Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2nd week

The first time I went grocery shopping in Dublin I was surprised when buying my things to realise that grocery stores here don't provide 'paper or plastic' here for you! You have to bring your own bags or buy them at the grocery store. This will take me a couple trips to get used to....so far I just keep forgetting my bags. However, yesterday I discovered that it will cost me less to have my groceries delivered straight to my front door than to take the bus to get them myself. Sweet.

My friend Alexia and I made it our goal to visit every county in Ireland before she leaves (she is only here for one semester) There are 32 counties....and we've been to two so far! Galway and Dublin. I am also making a list of everywhere else in Europe I want to visit while I'm here: Scottland, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Estonia, Turkey, Thailand, and Greece. Such a long list! Hopefully I can visit most of them :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

1st week of school done.

I survived my first week at UCD! The week went smoothly and I like all my classes....so far. :) I am taking Biology, Intro to Psychology, Pagan Celts, and Art History. The school system is different here, instead of your grade consisting of homework, participation, a midterm and a final, classes here are based primarily on your final. So, I hope I do well on my finals!!!

This weekend Alexia and I are going to tour Dublin and do all the touristy things there are to do here. I'm excited, it is such a beautiful city.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Address

Justine Toro
5-9-1 Glenomena Residencies
Dublin 4

Monday, September 6, 2010

DUBLIN! Alright, here we go...

So after two six hour flights I finally made it into Dublin around 4:45 in the morning Irish time, around nine p.m. USA time. My wonderful wonderful friend Sean Murphy, an exchange student from ireland to sjsu that I met last semester, met me at the airport to take me to campus and show me around town (or what was town at 5 am!) We had breakfast at a small irish cafe and then began to waste time until I could check in at my apt on campus.
We drove around Dublin a bit, but couldn't see much because it was still dark at this time. So we drove over to campus to walk around a bit but of course, typical Ireland, it was pouring so much we quickly made out way back to the car.

I wonder how long it will take me to get used to it. Whenever we would get into the car after being somewhere I would always walk to the driver's side door, and Sean would be like, 'uuuuhhhhh justine, wrong side....' haha. It will def take some time to get used to.

Next adventure was at the mall since it was nice and dry (mind you this is around 8am, I have never been to a mall that early!) Sean helped me get a phone and comforter there. A lot of the stores there are the same, it looked like it could be a regular American mall. Except there were these cool things there, they were like escalators, but flat! Loved 'em, walked backwards on 'em :)

Now we had sufficiently wasted enough time and I was able to check in. Long story short, checking into my apartment consisted of: huge campus, lots and lots of walking in the rain, super long lines (or queues, pronounced "Q") amounting in hours of waiting, sore arms from hauling all my luggage, and a hungry stomach. However, it was all fun, it was so funny to hear irish accents all around me. They don't say our "th" sound at all, so whenever they say something like three it sounds like tree, or third sounds like turd. Hahahaha. love it. But my check in went without any problems and I got into my room and got my student card.

Then we went to the Irish equivalent of Safeway, called Tesco, where I got hangers, shampoo/condish, some food, toilet paper, and a mug. I am currently in my room listening to Tay Swift and the heavy rain. I unpacked some, hung up some pix and my flag. haha. I will post pictures of things later.....

So far I lovelovelove Dublin. A lot of it is different and strange compared to what I'm used to.....The ambulances are yellow, people drive and walk on the left side, the accents, the brands, the people. I love it all and can't wait to see more of it! ....Good bye for now.....

Slainte! (Gaelic for 'cheers' or 'good health')

p.s. I have yet to meet my suite-mates, cross your fingers for me!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Family send-off in SF

At the Legion of Honor art museum
Sister lovin'
My wonderful family at Fisherman's Wharf
Desperately trying to jam all my stuff into my suitcase. Stupid 50lb. limit!
Squishing all the air out of clothes...

For my last day in the U.S. of A my family and I went to S.F. (since that's where I fly out of) and spent the day there. :) I leave bright and early tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. where I will fly 6 hours to Boston, and another miserable 13 hours to my final destination in Dublin, Ireland!!!!