On day four in Dublin, I have finally come to the realization that I'm finally here in Ireland. Because I want to keep in touch with everyone while I'm abroad, I've decided to record my adventures in Dublin, and beyond, just as James Joyce did with Leopold Bloom in the 1920s in his world famous novel Ulysses. As "The Telemachiad" is the first chapter of Bloom's travels, so it will be mine as well. Obviously my circumstances are quite different than Bloom's, as the entire novel spans his one day passage, 16 June 1904, through the Irish city. But with that being said I do intend to see as much of Dublin, Ireland and Europe as he did while I'm abroad.
This semester long adventure began last Thursday night as the Aer Lingus flight 108 departed from John F. Kennedy airport. Overcome by the excitement, I did not (or could not) sleep on the plane, which made for a very interesting Friday. Landing just in time for breakfast, I was picked up from the Dublin airport by Max, a great friend of mine for the past three summers. For the next few months, I'll be living with him and his amazing family in Howth, a seaside town just northeast of Dublin. To avoid jet lag, I didn't go to sleep immediately, but I played golf instead, and quickly learned that I am no golfer at all. To further avoid jet lag, I didn't go to sleep at a normal hour, but we went out for the birthday of one of Max's good friends. Safe to say, I was easily roped into the time zone I'll be in for the next few months.
The following morning I drove into Dublin with Max to the site of the UCEAP (University of California Education Abroad Program) orientation. There I met the nine other UC students that will be at Trinity College, and the forty other UC students studying in Ireland this term. While at this meet up in Dublin we discussed campus safety, registering for classes, and went on the occasional field trip to famous Dublin sights, we were really there to meet other students from the Ireland program. The weekend was filled with awkward introductions and quite often you'd introduce yourself to the same person. You'd meet someone, learn all about them, not ask their name again at the end, and forget their name...and this was not just me. I talked to a bunch of my friends and they forgot a lot of names too. To fight this, we'd go through the whole group whenever we had a moment matching up names, faces and descriptions.
Towards the end of my second day in Ireland, while on one of the orientation tours, I made a pact with four of my friends that we would go on a "fright night" bus tour of the city and then follow that with our own ghost stories at a pub. Well we read the times wrong. Turns out 20.30 is 8:30 not 10:30...live and learn. So last night was our last night all together before we split off to our different campuses and we finally made it a Ghost Bus Tour through Dublin's horrific past. The tour guide was hilarious and overall, while a little corny, it was an amazing night. So all in all, what was a seemingly dry orientation, turned out to be a great weekend of meeting friends that will be all over Ireland.
I know I'm going to miss all you guys tremendously, but I think this is a great way to stay in touch. Thanks you guys so much for reading and not to worry, I am in great hands here in Howth!