I can’t believe I was able to rise at 9:00am the next morning[Saturday] having gone to bed at 6am the previous day, yet I had been looking forward to the this event all week!
A visit to a ‘Milk market’ had been thrown around all week and from what I gathered, it would be similar to a Farmer’s Market/Mexican Flea Market. Cheap fresh produce and jolly vendors? I think yes.
Where are my avocados and beautiful marbley heirloom tomatoes?
I wasn’t expecting an exceptional variety of produce, yet I wasn’t necessarily thinking the offerings of fruit and vegetables would be so limited. Luckily, the incredible spirit and happiness radiating from the vendors made up for their lack of Fuji apples…sort of. We found great deals on oranges[5 large Navels for only 2 euro! About 5 oranges for 3 dollars!], onions, zucchini, and loose tea. Yes, Chloe put up with my obsession for the loose leaves and their smells; literally about twenty minutes spent simply smelling a delicious array of teas ranging from Sencha to Oolong to Robust Early Grey varieties. It will take some getting used to, but hey when in Ireland, do as the Irish do right?
Of course while we were among the Irish, I experienced what seems to be a common string of misunderstandings when attempting to communicate with their mumbles and slurs. The Irish accent is incredibly difficult to distinguish! When I asked a vendor what kind of apples she had, I heard, ‘bacon apples’ and instantly was quite confused. Non-vegetarian apples? I questioned her saying ‘bacon apples? Do they have meat on them…?” She replied, “No, no deary. Bacon apples.” I turn to Chloe still in disbelief. The woman repeats, “Bacon, Ba-KING apples…” A lightbulb appears over my head. “Like in pies?” “OHHHH!” Associating with the Irish definitely is an adventure…
As we were starving at this point, the smells of authentic Indian spices and flavors overtook our nostrils leading us to this genuinely kind lad. Though a bit too spicy for Chloe’s liking, she claims the chicken tikka masala was still delicious. Thank goodness this market is every Saturday so I can save my appetite(and money) for a taste of the vegetarian option next time! Once leaving the market, we ventured around Williams Street, a nearby shopping area featuring Dealz!, a cheap store filled with consumer deals where I finally bought Lyons Irish Black Tea(yessss.), and also an electronic store where we were treated to the forward and cursing personality of the Irish. The f word could be replaced with the world food for all I know…regardless, by the time we finally found the bus again, we were thankful to rest our feet before having to carry our heavy bags across the Shannon Rover and back to Thomond.
Once acquainted at home again, we decided our systems had gotten the most out of the events available, and to skip out on outdoor festivities in favor of at home games. Yves whipped out a deck of Swiss cards so we could play the game, ‘Asshole’. Essentially we are assigned positions, [the President, Vice President, Neutral, Vice Asshole, and asshole], and you place the cards in the middle in order similar to Uno. With only 36 cards, it ranges from 6-Ace with Jack being ‘Under’, Queen being ‘Ober’ and King as the ‘Kijong’. We are not supposed to answer questions from the asshole, and if we do, we must switch roles; the asshole also has to give the President their two best cards, and the vice asshole has to give up one. The President also gives the asshole their worst card. Lots of rules, but it was oh so fun!
I have found that staying at home and enjoying the continuous fun, humor, and cultural differences of my flatmates has made me easily forget about our fair distance from campus and the other villages. Robin 59 is so tight and it’s only been a week. Ireland for the win ya’ll.