My Bus Trip

It was a cold Thursday afternoon as the heat of the sun faded away into the background. I had just finished up my last class of the week, and I am exhausted, sort of. I am looking forward to breathing the outside air. I step out of the IES Abroad Center to the bus stop.

Here comes the 1,2,3 bus, and when I step onto it, my journey begins. I stomp my way upstairs and sit down in a twin row of chairs. As I walk to my seat, I see a black kid, probably 13 or 14 years old, furiously working on homework in his seat. On the right side, there is a man with his headphones in, staring out of the window into a sort of abyss, I guess. As I seat myself and the bus shudders into movement, I glance behind me and see a young couple huddle together enjoying the warmth of each other’s overcoats. There is another intriguing man, which I would say was mid-twenties, with a stand in a plastic case at the front of the bus, gripping it securely between his arms. The bus continues for a bit, then again shudders to a halt.

More people get on the bus. A man in his twenties dressed in a nice suit passes by me. He was wearing a grey suit with a purple shirt and purple socks. I see a woman kiss her boyfriend, then board the bus. She has peach eyeliner, I notice, as she picks her way to a seat in the back. I get off the bus for 45 minutes, then board it again for the return trip back home.

A 30 year old Asian with a McDonald’s smoothie sits down in front of me. He has rimmed shaped glasses and a backpack filled with papers. Later, another man with a phone sits down beside him. The man with the grey suit gets off the bus and disappears into the downtown crowd. As the bus weaves its way towards Thomas Street, I look outside the window and see the numerous bikers braving the close quarters of road travel, trying to get home.

A younger man with a red beard and no hair rides perilously close to the huge bus. For a second I thought that he went under, but then he reappears as the bus crosses an intersection. A woman with a white overcoat and delicate hair rides alongside the bus, then I lose sight of her. I have no idea where she went, but my journey continues. The bus lurches to a stop: I have arrived at Thomas Street.

I look back at the bus, and see another couple comforting each other for their long journey home. The lady is wearing a black overcoat and, well, I could not see what the man was wearing. I walk 100m to Binary Hub and spot several women and men with shopping bags, with groceries overflowing as I smile with joy. I have made it home from my short journey.

Causey Farm

I awoke Saturday morning with a start.  I realized that today I was going to a place called Causey Farms. I did not do any prior research on the destination but was looking forward to a fresh experience. I am still trying to figure out travel plans, foreign and abroad, but Causey was the perfect place to go to take my mind off of those fears. Me and my fellow Study Abroaders boarded a bus and trekked the 90 minutes to the farm.

  

When we arrived, I stepped off the bus and was immediately greeted by a friendly black and white dog. There was a beautiful white lab that was extremely friendly and was just chilling, enjoying the landscape and the day herself. Meanwhile, it began to rain, and the ground turned to muck, but we continued on. I was glad that I wore the boots that I bought for 12 Euro at a thrift store (shoes and clothes are pretty cheap in Dublin, guys and girls).

  

We petted animals, fed donkeys, milked a cow, and best of all, jumped into a bog (actually I didn’t, but you get the point). Then, when it was all said and done, we collected and ate the bread that I forgot to mention we made at the beginning of our journey. I needed some butter for it because it is quite tasty! What a eventful day in the life of a Study Abroader in Dublin! Stay tuned for more adventures.

  

  

P.S. Causey Farms is a great place. If you are ever in Ireland and you need a place to visit, stop by and explore another interesting facet of the great country of Ireland. Then I slept the 90 minutes back to Dublin. It was a pretty good Saturday afternoon. There will be more from me soon!

 

Shopping

So I went out on a journey for groceries for the first time in Dublin.  I was surprised at the differences between groceries stores in Dublin and in Holland, Kalamazoo, and all of America.

The store is called SPAR and it was hard to navigate.  They did not even have everything I was looking for, like tissue or bigger food items.  I got toilet paper (yes, my residence did not provide it for me), juice, rice (love it!), and cleaning supplies because those will come in quite handy.  I realize that I have become a morning person in my week in Dublin. Back to the point, it was a refreshing experience going to a place I had never been to before and establishing new techniques for something that I take for granted everyday: grocery shopping.

Take note, people, for your future study abroad trips because the world is a lot bigger than just the America that you live in today.  I know that the next time that I venture out for groceries, I will also bring a trusty bag and list with me, so that I can figure out what I got at one store and what I need at another store.  My first week in Dublin continues, and there is more to come!

First Day

Hi guys!  I have just arrived In Dublin.  I took a taxi from the airport, meeting two lovely ladies in the IES program along the way.  The taxi driver was pretty funny, stringing American lyrics to go along with the occasional yank declaration.  Somehow, someway, we made our way to the Binary Hub, which will be my home for the next 3, 4, …….. Actually 101 days, to be exact.

The first night we had a tea social, only in Dublin, where I got to meet many other people in the IES abroad program, as well as the coordinators and student assistants.  I also instantly connected with my roommates and fellow study abroaders in my building.  The first night, we went into the heart of Dublin, which was the first time that I experienced a culture with a drinking age below 21.  We had fun, talking and connecting while sipping Guinness and occasionally eating hearty food (I personally loved the Irish Stew).  The next morning, we had our first day of orientation.  I will admit there is still a lot of information to digest and process, but that comes with being in a foreign country for an entire semester.  Topics ranged from how to deal with sexual harassment to a sim card to how to not draw too much attention to yourself.  It was fun to not only listen to IES Abroad personnel for several hours, but also to see the people that I would eventually see in the classroom very soon.  It has only been two days now in Dublin, but I am excited to not only be here, but experience what is ahead.  I will be back soon with more stories of my Dublin Escapade!  Stay tuned.