these few initial days in ireland have been full of all kinds of irish firsts.  in an attempt to document these milestones, here is my irish summer in firsts:

my first...

words spoken: after wandering around for a good half an hour, i finally manned up and asked an airport employee where the bus station was at.  i didn't even really understand his answer, but he pointed me in the right direction and i ended up where i needed to be!
goof-up:  my final destination where my supervisor was picking me up after my bus trek from dublin was at a shopping centre called "arthur's quay."  phonetically from a U.S. english speaker's standpoint, i would pronounce "quay" as "kway."  as i missed the initial bus i was supposed to take, i panicked that the following one wouldn't travel the same route.  so as the bus driver stepped out i said, "excuse me sir, will this bus be stopping at arthur's kway?"  unamused, he looked me dead in the eye and said "arthur's key, yes," followed by a round of laughter from everyone in line.  i crawled to the back of the bus and hid after that.
goof-up number 2 (bonus!):  in ireland, when someone takes you from one place to another in their vehicle, they are giving you a "lift," not a "ride."  it's taken in an inappropriate context to ask someone for a "ride."  i'd been warned of this and was doing so well!  until about 24 hours in when one of my colleagues offered to drop me off at the grocery store on our way home from work.  we arrived, i hopped out, popped my head back in and yelled, "thanks for the ride! errr-- i mean-- lift!"  cue awkward chuckles from the peanut gallery.
food:  a gas station deli wrap.  i was desperate!
afternoon tea:  so kindly brought to me by a colleague on tuesday afternoon.  with milk and sugar, yes yes.  tea has happened a lot since this first.
coffee:  a latte from costa.
adventure:  on the morning of the first day of my internship, my supervisor brought me downtown with her to the phone shop to obtain an irish SIM card so that i can use my phone locally.  afterwards she had some errands to run, so i weaved my way through the city centre, bopping in stores and meandering up and down different alleyways and eventually found myself back at campus.
loss: an earring back.  however, the earring post itself has managed to remain in my ear back-less since the back's discovered disappearance on tuesday.  i've now made it a game to see how long this earring will last on its own.
friend: i met richie martin at the bus station in dublin.  he'd just returned from a year in new zealand and so kindly welcomed me to his home country and made me feel a little less terrified at my lonely bus station wait.
breakfast:  special k corn flakes with milk.
surprise:  EVERYONE i've encountered has an excellent sense of humor.  ALSO in a completely irrelevant context, i met four german girls who said they can't tell the difference between american english, british english, or irish english.  MIND-BLOWING.  i'm also flattered we sound like the british and irish to them.
lunch: a turkey and cheese wrap and a clementine from a deli near where i'm staying.
dinner:  spaghetti.  homemade.  aka i boiled noodles and poured a jar of sauce over it.
irish meal:  mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and pork.  also three words: fish and chips.
night:  hard.  i was jet lagged, weepy, and reality struck me.  but everyone has those moments and it all turned around from there.
night's sleep:  SO GOOD.  i slept like a rock, zonked out at 6 PM and didn't stir until 9 the next morning.
confusion: times that are half the hour, such as 7:30 or 4:30 for example, are said like "half (insert hour here).  such as: "half seven" or "half four."  i was SO confused - is half seven 6:30 - like half to seven?  or 7:30, like half of seven!?  (i won't even start on military time.  i know i should learn to adjust, but i spent a good part of this morning translating all of the afternoon military times written in our itinerary).
challenge: understanding the accent (some are surprisingly thick!) and navigating both public transportation and the backwards ways of the road.
awkward moment: a (slightly inebriated if i had to guess) irish man asked me my nationality and then promptly made a forward trump comment.  whyyyyyy.
love: it stays light out until about 10:00 PM and the sun rises promptly at 5:30 AM.  i am typically late to sleep, early to rise, so this is a dream; the days feel endless in the best way.
run: 2.5 miles nearly one week after my last run, up the hills and through the neighborhoods surrounding the campus and my residence hall.  the weather is PERFECT for running - cool and light.  it could have been worse but woofta, talk about a calf workout!
grocery list: pasta, sauce, bread, cheese, peanut butter.  staple items in my pantry.
giggle: i, little ole american me, was told by an irishman today that he loves my accent.  a rare compliment.  saving it in my mind forever.
photo:  this little guy, descending into dublin:
the firsts are coming to an end, however, and i'm quickly finding my little place in this big city.  what a week it has been!  i can't wait for more firsts, and even seconds, and thirds (especially if food is involved)!


  1. Loved your firsts, Rachel -- now to hear about your seconds!!
    Coleen Myers

    1. Thank you, Coleen! It's great to hear from you! The "seconds" are definitely happing in full swing!