Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ireland - Irish Breakfast

Two days ago was my first day in Ireland. I've never been to Ireland, and I didn't have much expectations other than hearing British accent and drinking ales. We took a bus ride from the airport to the city center, where our housing is located (costed us 5 euros). For the first time in 4 years I will be studying in a city center brimmed with shopping centers and, most importantly, restaurants.

To my surprise, Cork is actually a big city. When I mentioned "Cork" to anyone who asked me where my school in Ireland is going to be, nobody seemed to recognize it. Even my Dutch friend said that many Europeans don't know about Cork as well. Well, Cork is the second biggest city in Ireland. There are no skyscrapers on sight but I no longer see large green pastures, corn fields or anything like that anymore.

What's really striking about Ireland, from my 2-day observation, is the friendliness of its people. On the bus, we were talking to each other on how we should call the housing management to pick up the key because we arrived on Saturday and the main office is closed. The bus driver overheard us, and he spontaneously offered to call the housing for us. Later on, I heard from my other friends that their bus driver stopped the whole traffic just to explain the directions to them.

I did a dumb decision shipping my blanket and my bedsheet using postal service and they are not here by the time I arrived, so I had to deal with makeshift blankets for at least a week. And unfortunately, couple of my housemates did the same. Lesson learnt: always bring the essentials. 

We visited a TESCO, an American brand supermarket. Since we live in the city center, everything is within walking distances. Perhaps it's a little dangerous to live here if you like to shop, but fortunately I'm the type of person who always go shopping only when I need something, so money management should not be a really big issue unless social interaction forces me to go window shopping.

Across TESCO we found a good all-day breakfast restaurant which serves typical Irish breakfast. The restaurant, Puccino's, serve a variety of breakfast foods but what caught my attention was a menu called "A little bit of everything". 

I figured that it would be too much lunch for me because I had a huge breakfast, but the black and white pudding caught my attention. Black pudding (wiki) is actually a blood sausage, and white pudding is made of pork meat, fat oatmeal and other stuffs (wiki).

I neither like nor dislike the black and white pudding. I will eat it if it's on my plate but I will not seek it.

The cafe's theme was rather unique. Other than random quotes framed and hung on the walls, the plates, cups, sugar packaging and even the biscuit to accompany my coffee has random, eye-catching quotes: brown sugar is "for snobs", white sugar is "for commoners", and they call the biscuit "stupid little biscuit".

I used two packs of white sugar and 1 pack of brown sugar because the cup of coffee is quite a large one. That makes me two-thirds commoner and one-third snob. LOL.

I'm loving Ireland. If only the light rain would stop more frequently, that would be super awesome :)


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