Friday, January 22, 2016

Know Your Surroundings

one of the two Limerick bus services

Today was the first day I did something alone. I believe that in order to acquaint yourself with another country or city so that you feel comfortable, you need to get your own bearings first.

With the help of our API hosts, Maria and Gerard, I had some idea of how the bus system worked here. In my life, public transportation was never a thing. The only time I ever took a bus regularly was in elementary school (shoutout Barkhamsted Elementary) and even then my father drove me to school often. High school was another story - I lived only 5 minutes away and rode my moped there. Yes, my moped... Eventually I bought a car so the worries of travel were no more.

Now that I'm in a different country and have no car, public transportation is the only way. I'm not complaining...majorities of people in the world use it. It's just not something that I'm accustomed too. The way I see it is if I can figure out how to navigate the surrounding area all by myself, there will never be an instance where I am stuck...because I know how to handle.

Today I took the bus to the city of Limerick for some shopping. I had to grab some food, clothes, and bed linens. I found out shortly after arriving, to my ignorant surprise, that the bed linens they provided me needed to be returned. Shopping around the city is extremely easy here, just like it would be in any city because everything is so close. After roughly 1 hour of shopping, it was time to return home. But since I was walking all over the place with blind glee, not taking in my surroundings, I kind of lost the location for the bus stop. No worries, though, I was up for the challenge.

Sure, I could have easily asked a local for directions, but determination is a strong emotion. If I couldn't find my way back, how am I supposed to live here for four months? I walked around for another half hour, maybe more, until I found the bus stop. The bus was even there waiting...just for me, haha.

Simply put, immersing yourself in another culture is great craic (look it up). Talking to and meeting new people is always an interesting experience - one I greatly look forward too. And it is always great to have help, really. However, doing things by your self tends to be harder so if I can do that, then I should be able to do anything around here.

To be comfortable...take a deep breath, examine your surroundings, and get a feel, because if you don't know where you are, how the hell are you supposed to know where you're going?

stay tuned...

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