After a layover in Philadelphia and two weeks of jury duty in Minneapolis, I’m back in St. Louis! The Wash U campus feels strangely serene, surrounded by residential neighborhoods instead of the buses, shops and pubs outside Trinity. The streets are oddly wide, the sidewalks oddly empty — instead of weaving through crowds, encountering another pedestrian is suddenly an ordeal necessitating nods and eye contact and wondering if I recognize them. It’s hot all of a sudden (I nearly fainted during my first Minneapolis run at a mere 85 degrees), going grocery shopping requires a level of coordination beyond grabbing a Dunnes bag and walking out the door, and the butter (and cider, for that matter) is less delicious. I miss the general Irish mode of cheerful sarcasm, the rambling walks around Dublin, and the benches in Merrion Square.
On the other hand: friends, family, good root beer, cheap produce, readily available black beans, Forest Park just a few blocks away, and a comfortingly familiar academic system.
It’s good to be home. But Dublin, I’ll be back.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Bea Gantzer, and I am a junior English major at Washington University in St. Louis. I'm a distance runner, baker, and Minnesotan. This will be my first time out of the United States, and I look forward to experiencing a new culture, soaking up Dublin's rich history, and getting little-kid excited over seeing buildings older than the U.S. itself.</span></p>