twenty-five – city of love

Not the city of brotherly love (that one’s called home, and I’m not quite there yet) — and no, I’m not making some vague reference to falling in love or a whirlwind romance during my time in Dublin, as neither of those occurred (saving my falling in love with the city itself and my whirlwind romance with the pastries of Avoca and KC Peaches).

No, I mean it quite literally, presenting it as a title: Paris.

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… though, to be quite honest, I’d have to say that the City of Light seems more appropriate. I didn’t quite get the “City of Love” vibe (but perhaps this is because I speak no French other than mais oui, merci beaucoup, pardon, and bonjour).

City of Light, though — that’s a name I could get behind.

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…even if it is supposed to be due to the Age of Enlightenment and not electricity.

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twenty-four – all life is here, mrs. ainslie

Why would you not go out? There’s so much to see.

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Parnell Square East, Dublin, Ireland

I went to Italy this past weekend. Somehow, one of the biggest American holidays rolled around without me paying any attention to it: I turned around suddenly and the Black Friday e-mails had swamped my inbox, my mother was sending me pictures of one of my Thanksgiving favorites (squash rolls, for those of a curious nature), Hanna accompanied me to Thanksgiving dinner with some friends in Maynooth, and next thing I knew I was stepping off a plane in Italy.

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twenty-two – the return of quippy titles and self-deprecating jokes

Of course, while I thought I had a major problem to face in writing about my time in Berlin, I now found myself with a different difficulty: how do I even attempt to write something else now? The problem I have with writing lies in its addiction: as much as I hated it when I was younger, I have this rather driving need for it now.

… And, in case there was any doubt on the matter, my father responded to my last blog post with a lovely, heartfelt e-mail… that included the line that it was all “so different from the crying daughter in my Charlottesville office!” I may not remember that day, but I’m sure it happened more than once. I didn’t much care for writing when my lovely mother was homeschooling me (much, as she was an English teacher, to her chagrin!).

Leaving behind the fourteen-year transition from sobbing seven-year-old to sobbing twenty-one-year-old, I must admit that it feels quite strange to be writing about something that could, following on my last post’s coattails, feel rather flippant. Flippancy must be avoided, of course, but life cannot be all deep thought and gut-wrenching emotion. Even Tolkien, that master of heart-twisting writings (seriously, have y’all read those appendices? Tears. Everywhere. Not kidding.) — well, even his characters knew there must be more than sorrowful reflection. What is it Frodo told Sam in that letter?  In the book, it’s that he must be happy… and in the movie, they change it to that voiceover, remember?

My dear Sam. You cannot always be torn in two. You have to be one and whole for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be and to do. Your part in the story will go on.

And so, whilst you hastily wipe your eyes after reading Frodo’s words (be honest: the end of Return of the King makes you cry, doesn’t it? No? … Well, that’s just me, then. As you were!), I move onward to yesterday’s adventures.

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… I know. You weren’t expecting me to pull the police in on this.

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fifteen – watch me as i glide

before I tumble homeward, homeward — 

mumford & sons, “lover of the light”

I’ve been in Dublin for one month (which means only three months left! Ack!). I’ve made new friends, signed up for courses in a new university, consumed far too much tea, enjoyed pints with friends on Quiz night, eaten lots & lots & lots of amazingly delicious pastries, and even become vaguely fond of that eye-sore of a monument (but only vaguely fond, mind).

I am, to put it briefly, enjoying myself very much, and I certainly don’t intend to stop enjoying this trip anytime soon ever. That being said, there are some things (some small and some big — here’s looking at you, Philadelphia!) I miss about the States.

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fourteen – dubliners

As someone born on Bloomsday, I appreciate Joyce.

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(Okay, that’s actually a bit of a lie. When we read Dubliners in high school, Allison was the one who loved it; I was the one who said, “Ehhhh.)

Since said days of disdain, however, I have come to appreciate Joyce (even though, more than likely, he will never be one of my favorite authors), and I’ve definitely gained an appreciation for Dubliners, whether person or narrative.

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thirteen – awkward americans

First things first: I am now living in the heart of Dublin (aka Dublin 2, not the outlier that is Dublin 6)! That’s right, the third and hopefully-final-move of the term has been completed. In other news, the semester start up program is almost finished. I’ve really enjoyed learning about Irish culture through these courses — its history, literature, art, architecture, even politics if you can believe that of me!

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Dublin, as seen from the stairwell in my new building

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