If I were a dog, I'd want to be Irish

Here in Ireland — perhaps more specifically, Limerick, I’m not sure exactly — but there is a law that states when you leave the house with your dog not only must it be on a leash, but it must also don a very fashionable muzzle.  However, of the numerous dogs I have come across on campus and the walking trails, muzzles are unheard of and leashes are optional.

The dogs here all enjoy the same activities and those seem to be padding along happily of their own volition, sniffing the grass, eating bugs, jumping into the river and listening for the whistle of their owners.  These dogs are then broken up into two categories — those who enjoy being with their owners and stick quite close to them and those who run off to do their own thing.

Every once in a while, and I say this quite loosely because it literally is probably once a day, but the number of dogs seen is so great it feels like “every once in a while”, there is a dog running around campus, or the walking trails, or the bridge, or down by the river, completely on its own.

Being the animal lovers many of us here are, we worry about these dogs getting hit by the cars who have trouble stopping for people or wandering too far from home.  A friend of mine actually found a little terrier-type dog running around by herself a few days ago.  They called the owner on the dog’s tag and asked the owner to return the call to the number they had left.  When the owner called back, he told them:

"Not to worry, Molly loves it down by the river.  She’ll be back sometime."

Completely flabbergasted, my friends had to leave Molly and hope that she got home alright.

Ironically enough, as I type this, I can see a brindle boxer, who I have seen before, running around on the Death Bridge without an owner.

In addition, it seems that these dogs, law or not, enjoy relieving themselves mid-stride, in the middle of the pedestrian walk.  On the Death Bridge alone, there are dozens of light brown “smooshes”, for lack of a better word, of what appears to be mud, but after careful consideration, is determined to be smashed dog shit.

There once was a dog from Castletroy
Who knew that he was the greatest boy
He pooped in the street
Sniffed all he could meet
And was glad that he wasn’t from Illinois 


Rubberbandits - Spoiling Ivan

The bandits are somewhat of Irish comedy celebrities and have been given the chance to showcase their material to American audiences through MTV and British audiences through Channel 4 “Comedy Blaps”. I find this song hilarious and very sweet. Mon’ the Bandits!

My life is seriously the funniest thing. Learning.. languages? The other Sabina.

A while ago, I made an account on some random language learning website. An Irish guy messages me and asks me where in Limerick I live, as I’d mentioned I live in Limerick. He tells me he lives in Castletroy and also goes to UL.

I find that somewhat funny, but I don’t give it too much thought, and I tell him I’m an exchange student at UL and ramble about exams.

Two days ago, he messages me saying that parties are the best thing about exams passing, and that he’d had a hard exam the previous day. So I tell him I had my Ireland in the World Economy exam the previous day, and I kind of fucked it up.

He answers. Apparently, he was in the same exam as I was. 

Today, we talk again, and I add him on facebook and he says he probably has met me before. Turns out we have 8 mutual friends, one of them being a girl from CBS that’s also on exchange at UL, the other Sabina (I will tell you about the other Sabina in a bit) and also, apparently, he’s friends with my French friends I always party with and he’s always at their place. We both try to figure out if we’ve seen each other around, and both conclude that we might’ve, but we were probably too shitfaced. So we make a pact to get shitfaced on friday. Man, the internet is small. 

Anyway, the other Sabina. There’s another Romanian girl called Sabina that goes to UL. She’s really cool, and I met her before. She was talking in Romanian to a friend, and I happened to pass by, so I started talking Romanian to her, and she was confused. And then we shook hands, she told me her name was Sabina, and I said ”I am also Sabina!”. Then, she told me we were friends on facebook, apparently. Nonetheless, every time I go to parties, and I tell them that I’m Romanian, and my name is Sabina, they tell me ”Oh, I’ve met another Romanian girl called Sabina, maybe it was you!”. And I’m like: ”No, it’s the other Sabina, there are two of us.”

Now foreigners probably think that Sabina is the most common female name in Romania, which is far from the truth. Two Sabinas in one place are as unlikely as someone seeing an unicorn or hugging the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s like winning the lottery, really.

Or at least that’s what I tell people.

So, I'm in Ireland now.

I just got here two days ago. I thought I’d write a post about what I think about it so far!

First and foremost, funny accents, colourful clothes and gingers. Makes me think that I’m hugging the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and that I’m surrounded by leprechauns. 

Everyone here is so friendly! I made two friends on the bus to Limerick, I made more while cluelessly trying to find my way to the dorm village, by standing in the queue at the reception, I had random people greeting me on the street and one even said ”Top of the mornin’ to ya!” (I stood there dumbfounded for 5 minutes trying to process what had just happened, then I just burst out laughing), I had five people asking me if I needed a hand with my luggage, one of them being a girl with high heels and a Prada handbag. Yep. Who was offering to carry my luggage for me. On those heels. Of course, I declined, but I was nonetheless amazed at the friendliness of people! I got into a talk with two old people on the bus, I saw a tiny girl jumping around with curly, ginger hair, singing ”Off, off, off we go, off to school we go!” in a very hyperactive voice with the cutest accent ever while holding hands with her mom, which was the most adorable thing ever. And they both smiled!

I live in an eight people house and only two American girls have arrived. Otherwise the house is empty. I live upstairs and currently there’s no one living on my floor. I wonder if more people will come or if it’ll be just the three of us. Orientation is tomorrow so people are still probably going to come today. Anyway, this little dorm village is situated in Castletroy, which is quite far from Limerick, as in, you have to take the bus. And it’s very easy to get lost in Castletroy for me because there are tiny little bits of forest everywhere and streets going through them. Everything here is so green! It smells of freshly cut grass everywhere and you hear birds singing, it’s really really cool. The only disadvantage is that I have cable internet in the dorm, so I can’t connect my phones to wifi, and that the houses are old/tiny. But there’s wifi on campus, and it’s super close, so that’s a bonus. And there are so many people roaming around in this tiny village that it’s very easy to meet people, which is why I picked this place first and foremost. And it takes you 5 minutes to walk to the university! Which is also so green. I will post pictures soon!

I would show you pictures of the university, but I haven’t taken any yet because yesterday I didn’t have a power adapter for most of the day. (Yep, I had forgotten that Ireland uses different sockets.) But now I have one! Woohoo! So I will take pics! 

Anyway, I went into the city yesterday. The bus ticket is 1.60-1.90 euros depending on the company. Got myself a sim card which some guy gave me in a shop for free, then I topped it up online, and it’s quite cheap to call home with an Irish phone number, but not as cheap as in Denmark. The city is super nice and while I was roaming around its streets cluelessly (it’s full of tiny tiny oldschool-style shops), I stumbled across two shops which are the Irish version of the Dollar store or Poundland. (Euro2 and Dealz. Dealz is actually owned by Poundland). For those who don’t know, it basically means that nearly everything in the store is 1 euro or 1.50. So I got myself things I needed around the house and endless supplies of chocolate and I had so much of it yesterday that I feel sick. By the way, it’s freaking crazy! You get like. Packs of.. Many sweets/chocolates for 1 euro. And there’s so much stuff you can buy there! But apart from these stores, groceries in general are super cheap compared to Denmark.

Anyway, to top it off, I’ve been walking around like crazy and my feet are sore from so much roaming around. Totally worth it though!

I’ve got some events to attend today in a few hours until evening, so I’m looking forward to that. And then there’s orientation in the following days, and some events in the weekend, and then I start classes. Wooooh. Can’t wait.

Anyway, that’s it for now!