This is getting posted much later in the week than I intended. Ah! These weeks are going way too fast!! Here's what happened last week:
Monday, 17 March: Happy St. Patrick's Day! Honestly, I think this holiday is a bigger deal in the US than it is in Ireland. Maybe Dublin is different, but Blarney and Killarney, where I was today, it was pretty low key. I had my first day in the Killarney shop, which is the second shop that Unbound owns. It's about an hour's drive (or 1.5 hour bus), so Beth and I left around 10 to beat any traffic. The shopping centre was having holiday hours, so we didn't have to open until noon, rather than the usual 10am. For my lunch break I went out to see bits of the parade. It was a cute little country parade. After work, Beth and I headed home and had dinner with Eimear and Carla before heading to the Muskerry Arms pub in Blarney for a pint or two. It was packed! You could tell most of the people had been there most of the day or had at least been drinking most of the day. It was great people watching! The band was really good as well, so we stuck around for a couple hours. Beth really wanted a second beer, and I was good with my one, so she asked if I'd be okay driving home. Sure! I said, except I hadn't driven a manual in about 12 years! And the gear is on the left hand side! We ended up getting a system, where I'd steer and do the clutch and Beth would shift, since the gears tended to stick and I think it would have resulted in many stalls. However, I did well and I didn't stall once!
Tuesday, 18 March: I was working in the Cork shop today and started a project of major data entry. They are switching to a new inventory and point-of-sale system, and they need to take an inventory of all their books and gifts. I did all the gifts today and will tackle the books tomorrow. It was mainly a lot of copy and pasting, but I still had a lot of interaction with people, which is always okay with me! A while back I seen an ad for a show at the Cork Opera House -- a showing of the live production of the play War Horse. It was 10EU to essentially watch the video of the live show from London. A cheap way to see a professional, production-quality play. I'm really glad I went and will keep my eye out for more of these types of shows! That didn't start until 8, and I got out of work at 6:30, so I wandered around for a little bit and found out that Cork City completely shuts down at 6 or 6:30! The pubs start opening but any sort of shop or store is closed. So I literally wandered around for about an hour before the show opened. It was nice to see the city at a slower pace though. I caught the last bus home and called it a night.
Wednesday, 19 March: Another day at the Cork shop and another day entering information into the new system. We were getting a bit frustrated by it, but we're hoping it all works out. I didn't have anything planned for the evening, so I headed home on the bus and hung out with the housemates watching a movie.
Thursday, 20 March: Do you see a theme here with work? Yep, more data entry. Honestly, I don't mind doing it -- as long as I'm around people, can chat and get distracted every once in a while and can get in a rhythm. All of these things were happening, so I was good. There's a local volunteer who comes in on Thursdays to volunteer so we were chatting most of the time. She is an expat from Arkansas and is around my age. We got along grand and had some laughs while doing our work. After work I met up with a cousin of a friend of a friend. Follow that? My friend Tracy knows Julie, who lives in Limerick, Ireland. I met up with her a few weeks back and she mentioned she has a cousin in Cork that she'll contact. Well, we finally got together! We had a lovely time at dinner and then headed to a pub around the corner. I think we'll be getting together again soon. The last bus to Blarney is at 11pm (which is a bummer when you're having good drinks and conversation with new friends!!), so I set my alarm for 10:50 to leave the pub. Well, it was a little farther than I thought, so I ended up running to get on it! I did make it, however, when I left the pub, I learned just how badly I had to pee! As I was running for the bus (in my dress and boots, no less!) I realized that it was going to be a long ride and walk to my house! Sitting wasn't too bad, but once I got off the bus, it got real bad! But, I still had a good 15 minute walk uphill to my house! Let me tell you, I booked it! I made it in about 10 minutes (maybe even 8) and that was all while admiring the moon as I walk/ran! I made it and headed straight to the bathroom.
Friday, 21 March: I was in the Cork shop again today and also continued on the data entry portion of the week. There were three of us entering things, so we got in a rhythm, had a little team work going on and got it all done. What a nice way to end the week! I headed home right after the work day. The great thing about having four housemates is that one usually cooks on his/her day off, so most of the nights we have dinner waiting for us on the stove when we get home! Eimear (my Irish housemate) made a great pasta dish and had prepared a bunch of goodies for her birthday party. Some of her friends came around 8pm and we sat around and ate, chatted and ate some more. There were so many great tasting treats that I had a tough time with any self control. I headed to bed around 11pm and was relishing in the fact that I had another weekend off.
Saturday, 22 March: I had the house to myself today, so I relished in that! The weather was pretty crappy, so I stayed inside all bundled up. I did some pilates, cleaned, caught up on some emails, and then went for a bit of a walk when the weather cleared some. It was a really low key day. I made chickpea tacos for my housemates and then we had a relaxing night in reading -- I'm currently reading A Thousand Splendid Suns. It's really good!
Sunday, 23 March: I headed into the city centre to check out a church. It was a pentecostal/charasmatic church and really I wasn't a huge fan. The service was 2.5 hours first of all... seriously!? I don't mind a long service if it's quality content, but that wasn't much the case here, unfortunately. After the service I found a place for lunch and then just wandered around a bit. I grabbed the bus back to Blarney and then took the long way home, which involved about a three mile walk. It was a beautiful walk next to a river, with only a little bit of it being a harrowing jaunt on the side of the road with no footpath. I got back and pretty much headed straight for the couch again to continue my reading.
As promised these posts are getting more and more "every day." I don't mind spending time at home, but the social "I must be doing something every night!" side of me kicks in and I do look for things to do in the city centre. It is a bit of a hassle not having a car, but I'm surviving and making my way around. We'll see what (if any!) adventures come up for next week!