Abroad: Ireland Travel Blog

By Gill Hurtig

I landed in Ireland over a month ago. I planned on starting this travel blog right when I got here but forgot that I’m lazy as shit.

Anyhow, the days here are sparse. Food is sparse. I am fed one potato slice at noon and one spoonful of mashed peas at midnight. My program says this is to “immerse ourselves with Irish culture”—whatever that means. It’s not the famine anymore. And all the restaurants around look so good.

I’m getting used to this style of living though. I see the sun for about one and a half hours each week, which gives me plenty of time to practice unequivocal depression, something I was worried I wouldn’t get enough of here. I’m enjoying my classes—there are ten of them, each one is about a different reason why Ireland should be the porcelain capitol of the world. I have no idea how I’m getting English credit for this. My living situation is fine. I’m jealous of all the other kids who are studying abroad here because they live in student housing apartments which seem very nice, equipped with pool tables and Playstation 4s, but I can’t really complain. My program uses an old jail from the 1700s to house their students. It’s cold and dark, and I don’t have a bed, but hey, it’s right in the center of the city. Plus, I have a nice view of the outside from my window. Figure one shows our corridor the first time we all got to see where we were staying. Figure two is my room.

figure 1

Fig. 1

figure 2

Fig. 2

So far I’m definitely enjoying myself. The jail still uses gas lighting so, sometimes if I hyperventilate quickly enough when the windows aren’t open, I get really loopy and even hallucinate. At night I dream about being free around the city to see and do what I want. I pretend that I’m going to a rugby match, seeing a show at the Abbey Theatre, or drinking a pint of Guinness at a local pub. For now, those are just distant hopes and dreams, but maybe by the end of the program I’ll have some more freedom. I recognize that some kids actually get to do that stuff while they’re studying here, but I appreciate my program for what it is—a genuine experience of Ireland.

I’ll be back next time! There will be more pictures to come when I finally get my phone back. My program director took it when she saw me trying to FaceTime my mom.

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