Monday, 11 May 2015

Surfing, Spanish food, & the Start of Goodbyes

The title pretty much says it all this time around haha

To get right to it, we had our last international dinner this week, where our friend Carlos made Spanish food for everyone. It was really, really Spanish hahahaha - so it was later then he originally said, and it was delicious. Spanish ham is weird though - apparently it's this really big thing in Spain, but I wasn't a fan. Also, I like olive oil as much as the next person, but in Spain, it's not just oil - it's a way of life.

Last Monday, the day before my first exam, I took the longest study break of my life, and went surfing in Tramore. By far, that was one of the coolest things I've done here - not only cause it was in Ireland, but also just because I've never gone surfing. My friend Anna orchestrated the whole thing. She had called the place where we could rent wetsuits and boards from, and it sounded legit, so four of us decided to go for it. We got to Tramore, and walked inside this well worn, blue building. The bottom floor was a small cafe, with a couple tables and a small cashier stand. We were a bit confused, since this was supposed to be a surfing place - not a cafe. We saw stairs though, and figured it was on the second floor. Except the stairs led to one unmarked, deserted, locked door, which we obviously couldn't get in, and no one answered when we knocked. So we walked back down the stairs, and looked for someone to talk to. Nobody looked like they worked there though, so we had to wait until we saw a girl who looked like she was taking orders from someone. Turns out she did work there, and we were just supposed to rent boards and wetsuits from the same cashier that takes your coffee order. So, in between a chai latte and a green tea, we bought our stuff for surfing. We were told to wait outside in front of this old weathered, falling apart shed, for some guys to meet us. We waited for a bit, wondered if we were even in the right spot, finally saw the guys, and were given wetsuits that were still damp, and shoes that weren't the same size. But hey, I guess if it keeps you from freezing, right....? They didn't give us any instructions either, even though there out of four of us had never surfed! Consequently, it took us half an hour just to change, both because the wetsuits were the wrong size and still damp, and also because we were trying to convince ourselves we weren't completely crazy. It was a really sketchy experience hahaha.

Once we were in the water though, it was amazing. I mean I sucked, but it was fantastic. I stood up a solid five or six times, but only for a couple seconds each. I was determined to stand up and feel confident for at least five seconds, but by the end of our two hours, my limbs were slowly becoming unmovable from the cold, so I had to recognize that it wasn't going to happen. I'm pretty stoked with the whole experience though - it definitely makes for one of my favourite days here.

Other things this week include writing two exams. Not that exciting. They are strict about the procedure though - they have this whole speech the profs have to read out before we start - about how we can't have our phones, or any written material on us, etc, and that's it a breach of exam regulations and we can get kicked out, blah blah blah. Basically, don't cheat. My last exam is tomorrow, and I am so excited to be done with this school.

Also last week, was the week that people started to leave. I've said goodbye to three friends already, and another one leaves tonight. I don't really have anything to say, except that it sucks. This type of situation, where we all arrive in a foreign country, friendless, missing home, and lost and confused, lends itself to making friends really fast. There's no other option, unless you decide to spend five months in your cold apartment room alone on Skype. In January, five months felt like it was a lifetime, but we all knew there was an expiration date. It's tough to accept that realistically, I'm never going to see most of these people again - I guess that's the price for making friends across the world. But I also suppose that's why I downloaded snapchat ;)

Plans for this week include writing my last exam, maybe going on a day trip or something with everyone one last time, and then me and Julie are leaving on Friday to go to Belfast for a couple days! We'll get back Sunday, and then leave Monday to go to Killarney & Dingle. We're back from that next Friday, and then the following Monday, the 25th, I fly home.

Two weeks, my friends. See you all soon :)

The main exam room. When I saw it, I just sighed. I haven't been in a room like this since high school. They're kind of depressing....

From Spanish night. On the left is Hubert, who's Polish, and Carlos is on the right. It was his birthday that day too actually, so we were all surprised that he wanted to cook for the whole day, but he was quite adamant about it haha.

I've gone running a bunch since the weather finally lightened up a bit. The route I take is really nice. The day I took this wasn't the greatest, but further down the path, the branches on each side of the path sort of curve into each other, and it looks like a magic doorway haha.

I'm surprised I even notice that sort of thing when my main priority is usually just trying to remind myself why I like running....

On Friday afternoon, Evelyn (next to me) had just finished her last exam, and I'd just finished my second, so we went out to celebrate. It was also her last day in Ireland, so even though this isn't a great picture, it's going up to commemorate her last day :)

Surfing! Such a cool experience :)

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