Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A full agenda

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I woke up at 10:20 and left for church at the Anglican St. Nicholas Collegiate Church of Galway. It was beautiful inside. It is the largest medieval parish church in Ireland still in constant use. That’s a list of exceptions, but it was pretty nonetheless. Built in 1320, it was named for the patron saint of children, but at that time during the Middle Ages St. Nicholas was more commonly known as the patron saint of sailors. Therefore, most port towns had at least one church in honor of St. Nicholas. The service was alright, but more repetition and readings out of the bulletin than I would like. The sermon was very short and hard to understand again because of the acoustics, and a lot of children at this church were crying. They had communion where everyone goes up and takes bread then drinks out of the same cup. I know that’s how it is commonly done for some, but I’m not for that practice. I took the cup and symbolically drank from it. It is primarily about symbolism anyway, so I don’t feel all that bad for not actually drinking from the same cup as everyone else. The thought process I’m sure is that the Lord will protect you from germs if you are drinking from a cup of His blood, but my thought process is better safe than sorry and I’ll just take the cup in remembrance.

After the service we had about an hour to relax and fix some lunch before hitting Shop Street at 1pm. Today was much colder than yesterday. It drizzled a little bit, so we grabbed rain jackets. That’s the good thing about living in city center. Not far, if I need to get an extra shirt or jacket while on the job. I started the day by putting my under armor on under a long sleeve shirt and the uniform shirt on top. I’m glad I did. It was windy more than anything else, but the sun still came out between clouds. We ran into Marta and Demi and Roberto again today. Everyone is meeting at Roisin Dub for No Banjo’s performance. We made sure to spread the word. During our stamping I saw a lady wearing Carolina jacket. I had just said earlier if I saw someone wearing Carolina I would be sure to stop them and talk. She was with a little group of ladies and they informed me that they were on an Alumni trip with the University. We told them we were in Ireland for a few months working on the weekends and traveling during the week when we get the chance. I found out we beat ECU in the football game yesterday!! Called Leah immediately and left a message. I miss being able to talk to everyone frequently. I need to make more Skype phone calls when I get internet.

We ran into the Kester’s again as well. I asked how Connemara was and I got sodden faces as a response. Mrs. Kester explained they had some problems with the rental car and insurance. The card they were using was not working and if they used something other than Visa or American Express then insurance would have to be paid separate and cost a lot more money. They were getting it sorted out, but it would take a few days so they had remained in Galway for longer. Moral of the story is to always check you’re your insurance and credit card company about coverage before renting a car. Ireland, Iraq, and Iran have exceptions for rental cars and insurance coverage. We talked a little longer, but they said goodbye not wanting us to lose the jobs we had just acquired, but not before they got stamped and headed to Eddie Rockets for a milkshake themselves. They remind me of Pam and Glen, Tim and another lady who let Peanut and I stay in their rental car for the night in Cinque Terra, but even nicer. Mr. Kester suggested that we write this down on our resumes as: Direct Marketing with client interaction for First Star LTD. And that since we are the only ones promoting to find out an estimate of how much we have improved their customer basis and include that. Not a bad idea and something I will definitely look into.

There are about 100,000 people and 25,000 are students. I always seem to end up in student towns. I guess that’s a good thing. Chapel Hill, Florence, Galway. Those numbers help in getting people into Eddie Rockets. Today there were a lot less teenagers out than yesterday. It was much slower, but time seemed to pass a little faster. On our break I got a heart attack on a plate. I’m glad I only get a free meal twice a week and even that might be too much. I got the smokestack burger- bacon, onion ring, beef and special sauce with fries and a hot chocolate; all on the house.

It’s kind of funny how a lot of the teens we stamp will ask us if we’re American. I had one girl ask if we were American or just faking the accent. It took several times to convince her we were actually American. Another kid asked if Eddie Rockets had shipped us over here to work for them - not quite. We usually get the “ah, way cool” response when we admit to being American. Not everyone hates us! I have been told many times to vote yes for healthcare when I say I can’t vote on their EU issues because I’m American. We just vote for the people though not really the issues, which is interesting. We have referendums and petitions, but not really issue voting. It’s all just party voting as far as I’m aware. The last hour is the roughest. The shops close, the sun goes down, and the crowds thin at 6 but we still have to push on for another hour.

We have gotten to know the street performers and other solicitors who are out there as much as ourselves. Most of them are stationary so I am at least thankful I can move up and down the street and take in all the sights while working. I am not keen on taking in the sights of drunken Irishmen coming out of the pubs on Sunday afternoons after viewing sporting events. Their behavior is embarrassing and often rude.

On the way to clock out, I went by the 2Euro store window and noticed they had set out all their Halloween decorations. I got a wave of excitement since decorating for the Holidays (especially Halloween and Christmas – ironically) has always been my favorite thing. That was followed closely by a wave of despair when I realized buying anything for Halloween or Christmas d├ęcor would be a waste of money and not likely to happen. If they have some cheap lights I might splurge on some purple or orange ones. They’re always the best thing to add that feeling of Halloween if you can only get one item. I can make some paper cut outs of bats to go along with them. Then of course the pumpkin bread…that would never be a waste! The recipe I do not have though and will need to get Mom to send it to me via e-mail (hint: hint).

No Banjo was the agenda for the night. We met Roberto, Monica and Demi at Roisin Dubh for the performance. It was just as good as the last and this time I got some footage on camera.


After the concert we went upstairs for a bit. It was easier to talk there since Roberto and Demi speak limited English. Things have to be said often with gestures or by using multiple words till we come to the right one everyone knows. So you can see why communication during the concert was limited. I really enjoy getting to talk to them and pick up a few Spanish words while testing out my limited knowledge and memory of Italian. They both enjoy talking to me because I have no Irish accent, no southern accent (especially here) and I talk much slower than any northern American. I also like to explain things as best I can. Like the word warm for instance. Both Roberto and Demi knew hot and cold, but not warm. I explained with a graduated scale of freezing-cold- warm- hot, which worked well. They are both taking English lessons at the language center in Galway where they certify people to teach English abroad. To get certified, the teachers must practice, so they offer English sessions for a cheap price. Roberto told me I should teach English. I would be very good at it and I explain things well. I was flattered, but not sure that’s something I want to do. I also learned they have been exposed to English for many years now (around ten years with some instruction), and do not have a fluent grasp on the language. I have always been frustrated at my limited (let’s be honest – lack) of foreign language skills, especially with French. I have taken the language throughout high school and two semesters in college. I would think I would know it better than I do, but I’ve realized if I’d use it more I could have a decent grasp on the language and be about the level I should be for an average person learning a language.

Before parting, we all decided to have a dinner party Wednesday night. Everyone is to bring some sort of dish and they picked our apartment as the location. I got all excited! Then I later remembered I’m supposed to work at Amnesty till 8 that night. We close shop at 7 and that is when everyone is coming over, so maybe if I go in early and start cleaning early I can make it a few minutes late. Zach will be here, so it should work out fine.

Now to settle into my new book On Rue Tatin. It is a book about a lady who moves to France to settle into her own countryside home with her French husband whom she met previously on a year long adventure in Paris doing secretarial work for a cooking school and taking cooking classes at night. Have no fear; I’m quite positive I will not be acquiring an Irish husband. I just think the cooking parts and the country are magnificent things to read about, especially since I’ll be going there soon.

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