Thursday, July 16, 2009


So much to say…
I think I’ll start with the funny little idiosyncrasies about the culture that differ from America. The 80s are still kickin’ ass here… alive and well. There are mullets, rat tails, spandex, neon colors, splatter patterns, acid washed jeans, teased hair… you name it they love it. I feel like I’m in a total time warp. Clearly my wardrobe doesn’t fit in and clearly, I’m fine with that. American 90s pop music is also all the rage. We went dancing one of the first nights here, and I was having serious flashbacks to junior high and early high school dances. It was hilarious. It is playing in every shop, in every restaurant, no matter what kind of food or clothes. My favorite example so far: I was on lunch and went across the street to obtain some delicious falafel, and as soon as I placed my order, the Thong Song came on. I had to focus very hard on looking out the window so I didn’t look like a schizo laughing by myself in the corner. I thought that song was ridiculous the first time I heard it, let alone a decade or more later.
Like I said before, there are no power outlets in the bathrooms, nor are there any seat covers in ANY of the public bathrooms. Many of the hormones and preservatives used in food in the states are illegal here. This is a good thing, but I’ve already eaten one moldy strawberry, one bad kiwi, and some funky hummus. I’m learning. The sausage here is amazing. Its so soft and delicious and I love it. The Guinness tastes a million times better here. Nobody knows who Dave Matthews is. Everyone drives like maniacs, and the pedestrians do NOT have the right-of-way. I have almost been a hood ornament around 6 times now. Not kidding.
Camille and I are headed to Galway for the Arts Festival this weekend, and I am so freaking excited and will probably spend more money than I should on beautiful creations. I will be sure to post all the pictures on Monday :)
I’ve been here 2 and a half weeks and have learned more than I could have imagined in such a short period of time. Learning how to live and work in another culture is so multi-faceted, and I realize now that I couldn’t have begun to grasp it before actually having done it. There are some serious gaps in the social services sector here, as there are in any culture. Being exposed to them has shifted my perception, yet the stereotypes that I came in with about the country make much more sense now. I’m not going to delve into the personal stories of the people that I have met, but the information and material is providing a really good base for my research and my summary project for my Masters. Its all fascinating.
I have also learned a lot about myself already, and the circles of energy that I find myself in. I’m very in flux at the moment with a lot of things in my personal life, and I am looking forward to the chaos ironing itself out into the next plane. I feel so grateful to have the amount of faith that I do and the understanding that everything happens for a reason. When you give things away to the greater power, you leave a lot more room for peace and clarity in your mind.
Wish me luck in my quest for art, as well as for the next step :)
Emily Jo