I think I just had the busiest week ever. It's reading week, and I have dutifully avoided doing any reading. I'll try to recap as briefly as possible so you're not here all day.
Friday--Conflict and Health exam: we were given two hours to finish, but it only took me one hour. I was the first person to turn it in, and Carina told me later that the second person didn't turn theirs in for another 15 minutes. Tanya said she took the full two hours and the instructor had to kick her and some other people out because they were writing until the last possible moment. This worries me greatly. Did I forget to make important points? The instructions said to be brief, and I feel like I hit all the major key words, so we'll see what the grade is.
Fancy-dress party: Apparently, you're not actually supposed to put much effort into your costume. Most people at the party weren't dressed up at all, and those who were hadn't gone to as many lengths as I had. And all my effort didn't really pay off anyway, because everyone thought I was a ladybug. Poo.
Saturday--Anti-Valentine's Day karaoke party: Lots of fun, not much else to say. I love singing along to Britney Spears.
Sunday--Ireland: Woke up at 4:30am and headed to Dublin with Alex and Tanya. When we got there, we realized that it would be really easy to get to the beach, so we took a train down to Bray. It was wonderful! So beautiful and relaxing. We sat on the beach and Alex gave me a "cold stone massage" on my face, which involved her placing stones on my forehead.
Monday--Dublin: Took a bus tour around the city. Dublin is quite small, really. To be honest, I didn't really like it. For some reason, I expected it to be nicer, but there were an inordinate number of tracksuits being worn. We went to Christchurch Cathedral, where Handel's Messiah was first performed; St. Patrick's Cathedral, where Jonathan Swift was dean; and to the most ridiculous statue I've ever seen, of Oscar Wilde. We did a bit of shopping, then went out pub-crawling in search of Irish men. We did not find many Irish men, but we did spend the evening chatting with a Frenchie, a Mexican, and a Japanese guy.
Tuesday--Malahide and Portmarnock: We took a city bus out to Malahide Castle, then further on to the beach at Portmarnock. Both were gorgeous and better matched my perception of what Ireland should be. The castle innards were fairly boring, but the building was beautiful and the grounds were massive and well-manicured. The surrounding countryside was also really pretty. At Portmarnock, there were rocks to climb on and tidal pools to root around in, though the tidal pools were a bit dull compared to Washington State tidal pools.
In the evening, as it was our last night in Dublin, we decided to go out on the town. We went to a nice pub for dinner, where the prices were reasonable but the food was amazing. As we were finishing dinner, two very drunk and very gross guys sat down in the table next to us and harassed us (mostly Alex). Alex told them we were studying infectious diseases, to which the guy sitting next to her responded, "Oh, good, I can ask you my questions. I think I might have chlamydia. It burns when I pee." I kid you not, this actually happened!!! Then he showed her a massive boil on his finger, and asked about that. They kept asking us if we smoked hash, and one of them pulled out a large wad of cash while saying, "Cuz we can pay for it." The guy with the boil and chlamydia put his arm around Alex and touched her neck, and then the other guy leaned across the table and asked if we had ever heard of an orgasm. We hightailed it out of there. We went back to the youth hostel to get ready for going out, and we invited one of the girls staying in our room to come out with us. The four of us headed to The Temple Bar in Temple Bar, which was a really nice pub with live Irish music. The only men there were all about 20 years old or younger, which is not acceptable, so we sat around for a while just talking to each other. At one point, Alex got up to go to the bathroom, and she came back with four 20-year-old Dutch boys who had basically been waiting at the top of the stairs for her. They had been eyeing us since we had entered the pub an hour before. We talked to them for a while, then we all headed to a club. I have never been shoved and jostled so much in my life, and at least three different people spilled beer on me. One straight down the back of my shirt, and another all over my left shoulder, so it got in my hair, on my arm, all down my shirt, and onto my jeans. A beer bath, basically. But Tanya met a really nice Irish boy, so it's all worth it.
Wednesday--Dublin: We got back to the youth hostel at 4am and had to check out by 10, so I got four hours of sleep and was not a happy girl. Alex was coming down with a cold, so we decided to take it really easy and skip the Guinness factory. We were walking along the river trying to figure out whether we wanted to walk the two miles to the historical jail (gaol), when we realized we were really close to the Clarence Hotel, owned by U2. We went in and asked about the bar they own, but the concierge said it wouldn't be open until 5pm, when we had to catch our plane home. So we sat in the lobby and had tea service instead. It was really nice sitting and talking. Their hotel is gorgeous, but a bit dull and, what's the word? Expressionless? Emotionless? I'm sad we didn't get to see the bar.
Anyway, that was Dublin. On Thursday, instead of recovering from a busy week, I went out dancing with Carina, got horribly drunk (I've only been that drunk once before in my life, the night of the bra strap incident), danced like a madwoman, then started crying in the nightclub, then a random Frenchman came and asked me, "Pourquoi tu pleures?", so I stopped crying and spoke French to him, then got his phone number, went to a different bar, started crying again, had to be comforted in the bathroom, went for breakfast at a 24-hour diner, then vomited on the sidewalk. All in all, a fantastic night. My stomach hates me now, but at least I don't have a headache!
And tonight, Aparna is having a Bollywood night at her house, so that should be AWESOME. I'm looking forward to some good food and Indian dancing!
Many more photos here: Anti-V-Day and Dublin.