Touching down in Ireland on the morning of September 5 after a red-eye flight, I was greeted by a view of a countryside that resembled a green patchwork quilt. The weather reminds me of a rainy, April day and the entire city of Galway is like one of those storefront towns in Disney World. The cobblestone streets only add to the charm, and twinkly lights are strewn into a canopy between the buildings on Abbeygate Street. The pubs are beautiful, some having stained glass windows and live bands every night. In the streets, there are musicians on nearly every block singing originals, covers or songs sung with accents so thick they might be speaking Gaelic.

I have been here for five days and already my fake Irish accent has gone from downright offensive, to tolerable. I consider that progress. I have also noticed that while Irish people speak English, they have words or phrases entirely different from America. For example, the word “craic” (pronounced crack), is not a highly illegal drug, it means “fun.” Although I suppose for some people that is probably the same thing. Regardless, it does not make it any less weird when you hear someone say “Where’s the craic?” or “What’s the craic?”

On Sundays, there’s a bazaar outside the church, off of Shop Street downtown. Under the green pop-up tent, for 80 cents you can get the best made-in-front-of-you doughnut of your life. I will never be able to eat a doughnut from Dunkin again. The sugar-cinnamon outside crunches when you bite down into the warm center. I would gladly eat them every day for the rest of my life. Don’t make the mistake of asking what flavors are available though. The doughnut man will only laugh, point to the large sign behind him and say, “Don’t ask me that, this sign cost me 40 Euro!” Not that I would ever make that mistake…

The sun came out this morning, and I was so shocked that I grabbed my purse and ran outside to sit in the sun outside a coffee shop with an Americano. It was lovely for about 15 minutes until the clouds came, the wind picked up, and it began to sprinkle. I then packed up my things and walked back to my apartment. However, in the five minutes it took to get back to the other side of the canal, the sun was shining like nothing had happened. The weather is moodier than your teenage sister, but wow, this city is beautiful.

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