Canada to Republic of Ireland
I was hoping to get a posting out to you guys sooner, but getting set up in my new apartment & starting school in a new country is apparently very time consuming! I have had time to check out some really neat new products & spend money that a student shouldn't be spending. Shh don't tell ;)
My new Diggs!
We live in the pent-house in our building. That basically means that we have two floors (bedrooms, washrooms on first floor & kitchen, living room, eating area & terrace on the second floor. Yes, we have a terrace....yes, it has a view of the ocean. It's a hard life guys.
Location: Galway, Ireland
Galway in Canadian terms, it's like the Vancouver & Dublin is like Toronto. Galway is very artsy, and has a lot of culture and soul. Dublin is a bit more industrial and "city-like". That is one of the best parts of Galway, everyone says it is like a big town.
I am about a 25 minute walk to my school, GMIT & a 10-15 min bus ride, (when the bus shows up) to the Eyre Square (aka city centre & where I go shopping!).
In Ireland, time "moves slower". Family and friends come before working 40-70 hour weeks. You don't drive everywhere, you walk. Complaining about the weather is a national pastime, along with learning how many pints can you drink before you hit the guy next to you :P. It is easy going, and I can walk down the street to school and I get a hello or a smile and a nod from almost every person. I love to talk & so do the Irish, so it works beautifully.
Now, this is not me knocking on Canada. I have much love and respect for my country. The first couple weeks, I was basically ripping my hair out because they are extremely disorganized here. It takes awhile for you to just take a deep breath and relax. In Canada, you get your timetable 1-2 months before school starts. Here..It's literally the day before class and that's not even the final one. I still have room changes, and we are like two months in! The bus, 98.99% of the time...Is late...or sometimes it just doesn't show up! I suppose I am learning how to be calm and not stress about little things!
In Ireland, everything is super expensive. I find that maybe it's because they are on an island so most things are imported. Also the Euro is much higher than the Canadian dollar. Anyways, doesn't make shopping that much less fantastic or anything.
Some key highlights/stores that you should probably visit if you come to Ireland are:
Brown Thomas: Now this is basically the Holt Renfrew of Ireland. It is fancy, and elite. I just like going in here to look at pretty thing. It is also the only place to buy MAC. The prices are insanely more expensive though, so I would probably avoid it. You're better off purchasing at home. You can usually find a section with one of my favourite brands over here, Ted Baker!! You can also find the less expensive Ted Baker items at Boots.
Boots: This is like the Shoppers Drug Mart of UK/Ireland. Don't you like how I keep bringing it back to Canada? :P It is a lovely place, that has a points system & make-up. They have really adorable exclusive sets that are coming out for Christmas that make me more excited than a person really should.
Penneys: Basically you can't come to Ireland and NOT visit a Penneys locations. In the UK it is called Primark, but for whatever reason it is Penneys here in Ireland. It is like a cheaper version of Forever 21 (who knew that this was even possible). It's just a cheap place, that you can go in with 20 euro and walk out with a full bag of stuff. It really helps to curb my shopping appetite because you get so many neat things. My apartment is essentially decorated in mostly Penneys homeware.
Honourable mentions: INGLOT has some stores around, not in Galway though. Butler's Chocolate is a place to purchase Irish made chocolate. You need to eat Taytos Cheese & Onion chips. They sounded really gross at first to me, but they are fantastic I promise. Anything from Cadbury needs to go into your mouth, nom. What else...The Body Shop is pretty expensive here...no LUSH in Galway :(. That is pretty much it for shopping I think. Dublin/Cork have the best shopping, but Galway has my favourite culture.
I am glad that some of you have stuck with me over the past non-posting months. I will try my best to get back onto a schedule.
How have you all been doing? Any updates?
Missed you guys :)
Until next time,