I haven't even been here 4 weeks yet. It feels like I've been here about 4 years. Absolutely loving life, college is stepping up a gear, that thing people call "work" looks like it'll come knocking someday soon, despite my best efforts.
Last Sunday was the All Ireland Final, a day where no matter how much of a bandwagon jumper you are or no matter where you are in the world, it is truly unique. French people get headaches just thinking that there can be a sport that is a mixture of...yes, rugby, football and handball (and/or boxing, depending on the counties involved),with what seems to be very few rules. The rules thing was also a huge issue for the Germans. Even the English people got a bit disillusioned after 10 minutes and went and sat at the empty side of the bar where the Premier League was on.
But, as in thousands of bars around the globe, about 20 true Irishmen and women turned out, (shouting mostly for Mayo, which admittedly did get a little awkward...) to cheer on the pure uniqueness that is Gaelic Football on All-Ireland day. Donegal were deserved winners on the day, although I got the feeling the minority of mainland Europeans present had no idea until the cup was lifted who had actually won and why.
Another recent new experience is my very first visit to IKEA here in Gcchhunoblhh. There is one in Dublin, for a few years now, but I've never made it out, much to my regret now... What can I say, it is incomprehensibly big, and incredibly amazing. There was something about the mattress section which made me feel like I was about 8 again. Oh and the swingy chairs. Lots of those too. I did end up making a few purchases, after all the frolicking was done, (which included an extensive sword fight/Harry Potter duel using long pieces of foam with a fellow young adult, also trying to assert his own position in an adult society). A clothes horse, a much needed toilet seat, a juicer and a chopping board were among my strangely varied purchases, and soon afterwards, my IKEA adventure came to a gradual and tearful end.
I nearly forgot my amazingly epic trip to Lyon on Saturday! We tried a site called covoiturage.fr, essentially car-sharing, and while I'd usually be a bit reluctant, I decided to go for it in typical YOLO fashion. So, the three of us got a lift to Lyon from a quirky judo instructor that happened to be an avid fan of Rammstein. I also am now an avid fan of Rammstein, after a good hour's journey from 7-8am, hearing nothing but incredible rock tunage. The Maison du Judo, where she dropped us off became our unintentional focal point, and having lost our way and ended up there about 3 times, we eventually found somewhere to eat and from where to plan our day. We visited a military prison (as you do), a lovely park, (with a free zoo!), a lovely hilltop town with lovely views, where we found an amazing chocolate shop and unbelievably cold water, and finally the centre-ville itself which is charming in it's own way. We also missed our train coming back, in typical Erasmus adventure fashion. I found Lyon to be a lovely place, although it's hard to beat the scenery in Grenoble, so if there was one criticism I had to make about Lyon it would be the mountains thing, or lack thereof. Had a thoroughly enjoyable, random and funny day, with plenty of interesting photos which shall be available soooon!
Another week of classes at Sciences-Po has ended, and to my delight I have Fridays completely free this term! Plenty to fill it with however, last bits of bureaucracy and upcoming presentations will make sure I don't have things too easy. I'm getting to know so many people still, and it's great to constantly see familiar faces around college, means there's always someone up for a chat!
I feel my leaba calling me, à bientot! :)