Post-Term Adventures

Hannah Vose
December 23, 2013

On December 13th, Michelmas term ended and shortly thereafter everyone I know abandoned me, some to go home to see their families, others to do a bit of traveling around Europe (one of my roommates is hitting Scandinavia, France, Italy and I think Germany as well — I am incredibly jealous). I’m leaving on Monday to spend Christmas with my family in Harrogate, a pretty little spa town outside of Leeds (and also where I was born!) so I’m really not complaining. I just like to be dramatic. Anyway, left to my own devices, I have had several options for things to do: write the papers which are due mid-January, do a deep clean of the kitchen, or go exploring around Dublin and the outlying villages. I probably should have started on my papers, but, well, they don’t call me the Queen of Procrastination for nothing, so obviously I did everything else.

First order of business was defrosting the fridge, which is something I’ve never done since I’ve never lived totally by myself before. Our fridge was an arctic wasteland that was becoming dangerously close to being named a protected wildlife area. It took about eight hours and near-frostbite, but there’s enough room for food in it. I then tried descaling the electric kettle, which is something I’ve also never done before, and it appears to have worked although it still smells a bit like vinegar. Eh. Study Abroad: Providing the Opportunity to Develop Life Skills!

Anyway, more interesting things: before they left, I went with two of my friends to see a rollerderby bout out in Tallaght in the National Basketball Arena. The Arena is a little bit bigger than my high school gym and it took a bus and a fifteen minute walk in freezing rain and wind to get there, but rollerderby was awesome! We watched the amateur league first — two teams of high school kids from across the country — and then the professionals came on. It was Dublin versus Yorkshire, and Yorkshire won by a tiny margin. Being from Yorkshire but living in Dublin, my loyalties were confused but I eventually decided to cheer for Dublin. For all that we lost, everyone was great sports about it and the atmosphere was really friendly. I also had an amazing vegetarian pie (in the Anglo-Irish sense of like shepard’s pie, not pumpkin pie) which I believe should be standard ringside fare at all sporting events. Ever. I’d go.

That evening we went to the 15th Annual LGBT Christmas Carol Service which was held at the Unitarian Church on St. Stephen’s Green (the one which is right across from the Green Line Luas stop, if you should ever be in that area you’ll know which I mean.) I’m not religious and neither was the friend I went with, but we went along with — and on the suggestion of — one of her Catholic friends, and I’m really glad we did as the music was really nice, everyone was super friendly, and the service was almost non-denominational so I didn’t feel hideously out of place. Afterward we went to Pantibar for drinks and we were just in time to see the show which was quite funny — if definitely not the type of thing that the faint of heart want to stand at the front for (audience participation is… enforced.) The next day I went with a couple of friends to the Christmas Market in the Docklands. It was a Sunday so the inside part closed at 6 and the outside closed at 8. It was expensive and kind of small (although there were, like, five different carousels, which struck me as weird [and this coming from someone who grew up in the carousel capital of the world]). The important lessons gleaned from this were: do not order Powers (it’s whiskey and hot water with lemon and spices and it tastes like cough medicine), but DO order buttered rum (it’s like what I imagine butterbeer would taste like if it was alcoholic).

On Tuesday I took advantage of the one nice day which has been visited upon the east of Ireland in the past week and a half and took the DART down to Bray, a coastal resort-type village south of Dublin, and then I did a 5.5 km seaside hike along the cliffs to Greystones, the next town along the coast. It took a little under 2 hours, the weather was in the 50s (Fahrenheit) and it was sunny, if a bit windy. I loved it, which is saying something since I’m famous in my family for being the one who cannot tolerate all things nature and believes firmly that the Outside is an evil only to be visited for the facilitation of getting to another Inside. I found myself stopping and leaning against the railing and just grinning like an idiot because Ireland is a beautiful, beautiful country and the water was this gorgeous teal colour which looked unreal against the green grass the grey rocks. While I’m unlikely to go camping in a tent in the forest any time soon, I will definitely be going back to do that hike again once the weather gets better.

Unfortunately, the weather’s been pretty miserable from Wednesday on. It’s been cold (Ireland-cold, not New York cold — we’re talking low 40s F, not low 20s F [Ireland's making me really soft]) and raining, but worse than that it’s been really, really windy. I don’t mind rain, I’m not particularly bothered by the cold as long as I’ve got all the necessary outerwear, but the wind is the worst. It’s too strong to use an umbrella in the rain and my coat ends up acting like a sail so I get pushed around. I ventured out to the Dundrum Town Centre to get groceries on Thursday and quite literally was inches away from getting blown into traffic. Today, however, it was nice! Today it snowed! It’s the first time I’ve seen it snow here, and even though it didn’t last very long it was kind of nice: reminding me that it’s winter without dumping three feet of evidence on me like it is on my friends and family back in New York.

Now, back to worrying about whether Ryanair’s going to try and pull a fast one on me with my carry-on bag…


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Hannah Vose

<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);">Hannah Vose is a University of Rochester junior, majoring in English with an interest in literary translation studies. When not burying her nose in whichever book has most recently been plucked from atop the dangerously tall pile on her desk, she can be found obsessively learning new languages, squinting through her (very stylish, thank you!) bifocals at someone else&#39;s writing in her job as a Writing Fellow, drinking stupid amounts of tea, squinting through her bifocals at her own writing in her job as a scathing self-critic, or dreaming of living somewhere which gets even less sun than Rochester. Born in England but having lived most of her life in Endicott, New York, she has traveled back to the Land of Her People twice and visited Dublin once on the way over. She considered applying to Trinity College as an international student, but was deterred by tuition costs (yikes!) so she&#39;s absolutely 100% thrilled to be living in Dublin and taking classes at Trinity for an entire year (and only about 34% of that is because she might get to take a class on Patrick McCabe -- will it happen? Stay tuned!)</span></p>

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