (but then better again): I've never had to rely on public transportation before and whenever I'm on a bus I always have someone with me that knows what they're doing and will lead the way. SO, with that in mind, I didn't realize that I had to alert the bus driver to let me off at my stop. I assumed those "stop" buttons were for when people wanted to get off at stops that weren't normally on the drivers route? I don't know. Either way, my stop came and went and I was still on the bus! I sat stupid for a while, the old man leaning on me, before I decided I'd just get off the next time the driver stopped. There wasn't a "stop" button within reach of me and even though the seats around us had cleared this man insisted on being extra close. So on we went, turning left, right and then right again. Finally a woman got up and the bus slowed, I stood up and this man just turned his knees to the right. I was thinking, "Really?!" I practically fell on him trying to get to the aisle. I had probably a mile walk back to my stop and I had my fingers crossed that I had remembered the route well enough! Fortunately I did, because I'm back here now :D

I have some more notes from today:

9:48 am: Eyre Square Center: Met a Polish guy named Lucas; he works at a Subway.

10:07 am: Eyre Square Center: Time is a strange thing here. Shops that should be open aren't. I'm waiting for Brad to show up. I guess it's customary to be late. (That's what I've read, anyway)

12:55 pm: Eyre Square Center: Just bought Subway. They don't have yellow mustard. They have corn though! Also, no ice. P.S. no cheddar triangles, just shredded.

1:46 pm: Eyre Square: I bought a tiny Caramello bar from a corner store called Holland's. Seriously, it's so small.

2:12 pm: Eyre Square bus stop: Waiting for Maisa and the bus home. I spent €55 on a 30 day bus pass, €20 on adding money to my phone and ~€5 on lunch. I have maybe €8 in my purse. *sigh*

2:24 pm: Eyre Square bus stop: Bus stop still. Apparently, "Are you long here?", means "Have you been here long?", not "Will you be here long?"

2:49 pm: On the bus. T.K. Maxx! ???

2:55 pm: On the bus. Starlight by Muse is on the bus radio. Do they play this in the States? I never listen. I feel funny.

3:11 pm: There's a guy on the bus that looks like Danny.

Saw this on my walk home.

3:16 pm: Missed my stop. I apparently don't know how buses work. I'm about a mile away from home. Time to walk.

€1900?!?! They mean business!

3:36 pm: I found a penny! And I managed to find my way back!

It shall hence forth be my lucky penny.

I don't know what a coach is. A huge bus? Who knows.

Clearly I've had an epic day, and it's only 5pm!

-MJ

***EDIT***

I went out with Maisa and Catherine tonight. We did some warm up drinking and then hit a bunch of bars in Galway near Eyre Square. We met so many interesting and fun people and saw a good portion of downtown. The night ended with us making some new friends and eating curry fries, garlic cheese fries, and a fried mars bar. We have plans to watch the World Cup final with them on Sunday! Hurrah for new friends :)

And now, my final updates:

11:39 pm: The Front Door (pub): "Oh no, put on your glasses" .... "You would look good in suspenders"

12:00 am: The Dail Bar: It's 80s night here! Everyone knows the words to "I need a hero"

12:05 am: The Dail Bar: "Do you really have real live cowboys in Texas" and then she swooned when the answer was yes.

12:12 am: The Dail Bar: Maisa can flirt so good even a girl will buy us drinks.

12:40 am: Coyote: The bathroom here has deodorant that you can pay to apply.

12:56 am: Cuba: This bar has video game screen entertainment. Currently? Mario Kart SNES.

1:00 am: Cuba: Someone just asked me if I'd dance with their friend. I said no thank you.

1:17 am: Cuba: Finally danced.

1:34 am: Club K: "How much does a polar bear weigh" "I don't know" "I'm just breaking the ice, my name is Tony"

2:40 am: A Chips Place: Just parted ways with some really nice people. We made new friends! We have plans to watch the World Cup at a pub on Sunday! We're in a cab now.

2:45 am: Cab Driver: "You've got the best approach I've ever seen. Now let's see if your departure is half as good" <- in reference to men not leaving you alone in a club.

-Miranda

12 comments:

Daniel said...

Excellent!!

Cass said...

lol oh, moe. i was laughing practically this entire post. the weird man leaning on you? what was with that? was he tired? was he old? was he coming on to you? what was the deal!?

i enjoy your pictures very much! and i love hearing about the culture differences. please take note of more!!

yay for lucky pennies!!

MJ said...

He was old, I think it was the source of the issue here lol I'm writing down a list of words that they use here that are different from what we use in the States! I'm enjoying keeping a list of things that happen during the day and then posting them later :)

Danny it was freaking me out how much this guy looked like you!

Kirstin said...

The fruit thing, btw is generally because in European countries there are regulations as far as the use of pesticides on fruit or veggies. As in, you can't use them if the food is for human consumption.
So fruit and veg tend to be of different size and slightly different taste here.

Poor you on the bus! You're finding out the lack of "the bubble" that Europeans have as far as personal space. I've heard that since we Americans have "the bubble" concept because we have a bigger country to begin with. I don't know, but it's true...wait until you go to Asia! psh.

So glad you're having fun, Mo! Enjoy it! Try new things and have the time of your life!

MJ said...

I wondered if that was the case regarding the fruit. I think I'm finding it easier to eat actually, it's a less daunting portion! I don't necessarily mind if a stranger is touching me because there's a lack of space, but he practically kept me hostage on the bus haha xD Although I have heard that Americans have serious personal space issues, in a way.

[Pseudonym] said...

Old men do as they please. This includes, but is not limited to, sitting/pressing against pretty, young foreign women who speak english while they pretend to not understand. Everyone understands personal space. He's just old and doesn't give a shit. Did tell you that you're pretty? Even in your goofy raincoat.

Love you!

MJ said...

No, he didn't say anything :P My raincoat isn't goofy!

Melanie Rowe said...

I'm going to enjoy reading your journal of thoughts and events. Do you really think the old guy on the bus was just oblivious? At least you didn't comment on his body odor, so it doesn't sound like he was offensive :)

Cass said...

i love it!

everyone loves the american girl lol

so glad you're having a fun, and entertaining time :)

MJ said...

I think he was just oblivious yeah. Personal spaced is viewed far differently here, as in there isn't any! And no he didn't stink lol. I'm enjoying doing updates through the day and then sharing them all at once, I'll be doing my best to keep it up!

The three of us got hit the whole night. We couldn't walk five steps without a guy reaching out and saying something to at least one of us. People here are very friendly and forward! They also like Americans a lot.

gnatw said...

Good on ya Miranda! I love how you are blogging. It's informative and highly interesting to read in it's format. So great choice on that.

MJ said...

I'm glad you're enjoying it :) I really want to remember as much as I can and I love blogging. I figure if other people appreciate it too that's a plus!

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