Monday, 26 January 2015

Week Three

Okay first, this blog has been loading weird - all the lettering should be blockishly cute (I understand that description is probably completely unhelpful) - it should not look like any sort of calligraphy or italicized at all. If it's coming up like that, I firstly apologize because I have no idea what to do about it, and it's not the greatest font to read - my solution is just refresh the page a couple times and it always eventually sorts itself out.

Back to the fun stuff:

It's been another week in the land of the Irish!

School has been interesting. I've noticed a couple of things that are quite different then back in Canada. One of the most noticeable, is that the Irish seem to be quite confident, opinionated people, even with controversial issues where most of us have a degree of sensitivity with what we say. Well, it seems that the Irish students have none, and while it's interesting, I find it somewhat unnerving.

Highlights from the week:

- My second beer in Ireland was a German beer, and unfortunately, this one actually tasted like beer (the shock!) and though it wasn't horrible, it wasn't great either. My friend Hubert ended up taking the last quarter off my hands haha.

- Tuesday night, I was super excited to go to a karate training session through the university's karate club - I've missed working out (does walking count? ;)) and was stoked to potentially have scheduled workouts, meet people, do something through the university, and even travel and compete! Unfortunately though, the whole thing was really disappointing.  Even though I told the instructor I had done martial arts back home, she insisted on teaching me everything painstakingly slow and making me do the easier version of everything the class did. I get that it was my first class and everything, and I probably shouldn't be too harsh, but I can not justify paying money to go and learn how to punch. If I don't know how to punch by now, something is seriously wrong. I was very disappointed, and it made me miss the atmosphere and everyone at SHD very, very much.

- Also on Tuesday night, there was a last minute decision to go to another pub because they had a jazz night! I was pretty tired at that point, but it was worth it. It was a "jam session," so all the people playing had no sheet music, they were just listening to each other. It felt very authentic, and was very cool to experience.

- I found out scarves here are only 2 euro each! Which is like 3 dollars! I've bought two, but I think I should go back and buy ALL THE SCARVES! *crazy eyes*

- I went to a club on Friday night, as there was a party being put on for international students. Since it's the only one I've been to here, I can't make any generalizations yet, but this one at least was pretty much the same as clubs in Vancouver - in other words, it's fun because of the people you go with, not because of the club itself.

- We went to Tramore on Sunday, and it made for a really, really good day. It was fog-filled in the morning, got brilliantly gorgeous in the afternoon for an hour and a half, and then got really windy. There were only four of us this time, so we ended up with some really good pictures and had a pretty calm day. The beach there is the best part and what Tramore is mostly known for, so we spent most of the day just walking around and climbing over rocks trying to get the best view. It was stunning. I finally saw some of the cliche Ireland views, and it was amazing. If I could live by the water, anywhere, I would.

On a different note, I've thought a lot this week about travel, and change, and life in general (yes Dad, I can see you shaking your head). In particular, I read this quote on pinterest the other day, and it resonated. It read: "Travel not to find yourself, but to remember who you've been all along." I've thought multiple times about my own reasons for wanting to travel, and everyone knows that cliche of traveling to "find yourself," whatever that means. Well, I've decided I liked this quote better.
I think that everyone has multiple sides to themselves: we have the side that comes out at work or school, where we have to be professional and smart, having our best head on our shoulders. We have the crazy side that finds itself on a night out, and its mellow crazy cousin on sleep deprived days, when you're in that state of melancholy bliss. We have sides with our parents, sides with our hobbies, and sides when we find ourselves alone, staring out the window with nothing but our own swirling thoughts to keep us company. Some of these sides are less frequently used then others, but does that make them any less part of who we are? I think that perhaps traveling does not help us find ourselves, because all of our selves are already within us. Rather, we travel to unleash the sides that don't often come out otherwise. To remember who we are at our core, when everything else is stripped away and we have no expectations from ourselves or from others, except simply to be.

ANYWAYS. I've only been here for three weeks, I doubt I'm qualified to make observations on traveling hahahaha.

I'd also like to say thank you again to my Oma & Opa - you know what for, and I appreciate it greatly. Also, thank you to everyone who has commented on any of these blogs or said or liked anything on Facebook - it's wonderful to hear from you all even when I'm all the way out here :)

- All these pictures are from Tramore (and I take credit for none of them haha) (:

Bert, Julie, Me, Carlos

1 comment:

  1. Hey Hey Hey Brit!!!

    First. DO IT!!!!

    Buy ALL THE SCARVES. You’re thinking like Trina now. Doesn’t matter if you need them ALL, but they are a DEAL!!!. Buy them.

    Sounds like you’re having a good time. Very happy. Making some great friends too; I suspect a few will become lifelong friends, or at least people you will stay in contact with for a couple of decades.

    These kinds of experiences lend themselves to that. I still hang now and then with my New Zealand crew, and that was 2005.

    Also sounding pretty deep. Beyond your young years. But that’s a good thing. That’s what travel is supposed to do, and yes, you ARE QUALIFIED to make the statements!

    Your comment on the Irish having some definite opinions was interesting. There are reasons for it; it’s just not obvious unless you do some digging. When I was in a Sociology class (I think that’s what it was) at BCIT I took a history course (and I HATES… I say HATES… history) we did a piece on the difference between Canadian and American (USA) opinions and culture. Turns out a lot of Canadian culture and differences from the USA come from our RCMP being a peacekeeping force all ACROSS Canada, and our dealings with Quebec and the French. Never thought I would get anything useful out of that course but I did.

    Ahhh Karate and a different non SHD school…. Yes, I did 4.5 years of SHD and then 1.5 of Ishinryu (sp) Karate (got to their brown belt) and I found much the same thing. Had to re-learn to punch (yes I did) and there were differences, some significant in how Ishyinru uses the body along with the fist.

    But the key thing I learned was that SHD was WAY FUN compared to the Karate school. Sure it had something to do with the variety in SHD, but a lot was the just the plain energy and instructors.

    Also learned that SHD WAS WAY KICK ASS Martial Art. I still look fondly back on the day sparring as a Karate yellow belt against one of the school top black belts. The look of utter surprise as I smoked him with an Axe kick.

    You can start offering your own mini SHD (don’t call it that though) Call its Brits IRISH Defense, and throw in some Irish dance in it too.

    So, Yes, DO IT. BUY The scarves.

    Trina says HI!