I can’t believe it has already been three weeks since I have been in Ireland. I have been travelling all throughout Ireland during my time here and have really made this place my home away from home. I have made so many new friends and have booked so many amazing trips all around Europe that I am very excited for. Constantly being around so many new people can sometimes be stressful so one Saturday morning me and a friend decided to go exploring around the local area.
We started off by walking to the end of my living complex and every time we had to choose a direction to go in we would switch off on who decides which way we should go. After about 20 minutes we were lost but continued onward with our game. The best part about our walk was that Cork does not have any street signs telling you where you are so we literally just winged it. One of the very first things that I noticed was that a lot of the houses around my apartment are gated off. This intrigued me so I asked a local construction worker why this was and he informed me and my friend that the gates were to stop college kids from destroying their property. As soon as he said this it dawned on me that a lot of the houses had security cameras on them which all made sense. We thanked the construction worker and continued on with our walk. Another interesting thing about Cork is that at randoms times you will get a whiff of either something quite pleasant such as fruit or baked goods or of something rotten such as sewage. These smells do not stay with you at all but randomly come and go while you are walking throughout town.
Although Cork city is only a 30 min walk away from where I live, I feel as though I am in a very peaceful and quiet environment. I have noticed during my time here that there are not as many sirens or bells ringing, also taxis are more willing to stop for you if you put your hand out. Another interesting thing about taxi cabs is that if you have called one to come pick you up but wave another one down before the first one gets here then the cab that you waved down will drive away and have you wait for the cab you called. That is a very honest and loyal thing that will you will not see happen anywhere in America.
I feel as though I am a visual learner and absolutely saw this walk as a teaching moment for me to not only understand the city better but to also learn more about the history and culture of the locals here. During my walk I learned that unlike Americans the locals actually know the history of their heritage and statue meanings. They do not only know the information but take pride in it as well. The last thing that stood out to me during my walk was that the stereotype of Irish people having red hair holds true.
At the beginning of our class we were told to choose a book that is about our country but written by someone who is not from that country. The book I choose as called, A Course Called Ireland which is about a man named Tom Coyne who departs on his final journey before his child is born. He sets off to Ireland with his clubs and starts to walk every course in Ireland while he discovered his roots. The book was a comical view on how ireland is laid out and that no matter where you go there will always be a golf course within walking distance.
The picture I have chose for this weeks post is a picture of the waterfront in Cobh. I chose this picture not only because it is beautiful but because I have finally learned why everyone’s house is painted a different color. I learned this information during my walk and it is because when the Irish moved in to their homes the British government would charge an extra tax on any house painted. Once the British relinquished power of Ireland all of the home owners decided to paint their houses. Now people come to Ireland from all around the world to see these houses.