Whoa. It has been a CRAZY two days. This is literally the first time I've had a chance to just relax since I arrived in Dublin yesterday morning, but so far this trip has been incredible. The plane trip was...long. I first flew from Texas to Newark, which actually rocked because I watched Avatar and The Hurt Locker thanks to Continental's badass new in-flight on-demand. But the flight from Newark to Dublin was pretty brutal. It was entertaining at first because my flight was filled with Irish men crackin' jokes and literally singing Irish folk songs, but once the excitement wore off I just got annoyed. I tried REALLY hard to sleep and consumed a rather large dosage of melatonin, but I literally never fell asleep. Shockingly however, I wasn't even tired when we landed in Dublin, even though it was 3:30 am back home--I'm sure I was running on pure adrenaline and excitement.
After struggling immensely with my exorbitant of luggage, I made it through the airport and managed to find my friend Jennie right away, which was a huge relief. We found the EUSA crew, immediately bonded with our fellow USC Trojans (we have an awesome crew) and headed over to Shanowen Square, where we're staying. The apartments are nice--small--but totally fine and everyone is really close together, which is great. Our USC crew walked to the shopping mall for lunch and some apartment necessities and then passed out for a solid 2-hour afternoon powernap.
Although the smart, responsible thing to do after traveling for 13 hours the night before a 9:00 am orientation would have been to go to bed early and get a good night sleep, we are college students and we don't like to make good decisions. So naturally, we rallied and decided to explore the city. We started off with a bang on this crazy double-decker bus that we decided to transform into our own personal party bus. I'm sure after a while, being completely reliant on public transportation will be irritating, but for the first time, it was oddly fun!
We ate dinner at this ridiculous 3-story pub/restaurant called Porterhouse, and the food was actually delicious, despite the commonly held belief that Irish food is less than stellar. Even at 8:30 pm, Porterhouse was so alive with Dublin nightlife. Young Dubliners were everywhere, sitting at their "regular" tables no doubt, laughing and talking with one another in true Irish fashion, and drinking their traditional Irish beers--mostly Guinness. It was vibrant and exciting, and I couldn't wait to see more.
This morning, we were all SO excited to wake up at 8 for orientation (ha). You would think that after not sleeping for literally 24 straight hours, staying out late, and waking up early I would be exhausted, but I've been strangely awake and energetic all day. I think I'm just so excited to finally be here that my body is refusing to show any tiredness that might prevent me from taking advantage of every single second in Dublin. I have to literally force myself to rest. I guess it's a good problem? Anyways, orientation served to get me even more excited and eager to begin my internship and meet my boss and coworkers and truly start my time here in Dublin. Afterwards, a few of us grabbed lunch at this cool pub on the DCU (Dublin City University) campus. I learned that in Ireland, "silverware" doesn't exist--it's "cutlery." Oh on that note, can I just say that I am 100% obsessed with the Irish accent. I literally go out of my way to speak to anyone and everyone Irish just so I can hear them reply. There is something so endearing and irresistibly charming about not just the accents but their whole demeanor and vernacular in general, and I could not be more thrilled that I am going to be surrounded by Irish people all summer. I'm hoping to adopt the accent when I go back to the states. After lunch, we headed back to Shanowen, and I FINALLY unpacked. Now I'm just relaxing and resting (ugh) until we all meet up before dinner and hitting up the city! Tomorrow I have my preliminary interview with my boss at Totally Dublin, which I am simultaneously ecstatic and nervous for. All in all, an amazing start to a sure-to-be unbelievable summer. I'll be back tomorrow!