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Surviving life in Ireland – tips from a US girl who just landed

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Grafton Street, Dubl
My first day in Ireland was exciting but super long day. My flight left out of Newark, New Jersey last night at 7pm and we got into Dublin this morning around 6am. Once we got off the plane we met the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) people so they could take us to our hotel in Dublin.

We’re going to be staying in Dublin for the next few days and then the IFSA people are taking us to our student housing in Galway.

Once we got to the hotel, I met my roommate and we went up to our room. We had trouble attempting to get the lights in our room to go on until we discovered that the only way to turn the lights on is to put your room card/key in a little slot on the wall and then turn on the lights.

The heat in the room was really hard to figure out since the temperatures are all written in Celsius, we ended up turning it up way too high.

We got wifi for the room which was a process. We had trouble understanding the receptionist, who was explaining what we had to pay, because she was talking really fast. Then when we had finished paying she goes “It’s grand” and my roommate and I stood there staring at her wondering what she meant until we realized “it’s grand” must mean “have a good day” or “it’s all set”.
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We did exactly what everyone tells you not to do after an international flight and slept all day since we had free time. It was awesome. Even though I slept all day, I’m still exhausted.

Tonight we went to dinner at a Thai restaurant called Wagamama and I got some chicken ramen soup dinner. It felt really strange to be eating Thai food as my first meal in Ireland. Then we walked around Dublin and managed to find a drugstore that was still open! (a rare occurrence since all the stores over here close at 5 or 6 at night). I was able to buy a hairdryer and shampoo which was great since I was freaking out a little at the thought of not having my blow-dryer.

Then we made our way back to the hotel to hang out. Tomorrow we have orientation and then we’re going to the Guinness factory and I’m super excited

Things I’ve learned about Ireland so far:

1.) The police here are called the Gardai.

2.) It is illegal to not wear a seat belt on a coach bus.

3.) The door to coach buses are on the opposite side, since the driver’s seat is on the opposite side. (I found this out when I tried to walk into what I thought was the door of the bus, but it actually wasn’t..the bus driver found this amusing.)

4.) Stores close early. Everything is closed by 5 or 6 at night.

5.) They sell Herbal Essences shampoo here which makes my day awesome.

6.) The sun doesn’t rise until 8 or 9am. (at least this morning it was still dark at 7 or 8)

7.) Do not turn the heat in your room up to 30 celsius... you’ll end up over heating.

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