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Two Truths and a Lie: Cold Weather, Jet Lag & Friendly People

Getting adjusted to life in a new city has been easier than I expected. Maybe I’m still in the honeymoon phase with Dublin or maybe the friends I’ve made have given me the best company to explore the city with, but I honestly don’t think my excitement will wear off any time soon. Dublin is a smaller city, but every day I discover something new about it. I did, however, arrive with a few ideas about what to expect in regards to weather and what the people would be like. Here’s what I’ve learned is true about Dublin and not so true about traveling:

“It’s always cold!!!”- Truth (however, it does not always rain)
One thing I did not expect was the cold. Yes, I’m from Texas, so you might ask “okay, but is it actually cold or can you just not handle anything under 100 degrees?” Listen, it’s 45 degrees here during the day and gets down to 30 or below every night. Electricity is expensive, so we have to put our heaters on timers. Our rooms get three hours of heat a day and we have to heat our water for two hours prior to showering. Even then, we can only heat it once a day, twice if we feel like treating ourselves. So trust me, it’s cold. My biggest piece of advice to anyone thinking of studying in Dublin is to bring blankets and socks. I wish I had better, more philosophical advice, but I am too cold to think of anything.

 My roommates and I getting some nice, hot coffee
(I'm pretending not to be cold but I'm wearing a hat
indoors and not fooling anyone).

“Jet lag is for the weak and/or doesn’t exist”- a.k.a. the biggest lie to ever exist
When I stepped foot in Dublin for the first time at 8:30 a.m., I thought I was invincible. Jet lag was for the weak. I was ready to go exploring the city, and that’s exactly what I did after I got settled in my student accommodation.

I walked around for three hours with another student who had arrived a week earlier and I didn’t get a chance to sleep before my roommates and I went out for our first night. For the next four days I was able to go full speed every day and night including going on a bus tour, finding the farmers market, visiting the Guinness factory, walking an extra three miles because we got lost on the way to the Guinness factory, and going to a pub nightly. Each night, I only got about six to seven hours of sleep and still felt the great the next day.

Then, on my sixth day in Dublin, I almost blacked out while visiting the National Writers Museum, and that night I got a fever so bad that I was sweating while wearing shorts and a t-shirt in my 50 degree room. After a discussion with another student who had experienced the same thing prior, I learned it was just severe jet lag. So, don’t be stupid like me, and please do not think you are immune to jet lag!! I spent most of my sixth day resting and after class my seventh day resting, as well. I was okay after that; I just needed to slow down!

 Sunset in Pheonix Park, Dublin

“The Irish are the friendliest people in the world!”- Not officially true according to some travel sites, but as far I’m concerned, it’s true.
I was determined to go somewhere that played live, traditional Irish music. So on my third night here, I grabbed three friends and we set off to a pub that was about a twenty minute walk away. After we had been there for an hour, the floor manager came over to talk to us just to see how things were going, if we liked the pub, etc. He ended up talking to us for another hour! He asked us about what we thought of Ireland, and at the end of the night he even brought my friend a bouquet of a dozen red roses.

Once we made friends with him, he introduced us to the bartender, and after we chatted with him for a while he then introduced us to some regulars at the pub. The night ended with us feeling so welcome and like a part of a community after only one night. We had originally planned on staying out no later than 11, but sometimes things don’t go according to plan and places have a way of enchanting you. So far, I wouldn’t trade my time here for anything, and really, who can complain when they’re in the world’s friendliest country?

Alice Corcoran  is the Spring 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Dublin, Ireland. She is currently a Junior at Texas A&M University.

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