Within the first steps of becoming integrated into the Irish way of living, the topic of tea perked my ears up in an instant. Everywhere you go, it seems tea is the equivalent of, “Would you like a glass of water?” They consume the magical warm drink like it is going out of style…these are my kind of people. I love telling those who I meet on this journey about my nickname: Annie Green Tea. I was aware they would have tea here on this beautiful green isle, yet now I have been schooled on how to perceive it: you are either a Barry’s or Lyon’s gal. These being the two leading brands of Irish black tea, aka the incredibly strong robust pyramid shaped tea bags battling for your approval, I was offered a cup of tea at my buddy Cam’s apartment the other day and instantly fell in love with its effects and lack of bitterness[despite no sugar or milk]. Now my nickname is catching on even abroad…figures.
Though I have adjusted to the 8-hour time difference between Limerick and California, a fix of caffeine surely is appreciative especially when meeting so many new and exciting individuals. On Friday evening, the study abroad students, Eramus students, and exchange students were treated to a night at the Stables Club for ‘International Speed Dating’ which was definitely different than what movies like ‘Hitch’ or american television present. Once at the pub, we simply put name tags on also writing our country/state of origin and then were thrusted onto the dance floor where we were to talk to someone we had never met before until the iconic Stables Club DJ Burr[a stout little Irish man with a heart of gold] would tell us to find another person we had never met. You would think it could instantly turn awkward having to find someone to talk to especially since you’re ultimately judging everyone by their appearance, however I found since we were all so incredibly open to meeting new people, I was able to ‘meet and greet’ some new Americans and International students.
I cannot emphasize enough how fantastic it is being in the vicinity of such a surplus of International students. From the accents, to their fashion choices, to their conversation, I constantly am enamored and intrigued to find out more. Cultural differences for the win ya’ll.
Becoming acquainted with a variety of interesting individuals was ‘quite a craic’, but once DJ began spinning his tunes, I discovered that he really deserves the reputation he has acquired. He played an exceptional amount of American music ranging from ‘Grease’ to Rihanna to Mumford & Sons. At the end of the evening, apparently the song, ‘Little Lion Man’ is the Stable’s Club anthem to finalize the evening causing every one to come together and scream our hearts out to the roaring banjos. Sadly our roommate Yves did not know this song, and once it finished, immediately told me he wanted to memorize it when we got home.
The Stables Club ended around 2am, but time constraints don’t stop the Europeans. Every one remained socializing outside[luckily it wasn’t pouring its typical buckets from the sky], which added an additional hour or so to our walk home. It’s funny; I have found a ‘go to group’ including Ben, Yves, Sofia, Vicky and Chloe and though we may part into groups of two or three, we always find each other at the end of the evening.
Once we actually began walking at a decent pace back to our far off village of Thomond, I had a deep conversation with Ben whose English suddenly was fantastic…[we think his diet of pizza, beer, and cigarettes is quite the helpful combination] Ben is actually nationally recognized in his home country of Hungary for football or soccer for all you Americanos, and he currently is struggling to follow his passion for the sport or follow his studies of sports medicine and personal training. It’s remarkable how intelligent he is and the improvement of his English in such a short period of time! I have the utmost respect for all of my international roommates! Especially with my additional consumption of caffeine, the speed of my speech must be insane! We’ll see where Ben’s path will take him, but so far I think his residence here at Robin 59 will do him quite a bit of good.
After the long evening of intense talks, we still had enough energy to stay up until 6am dancing to Swedish House Mafia’s ‘Don’t You Worry child’, sing along to Mumford & Sons so Yves could memorize it for Stables, and various techno pop favorites of mine Kaskade and September. I am the biggest music snob around, so it’s always exciting when others jump on my bandwagon and pocket my picks as their own.