Raise Your Hand If

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had to do your own grocery shopping?  If you’ve lived by yourself?  If you’ve done both of those for the first time in another country?  Oh, just my hand raised on that last one?  Cool, cool…

Moving into my U. Limerick college apartment has been full of adjustments!  From the ginormous dead spider in the hallway that no one cares enough to clean up (I nicknamed him Aragog for any Harry Potter fans, that’ll give you an approx. size), to the crusted spaghetti sauce and dried cookie dough smeared on every kitchen surface, shiny Dominoes and Chinese food flyers littering the welcome mat like a coupon collage, it’s safe to say that I am not living in my parents house anymore.  Irish housemates have arrived and left this apartment over the last two weeks just like my old friend Hurricane Irene; they stayed for a bit and caused some destruction, then faded off to someplace else with a huff.  I rarely see half of my housemates.  In most six-person apartments, you could shout “Hello”, or check the kitchen to see who’s home.  Well, for the first week, I was only able to figure out how many people were living in my house at the time by how many Suave shampoo bottles were in my shower.

I’ve also had to embrace the change of buying real food and cooking for myself and friends.  My friends Cam, Amanda, Jeremy and I have taken a relaxed rotating type of schedule for dinner, finding it’s sometimes easier to cook for four than it is for one (especially with our lack of Tupperware).  Each apartment was allotted 6 chairs, 6 plates, 6 cups, 6 spoons, etc, etc.  So much for the old-fashioned Irish hospitality– if I want to have friends for dinner, it’s BYOPFG (bring your own plate, fork, and glass)!  Speaking of hospitality however, the four of us did stumble into some “pay it forward” action yesterday.  After walking a couple of miles to the Lidl (cheap store like Job Lot) and then across the street to Superquinn (equivalent of Big Y), we stepped into the street to realize a pouring rain shower had arrived while we were pushing our squeaky carts around the store.  With armloads of groceries and only one way home (walking), we decided to wait it out.  In the meantime, I squeezed myself into the child ride Bob the Builder in the lobby, as those entertaining “let’s see if I can fit/get stuck” games never get old (I got just as many dirty looks as I do at home).  Just as I was emerging painfully from Bob’s mini dump truck, a man walked out of the store and inquired if we were waiting for a taxi.  Since we’re twenty and considered young, strong, and all that stuff (but really, we’re mostly cheap) we answered we were just waiting out the shower.  He proceeded to offer the four of us and our groceries a lift back!  It was by far one of the nicest things that’s happened since we’ve been here, and we were so grateful!  Apparently, he used to go to UL and was feeling a little friendly.  So watch out unknown strangers, a random act of kindness is coming your way!

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