Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Porridge. With or without Whiskey?

Top 'o the evening my lads and lassies!  It's been quite a busy few days, but a lot has been accomplished.  Dublin is a beautiful and amazing city, and I think I will be quite happy here.  The people are absolutely the friendliest people of all the cities I've been to, and everyone - co-workers, hotel staff, and strangers - have been extremely helpful in getting me settled.

You're probably wondering about the title of this post.  Porridge (oatmeal) is a popular breakfast dish, and they happen to serve it with cream and "a dash of irish whiskey" at the hotel where I'm currently staying.  Thinking this was a traditional irish breakfast item, I of course had to give it a shot.  And it's delicious!!  However, after telling my co-workers about my whiskey porridge experience, I've learned that it is definitely NOT a traditional irish breakfast item, and no one had ever even heard of it before...go figure.

Believe it or not, happy hours are actually outlawed in Ireland.  As an attempt to curb heavy drinking, a law was passed that made it illegal for a pub to hold an hour of the night where drinks are cheap.  End result?  Pubs now hold entire nights in which the drinks are cheap (rather than a single hour), and people get even more smashed.

Finally found an apartment in the heart of dublin!  It's a nice 2 bedroom place 10 minutes walk from grafton street, a block from Trinity college, and 5 min from the bus stop where i pick up the bus to get to work every day.  Officially moving in on Saturday.  And just as an example of how nice people are here, the woman who's leasing the apartment to me has offered to pick me up with all my luggage and take me to the apartment, and then take me around town for any errands I may need - like groceries, linens, etc...  Because she knows what it's like to move to a new city.  Wow!

Note to self - The Hairy Lemon pub around the corner has AMAZING buffalo wings.  Thank you cab driver for sharing this secret with me.  :)

Some new translations:
dodgey - sketchy (i.e. "don't get an apartment near o'connell street - it's quite dodgey and you need to watch out for needles from the junkies")
porridge - oatmeal
pissed - drunk
table quiz - trivia
black pudding - NOT jello-chocolate pudding.  according to wikipedia, black pudding "is a type of sausage made by cooking blood or dried blood with a filler until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled."

Food here is actually fantastic - I've had some great thai, and just had the best indian food tonight i've ever had for dinner.  so it's not all meat and potatoes.  it's definitely there for the eating, but the city has pretty much every type of restaurant you can imagine.

Most of my co-workers don't live in city center, so I'll need to figure out ways to make friends here (suggestions welcome).  Eating dinner alone isn't exactly the most fun thing to do, and going to a pub alone will probably just open the doors to unwanted attention from the drunk lads, which is the last thing I need.  So, my first attempt at making friends (besides co-workers and hotel staff) will be to meet up with a group of couch-surfers for a Korean dinner on Monday night.  There's a couch-surfing club here in Dublin that goes out to dinner together every monday at a different ethnic restaurant - so far some people from Ireland, UK, and Holland have signed up.  I'll be the token american. :)

Here's some local news from today:


And my personal favorite read this morning...

Perhaps the most bizarre place I've been since arriving in Dublin is the gym I just joined, Crunch.  I think they must have turned an old night club into a fitness center, because the place looks like a gothic palace/dungeon inside.  Here's what the entrance looks like.  I wonder if Bono goes there.

There's a kitchen at work with a cappuchino machine (sweet!!) and you get to pick from an assortment of mugs each day for your coffee/tea.  Today's mug speaks for itself.

And finally, I took these photos of the Liffey river on my walk home from work this evening.  I never get tired of this view.  That's all for now.  Cheers!

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