Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What exactly have I been up to? Besides, that is, drinking incessantly, and somehow catching an inconvenient cold from one of my companions.

Last weekend I went to Dublin. I am not sure how to sum up the experience, to be honest. We went with no plans but where to sleep (because I had spent days finding and booking the hostel, and no one else wanted to do any of the work I imagine). In retrospect that was a bad idea. The other two ladies on the trip went on day trips to see the Irish countryside, whereas the two blokes and I wandered around the Temple Bar district and Trinity College on our first day there. Dublin, it turns out, is one of the most expensive cities on the planet, and not just as a result of the euro. On Friday, Alex and Joseph and I went to Burger King before a rugby game and our meals were 8 euro. Almost 16 dollars. And while we were ashamed of stooping to Burger King, it was really all we could afford. At least pubs and restaurants had lunch specials during the day, but in the evening an average dinner was 14 euro. So we ate at Burger King.

The three of us went to a rugby game that was enjoyable. You know how mascots are usually elusively silent? The person wearing the lion suit at the game was not so. He had a very heavy accent and yelled at the crowd that they were not cheering enough, which I suppose was true to a certain degree because what was coming out of their mouths weren't exactly cheers. Alex kept a list going and the one I remember best is the guy two rows behind us who stood up and yelled "you fucking wanker!" As for the game itself--I had trouble understanding it. Like football, all the players often ended up in a pile. However, unlike in football, the referee would only very seldomly blow his whistle at this and usually someone would emerge from the pile victoriously with the ball in hand. I never figured out what caused penalties, or why the game ended when it did. The time stopped at least 15 minutes before the game did, and we started to leave twice before realizing that the game wasn't yet over. However, I had a good time trying to piece together what was going on, and it was faster-paced than football because time was never stopped.

On Thursday we had gone to a pub by our hostel, but this night we felt compelled to branch out a little and go to the famous Temple Bar area. However, none of the pubs there would let us in because we are under 21. The drinking age is undoubtedly 18 in Dublin, so we still don't understand what kept us out of the pubs that night. Luckily we did not have the same problem on Saturday and got gloriously drunk before our 8am flight back on Sunday morning.

As for Saturday, we had planned a trip to the Guinness storehouses and Dublin Castle, but we lost one of our number and instead spent most of the day sitting in the lobby of our hostel, falling asleep on each other's elbows jackets and taking shifts to go eat at nearby pubs. The waitress at the pub we ate lunch at was a real hoot and a half, though.

We returned on Sunday morning and from what I understand all collapsed into bed for most of the day before performing some last minute homework miracles.

A typical day for me here in London begins with the toasting of a bagel in my oven and then eating it with cream cheese and a towel on my head as I either read Ginny/Draco fanfiction or perform general facebook stalking. I have one class each day, usually for 3 hours. Before class I usually eat another small snack, and then walk with my headphones on if it is being held at our classroom, although half the time we have class at a museum or we meet at a tube stop to have class as we walk. Afterward I will usually grab a cheap bite to eat with some of the class and then go back to my room to read before fixing myself dinner, then going out to the pub, which is usually followed by Greek takeaway. We've been frequenting a club called Roundabout on Thursdays because they have Jack and Coke for a pound fifty, which is fucking amazing compared to the three to four pounds we pay for pints at pubs.

This weekend is my first solo weekend. I take the train from Waterloo to Alton on Friday and stay at a Bed and Breakfast that night and Saturday night before heading back to London on Sunday to see what messes my comrades have gotten themselves into whilst intoxicated. I imagine I'll be spending most of my weekend walking and reading Sense and Sensibility. It will be pretty tame, to be honest. If you think it sounds like I drink a lot here in London, it's because I do. We get 80 pounds a week for food, and I always put 20 aside for future travels. Of the 60 pounds left I spend about 20 on groceries. Of the 40 left I spend almost all of it on drinks and late night Greek food runs. Maybe a lunch or two. Although to be fair I did go see My Brightest Diamond last week and bought a shirt for 15 pounds (mistake) and the week before I bought a pair of skinny pants at H&M for the same. But I do drink a lot. What can I say, I'm enjoying it.

Next Friday we are all heading down to Brighton (the coast) to visit one of our professors. She has promised to take me to Virginia Woolf's old house and to the spot where she drowned herself. I'm going to try to finish To the Lighthouse before then in order to prepare myself. The weekend after that begins our fall break, over which I am going to Amsterdam for 3 days, Brussels for 3, and then Paris for 4. I'm not sure how I am affording any of this, to be honest, so I will probably be paying my parents back for the next decade of my life. So far however I believe it has been worth it.

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