For the first few days in Cork we bought stuff for our rooms and some groceries and got the chance to explore the city a little
. The first night I went to my first pub called The Washington Inn, or The Wash as the locals call it, and it was really nice just to have a casual drink with some of my friends. At The Wash I tried stout for the first time, it was called Murphy's and the brewery is actually located in Cork. Stout will take some getting used to, it is very heavy and has a slight bitterness to it, hopefully by the end of the trip I will be able to drink it with ease. Yesterday was the orientation for all of the international students studying at UCC (including the 59 students from Quinnipiac). The campus is absolutely beautiful, the quad is breathtaking, and all of the Irish students so far have been very helpful and incredibly nice.
The night of the orientation, the UCC Students Union had a social for the international students at a Pub called The Rock Bar and it was a lot of fun. We talked with some of the Irish students and had some Bulmer's Irish Cider, which is amazing. I also was able to get a question answered thanks to an Irish student named Eoghan (pronounced Owen, weird I know). My question referred to a slang word the Irish used which is craic (pronounced crack, like the narcotic) and means fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation. A popular saying in Ireland is "What's the craic?" meaning "How are you?" or "How's it going?" and I had absolutely no idea how someone would reply to this if asked. The answer I got from Eoghan was saying either "Ahh it's grand!" or "It's shit" depending on how you were. Though I was a bit hesitant at first, the night at The Rock Bar has definitely helped me become more excited about the rest of my trip and for once I am excited for classes to start, I guess Ireland is already changing me!
So I haven't really had a chance to write a new entry for awhile, but a lot has happened since then. I had my plane ride from JFK to Dublin and then had a bus ride to Cork. The flight was okay, I got to sit next to my friend Jenna which was nice, but could not fall asleep which became very annoying. The jet lag hit me the next day, but since then I have adjusted fairly well. I have been in Cork for 4 days now and though I was a bit overwhelmed at first and hesitant that I would like the city, I am beginning to get more accustomed to Ireland and in a little time I know I will love it. The weather especially will take some getting used to, the sun "rises" at around 9am, but the sun never actually comes out, it's mostly cloudy for the whole day and it gets dark at around 4pm. It hasn't really rained yet, but it's damp almost all the time and there is a light mist sometimes. All in all it's not that bad, just need some time to adjust to it.