Tuesday, May 4, 2010

MIA for a few months, but I'm still in Dublin!

I'm wrapping up the end of semester papers and starting on my thesis soon. I was paranoid for the past four months because I couldn't settle on an area of research that I wouldn't mind reading and writing about for the next five months. I have settled on an area in media and conflict and wish I could just push aside these other paper to jump right into that.

I think that I should make a list of the beneficial things I have learned from living overseas because I have learned a lot. It's been a ride and a half. It took me all fall and winter to really settle in and become comfortable with my new living arrangements, but this spring and summer will be fabulous. I'm really not sure how I will take going back to Arizona or the US in general.
There was so much that irritated me about Ireland when I first moved here, but now I have learned to adapt. The shopping carts, the infrequent public transport, the paying for shopping bags... but because I have learned to live with, what I first saw as inconveniences, I think more countries should adopt these ways to live.

I'd really like to post more pics on this blog. And I will once I have the time.
I think I'm going to go and start on my papers. Four to write before May 15!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Trials, tribulations and what have you.

It's almost been one month since my arrival in Dublin. Things are going much smoother than the first week, but I'm going through moments when I am so overwhelmed that I keep thinking, "WOW, I fucking LOVE this city!" and there are moments like right now where I feel needy and alone and I say, "Fuck, what am I doing here."

I have made plenty of friends and I have fantastic flatmates and classmates. Things could be worse, so my complaints are not with them. I just feel lonely a lot. More so than when I am home. In fact, when I am home all I could think about was leaving and not being bothered. I am not a clingy or needy person, I just need to get something out of my system. I am having trouble going to sleep at a decent hour and I am having trouble focusing on my studies. I tried to make an attempt by checking core books for my classes out of the library, but I have only cracked one open and I haven't even made it past the first page.

I just want more social interaction. I want someone I can hang out with more than just chatting about the next assignment or the next pub we will all meet at. Just like at home, everyone has their own thing going on. But for some reason, it hits me harder when I'm living here.

I'm also waiting for more money from the US government. It was supposed to be deposited into my account over a week ago, but for some reason it is taking an extra week and now the the Euro is worth 10 cents less than what it was. No Bueno.

I still have to buy books for a class and I have absolutely no money. I hate not having anything in my account. What really dried my up was having to register for the GNIB. That place was like the DMV experience from HELL.

It costs too much to do laundry and the dryers don't dry the clothes properly. I have to hang items up on the clothes horse and it takes them 3 days to dry! I feel like I'm fucking camping 24/7. I wish I could find a cheap laundry mat around here. But then arises the next issue, I don't have a car to get all of said washing to laundrette. It's bad enough taking it from my flat to the laundry room at my complex.

The only thing that has really got me excited is a probable visit next week from my friend who is studying abroad in Lille, France right now. Check out her blog at http://eurotraveltales.blogspot.com/ .

I need to get in the right mind set. Things have been assigned and I need to hop to the reading and writing. I'm a journalist aren't I?

Friday, September 18, 2009

This Non-American Life

I have been in Dublin for the past 2 days. Not long. But it feels much longer than that.

Time does feel like it moves much more slowly here. It took me a while to realize (or should I type realise?) that I am half-way across the world. I am not really homesick. I have been talking to my family quite frequently using Skype. I have settled in and I just need to organise a few things before I take pics of my room. However I have a few pics of what little I have done thus far. I met two ladies that attend DCU and we have got on swimmingly! Until Sunday, I will be the only on in my apartment and I think even my building. I have been spending plenty of time in my room making friends with my pillows (ie. recovering from jet lag).

These photos are my last view of Phoenix. This pic is of Glendale arena and Cardinal stadium.

I'm not sure how I feel about missing the sun and the heat. It is getting cooler here by the day and I chuckle to see people walking around in "Phoenix attire" (shorts and a t-shirt) when it's 45 degrees out.

The plane ride was long, as expected, but nothing I couldn't handle. I was almost left in JFK because I couldn't find my way around fast enough to get my Aer Lingus boarding pass. But the inflight meal was decent and they had movies and TV shows to choose from including Family Guy. The flight did get a bit long, and the seats weren't as comfortable as I thought they would be, but none-the-less I'm happy to be here.

It was very cloudy as we flew over Ireland. But soon enough I saw lovely farms! I am trying to make my way to the grocery store. And I'm having slight issues with formatting. But don't worry, I will have more to blog about when I return!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bye bye Miss.American Pie...

It's eight hours before I have to be at the airport and 10 hours before my flight departs to New York. It still hasn't sunk in that I'm leaving. I haven't thought about the fact that I won't see my family for a good portion of the year, or my bed, or the familiarity of my grandmother's house. Well, I mean I have thought about it, I did just now. But it doesn't hit me in the sentimental way. I guess that is good. Like ignorance being blissful. I bet if I had traveled to Ireland prior to applying to this school I probably would have talked myself out of doing so. Telling myself that I wouldn't like the weather or the distance of the university to the city centre. The thing that has been worrying me the most is getting through security at the airport. I don't want them throwing out my items, losing my luggage or stealing it. I need to think positive thoughts, such as, "Everything will turn out fine. I will have an easy and wonderful trip."

I packed two 60 lb. bags, a duffel carry-on and a "purse." I am checking my two 60 lb. bags all the way through to Dublin with Aer Lingus. They allow up to 70 lbs. for each bag and the first checked bag is free, the second checked bag is $50. Not too bad considering what other airlines charge.

I still have things strewn across my bed and I don't think I'll make it to sleep anytime soon. I'm supposed to be up at 6:30 a.m. because my family wants to take me out to breakfast before I have to arrive at the airport.

I'm going to go put more things in order and fix my hair. My work here is never done.

Monday, September 7, 2009

One Week Until Departure

I have most things taken care of, but I'm still lacking items in need of packing. I'm looking for my ipod cord, a pair of winter boots and a white bra from Victoria's Secret. The new Body by Victoria bras are so comfortable. I have been trying to find a way to discount the bra through buying discounted gift cards or finding online coupon codes. So far no success.

I have one suitcase only half-packed, but I think that it has already exceeded the 50 lb. limit.
I need to weigh it.

I have been experiencing emotions of sadness and depression with my departure date so close. I know that it's natural to experience nervousness, but I think the sadness has been stemming from me thinking that no one will miss me while I'm away. I think my family has been too distant even though I am leaving in a week. My own mother hasn't seen me in person since last week!

I was so happy to have time to spend with those important to me either on the phone, at lunch or at my going away gathering. I have shared laughs and advice with everyone and their motivation has inspired me.

I can't wait to get out of this sauna. Which reminds me, I have to call and confirm my room and arrival arrangement. I sent money, and since then haven't heard from them. Is this how it always is? No response once the money is out?

I still haven't heard let alone received my laptop from Best Buy. Really guys? What's up? The corporation has had it for over a month! I'm leaving in a week! SEND MY COMPUTER HOME!

Well, I think I'm going to call Ireland and find out about the room and then go to sleep. I have to do more packing and hopefully family time tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What the hell is going on?

I sent my deposit to the hall last Thursday. I haven't heard anything from the place as to if they received it and what not. Then yesterday morning the square e-mails me and tells me that they have a place open due to a cancellation. Well isn't that just dandy.

Then square e-mailed me telling me that they received my deposit on Aug. 4th. Well isn't that nice. I never sent them money so I wonder how that happened.

I went to the bank to see if they could reverse a money transfer and of course they can't. They couldn't even tell me if it had been received.

I purchased my plane ticket on Saturday. I leave the 15th of September. But that wasn't easy either and had it's own set of problems.

My grandmother, bless her heart, wanted to buy my ticket with her flyer miles. On Friday night we arrived at the ticket counter and they appeared to be closed. Though I believe that we went to the wrong counter. We vowed to come back at six the next morning and by golly I was up at 5:22 a.m.

I'm not a happy morning person so I'm quite asleep. My grandmother is awake and on a mission. We pay $4 for parking and walk up to the ticket counter, no line, no waiting. Things are looking pretty good.

My grandmother says she wants to buy a ticket for me using her flyer miles. The ticket lady looks at us and asks us if we had made a reservation.
"What, we have to make a reservation to come to the airport and buy a ticket?"
My grandmother is irritated with the lady and it hasn't even been 2 minutes. She doesn't let this show, but I can feel it.

I tell her I need a ticket from Phoenix to Dublin and I tell her Sept. 15.
"Booked," she replies.
"Well, try the sixteenth."
"The fourteenth?"
"Try everything from the thirteenth to the twenty-first."
"Booked, booked, booked, booked, booked, booked, booked, booked, booked."
"Really? This is more than a month in advance? A friend of mine just bought a plane ticket to France three weeks prior to her departure date. Try another airline, maybe Aer Lingus. I found round trip tickets from $768 and one-ways for $459."
"That's a really good deal you should probably go with that if you can get it."
"Well, how much is a one-way ticket for Aer Lingus on the 15th of Sept.?"

I was afraid that my grandmother was going to have a heart attack. She gasped and stood there with her mouth open. We walked upstairs and sat at a table to call the flight fund people that were supposed to make a reservation for us and magically bestow the flyer miles.
After giving the guy on the phone her life story for computer input on his end he asks, "So where is your grand-daughter going?"
"From Phoenix to Dublin."
"Ma'am I'm sorry this is US only. I'll have to transfer you to our international department."

I sit and stare at the people walking through the airport at this ungodly hour (for me anyway.)
Now she is talking to a woman in the international sector for the miles.
The woman asks what my return date is and my grandmother tells her that the ticket is one-way. I am going for school for a year and have no idea when I will be back.
The woman kindly informs us that unless I am a citizen of the UK I can not get a one-way ticket to Ireland by using flyer miles. But I can get a round trip ticket and then just change the date for a fee of $275! And also to do that my grandmother is 20,000 short, she only has 30,000 which would have been enough for the one-way ticket.

My grandmother asks how much would it be to just buy the 20,000 miles and the woman on the other end tells her that it would probably cost as much, if not more, than buying a regular ticket.
"Well how much is a regular round trip ticket?"
My grandmother turns white as a ghost. She is breathless as her mouth hangs wide open. I am afraid her heart actually did stop.
She looks at me as she writes the figure on the paper in front of her.

I tell her to hang up. We are going home and I'm going on the internet.
I bought a one-way ticket from Phoenix to Dublin leaving on Sept. 15th for $530.
Funnier yet, I actually got the ticket for the two airlines the ticket lady said was either booked or expensive... US Airways and Aer Lingus. Thank you Priceline.com.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Breakdown

Yesterday was a strange day indeed. It resulted in a mini breakdown with all the stress of getting ready for the send off.

I took my laptop to Best Buy to get repaired. It fell off the table a few weeks ago and the case cracked. Luckily the thing still turned on and I was able to continue accessing information and I have accidental damage coverage for the laptop so the repairs won't cost me a thing. But with all the problems I have had with Best Buy (I will never shop there again) I am not optimistic that all will be done with out a headache to ensue.

I went to the bank today and the deposit is on it's way to my apartment. Hopefully I have made a good decision in a place to room. Once I receive confirmation on my rooming assignment I am going to purchase my plane ticket. Hopefully that will be by the end of this week.

Now is the issue with international health insurance. I have found a few decent plans and am ready to purchase. I just want to review them with someone knowledgeable.

On a lighter note, my parents purchased some hard sided Samsonite luggage for my journey! The luggage has a 10 year warranty, 360 degree rotating wheels and a TSA lock! Totally worth the money, especially since it was a Costco deal. Very nice!

I have to find some boots and a warm hat for the venture.

Time to do laundry.