Scheduled events at UL seem to have a consistent early call time, and the Irish certainly have a reputation for staying out late. I am to inherit this lifestyle while I am studying abroad[making my system crave the extreme caffeine of Irish black tea once my eyes permiss light to pass through] and so it may be obvious that Friday meant another TGIF extravaganza at the Stables club. No particular theme for the evening festivities, just a good night gathering the like of social butterflies and students thirsting the confidence in beer form.
Prior to venturing to the center of UL’s main hub for bringing every one together for a merry time, the morning began figuring out my tutorials for my modules. In addition to our courses, which typically are once a week[a few are twice], tutorials begin in Week 3 where professors further discuss in detail aspects of the lecture and provided readings on SULIS~an online communication tool similar to Blackboard. Quite the complicated process when attempting to pocket these classes in an open slot on my time table, yet by the afternoon, success was reached.
Later in the evening, an enormous burst of energy [most likely from consumption of tea pounding through my system] inspired me to finally do an exercise fitness video[my normal mode of exercise in the States]. Tae Bo with Billy Blanks was chosen causing heavy huffs and puffs with each fast kick, punch, and jump I thrusted into the air. Sadly this was the day when my right knee began to take a toll for the worst, but when in Ireland, you cannot allow injuries to foil your plans. TGIF was upon us.
Once arriving at the Stables Club, we immediately realized we were still quite early seeing that there was no one on the dance floor, and only a few of the tables near the bar were full. Luckily we utilized this time to feed Ben and Yves, a pizza no doubt, and relax before showing off our fantastic dance moves. Then the students came in. By the truck load. By the couple. By the entourage of Irish women wearing skirts without tights[I truly don’t understand~do they have Icelandic genetics?!]
Since coming to a highly international friendly campus celebrating the Americans who have chosen to reside here for the semester, the DJ plays the same playlist of top hits every week including the ‘Cotton Eye Joe’. Similar to a ‘ho-down’ you tap your feet, do a grapevine and spin over and over and over again. Then the unthinkable happened.
“I need an American!” DJ Burr calls out to the lively crowd. My friends jokingly yet forcefully begin pushing my curious body being lured into what this crazy Irish man has up his sleeve. His finger points directly at Ben, my Hungarian flatmate, and next asks for a ‘non-American’; oh hey Chloe! We snicker with each other as we look across the packed crowd of drunken UL students accompanied by another American and a few lost French students.
“Alright laddies,” [the blaring deep vocals of 50 Cent begin booming ‘It’s your birthday’ throughout the pub] “It’s this young man’s birthday, so we are going to celebrate and dance like Americans!” The old man then continues to place Ben’s hands on my hips and swing them back and forth. Realization. Burr wants us to grind in front of the entire venue. Oh my. Yolo. Our friends claimed we were ‘cute’ since I refused to fully commit to getting down in front of a throng of unfamiliar faces. At least we won free drink vouchers.
Saturday would be an incredibly busy day beginning at 9 o’clock allowing a few more epic dance sessions on the floor, and finally the long goodbyes[I’m so terrible at leaving, I just keep talking] to send me home. Cliffs of Moher were calling my name.