I arrived in Cork last week, and am very happy! In the midst of settling in, I have been moved by how charming this small city truly is. The history and new lifestyle could not be more exciting to me; here are my four highlights:
- Small shops and markets line the streets here. Plus, all of the food is fresh and nutritious. This lifestyle would surely be luxurious in the US, but is completely normal here. Not to mention, street performers sit on every corner… and they’re actually good! Needless to say, I think I’ll stay!
- The police (called The Garda) are unarmed here! The Irish people have their fun shaming the American police system. Learning this kicked off my mission to better understand race relations with a more global perspective.
- Pubs are fun and also very charming (as I’m sure you can imagine). A couple fun facts: One pint of the local brew equates to a loaf of bread! Also apparently it’s slightly appalling to locals when women drink pints. Due to this norm, when the Obamas visited, they handed Barrack a pint, but Michelle a glass. Do I conform to gender norms orrrrrrr……
- Learning about Ireland’s history has been key to truly valuing my new home. The massive cathedrals in town are not only beautiful, but give insight to the religious feuds that have shaped Irish history and their modern day politics. The frequent rain and grey skies have also become significantly less annoying now that I understand the same rain and cool weather shaped the agriculture practices that led to the potato famine. I’ll spare you history lectures; however, I am simply captivated by the ways that history is braided into everyday life here!
Pics are below with captions. Stay tuned; I plan to travel around Ireland to learn more about its history and politics over the next couple weeks. Cheers!