I like the different dynamics of this trip. I've seen the side of a country I normally wouldn't see - kind of like waiting in line at the social welfare office for 2.5 hours, walking into a hotel today for an interview... yea I interviewed today! I did not expect it to happen like it did, but maybe something good will come from it. As Zach and I were walking from the USIT office (where BUNAC is) to the bus station I got a call from Anna-Maria, the human resources lady at the Newpark Hotel. Thankfully I picked up because Zach informed me that my voice mail is the voice of Wayne...evidently the last person who was renting the SIM card I have. (I changed it on the bus ride). She asked if I was in Kilkenny yet and available for an interview. I explained I was on my way and should arrive in the afternoon, and I told her I was traveling with a friend, Zach, who also sent a resume to her. She asked us to come by as soon as we could. After 2.5 hours on a bus in the gray rainy weather we arrived (I have been self diagnosed with S.A.D - seasonal affective disorder. Ireland might not be the best country for me after all. My moods change about as much as the weather here, which makes perfect sense I suppose). I did like seeing the green countryside. At on point I felt like I was in a star ship going through green light speed. A hedge taller than the bus towered right beside the road. As I was looking out the window it just blurred by like the special effects resembling light speed. The bus dropped us off right in front of the hotel, which was unexpected. The four of us (Erin and Kathleen also joined us on the bus trip - 2 girls from BUNAC orientation) walked inside to get directions to the Mcgabhainns Hostel. Anna-Maria was in the lobby and assumed we were there for the interview.
Let me take a minute to paint you a picture here. I spoke too soon the last time when I said I had a good room with no snorers. Last night was one of the worst sleeping situations ever. It was humid and muggy in the room. The window was left shut. The "hot chicks" I wrote about had very smelly backpacks like rotten tennis shoes. The French dude had a sneezing fit so much so I thought he might need medical assistance. 14 times in a row people! The human body is not meant to withstand that kind of strain. He had to excuse himself from the room about 2am - about the time I decided to open the window no matter what anyone said. Since he was obviously battling some kind of respiratory infection there was some snoring to accompany his sneezing. The loud kind that even wakes the one doing the snoring. He also wasn't the only one that night snoring. Needless to say I got little sleep last night. I had not showered either after sleeping in that sauna and I was wearing the same clothes as the day before when I stepped off that bus and into the rain. The dampness is the worst here. It never goes away. I also have not applied any make-up or picked up a razor since I've landed in Ireland! (Wahoo! j/k - I'm starting to feel really gross because of it)
So, picture painted, the lady wanted to start interviews one by one! No one else was in much better condition and our jaws just dropped. Seriously? This would be an interview for the record books. She said it was fine; she understood our situation, but she'd prefer to go ahead and start the process. So we did. I go back tomorrow for an interview with the lady who hires receptionists. I can't lifeguard because I don't have my certification cards with me, but they expire at the end of September anyway.
We left the hotel in search of our hostel. It was a long hike and I had my duffel with me. While it has wheels, the bag still drags the ground on occasion - enough so today that it rubbed a few small holes in the bottom :( but nothing some form of duct tape can't fix, hopefully. The rain finally stopped, and we set out from the hostel to look around as soon as we set down our stuff. I like Kilkenny. Wasn't so sure about it at first, but when the sun is shining it is beautiful. There is a castle that has a park surrounding it where a bunch of dogs and their owners seem to gather. There is a large green rolling hill in the middle surrounded by a shaded running track. A few meters away from that is the river which runs down and through the town. It was along this river that I discovered the origins of my dog today. It's been a little over one year since his death and I think today is the closest I've ever gotten to discovering what breed of dog made such a fine fellow. I was walking along and stopped suddenly to see Ben. He had just gotten out from a swim in the river, but there was no mistaking that look. He was an identical match to Frisbee except his spots were black not gray. I asked the family (mom, dad, and 3 girls ages 6-12) what kind of dog he was. Polish Lowland Sheepdog. If you google image this dog you might think I'm crazy. The hair is way too long to be Frisbee, but this dog Ben had shorter hair like Frisbee. The family said they also rescued him from the pound and found from a groomer what kind of dog he was because of his extra claw (something Frisbee had as well) They are the only kind of dog like that with a particular claw placed above the rest. I was sold. It's weird to me how I'm in a foreign country and I can communicate with all the vocabulary I normally would. Something I'm still not accustomed to.
My accent is something that seems to surprise others as well. Whenever I say I am from North Carolina people never fail to say I don't have a southern accent. This is especially common when I meet other Americans. I like that I don't sound like I'm from one particular place in the world, but all I can really say is you should hear my home videos from when I first started talking to around 8. Mom, dad and I watched a bunch of videos (for the first time) from when I was growing up before I left. The southern accent coming out of my mouth blew me away. It was crazy. Like a different person talking. Somewhere I lost it though...thankfully :) Although, it was cute then if I do say so myself.
Some final notes:
I had my first pub food Sunday night at Lanighans Plough. Homemade Pie consisting of purred beef, carrots, potatoes, parsnip, crust, and tomato sauce (added by me of course). Thankfully ketchup is not scarce around here like it is elsewhere in Europe. Actually, the food isn't bad when finding variety. I ran across a Papa John's today. I didn't try it, but if I end up living in Kilkenny I sure will. They have Dominoes too.