Being from the mid-west I’ve experienced my fair share of weather, but I can honestly say that I’ve never lived in such rainy and wet place! Best purchase for this trip? Rain boots. Hands down! While preparing for Ireland, I did my research and looked up the climate in Cork. I expected it to be rainy, but I didn’t expect it to rain this much! I have been told that this winter has been a pretty mild winter too! What really is amazing is how the locals are never phased by the rain, even when it is pouring! The Irish are definitely a tough group of people! Me? I not so tough. I was walking home from school one day last week, and a bus drove right past me in to the biggest of puddles and completely soaked me to the core. I couldn’t help but laugh at my situation, because (1) I was totally being a foreigner and not paying attention to what was going on around me, (2) everyone else was laughing at my situation and (3) publicly crying is not my forte. I think I took it like a champ, and kept going about my day. Everyone else was soaked due to the rain, so I didn’t stick out too much.
Classes have started for the semester and I can’t be more excited for what is to come! My classes are challenging, but the people in them are fun and make it seem like we aren’t even in class at all! Being a Political Science major, in a different country during the political climate of today makes for really interesting and in some cases eye opening conversations. It is interesting to see different ideologies, and perceptions of politics, and the world! I’ve found that in conversations with the locals, no matter what it is we are talking about, they are always very gracious and kind. Working up the courage to actually talk to a local is the most difficult part of the conversation. I’ve even gotten used to the Irish accent, so really my own anxiety is the thing that gets in the way!
I am also adjusting to the Cork lifestyle as well. In Kansas City I have the luxury of driving my car everywhere I need to go, but here the best mode of transportation is your feet or the bus. Most of the time I walk everywhere, but when I am feeling extra lazy I’ll ride the bus. I was surprised at how fast I became accustomed to the city, the people, and transportation. I know all the short cuts through the city, how to get to all the best pubs, stores, and parks. At first I was very overwhelmed by the city, but really it only took a couple days of wandering around to get myself orientated with the place.
Overall, my first few weeks have been wonderful! I’ve been keeping in contact with my family and friends so I don’t get behind in their lives, but I have also made many new friends and experienced many wonderful things at the same time. I think the biggest take away from my first two weeks, is that no matter how much I sing “rain rain go away come again some other day”, the rain doesn’t seem to listen.