The Rain Before the Rainbow

My first lovely, delicious bowl of successful kettlecorn! How exciting!

Successful Kettlecorn (3/3/14)

I have to share this because cooking has become a passion of mine I’ve discovered while here in Ireland. I have officially learned how to make a nice, delicious batch of kettlecorn, aka sweet/sugary popcorn, from scratch. HOW EXCITING!

I’ve been making popcorn “the old fashioned way” in a pot with oil – instead of buying microwavable bags – for a while now. But for the first time, I made edible, delicious kettlecorn at home! So proud of myself!

How? 1cm of sunflower oil + (3 tbsp kernels + 2 tbsp brown sugar)

An American goldfinch I drew for my flatmate.

Pancake Tuesday (4/3/14)

Back in California, Lent wasn’t really a big thing. Mardi Gras was just another day to drink. But no, Pancake Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras, is a smidgen different here in Ireland. People actually go around saying “Happy Pancake Tuesday!” kind of thing. Plus, pancakes are made for breakfast – for once, at restaurants and for like food sales on campus. It’s rather interesting. Just throwing it out there.

On a side note, I’ve apparently picked up a hobby of drawing. My current large project is drawing some birds for my lovely Italian flatmate.

Bookings & Ash (5/3/14)

Ash Wednesday, it’s a thing. I don’t typically see people back home walking around with ash crosses drawn on their forehead on Ash Wednesday. It might be the area I grew up in, but I’ve never really seen in happen where I’ve lived in California. However, in Dublin, Ireland where most of the population is Catholic, you actually do see students walking around campus wish ash crosses drawn on their head. Quite interesting.

Cute little buds growing out for spring!

Oh! and SPRING IS COMING TO IRELAND! I’m so pumped for this! All the cute little flower – and lateral (branching) buds – are out and about! THEY’RE SO ADORABLE!

After school finished for today, I finally found some time to organize my finances and book my hostels for Liverpool and London. It was crazy. I booked from Hostelbookers.com where they charged me about €25 for two nights in Liverpool in a 10-bed mixed dorm room, including a €3 booking fee. However, when I was checking for prices at Booking.com, it totaled to €38+. WHAT?!

Then again, booking transportation from Liverpool to London was insane. If I had paid for a ticket for a 3-hr ride on the TransPennine Express, it would’ve cost £66 during the cheapest time. However, if I took Virgin Trains, I could pay £36 for a 5-hour ride with arrival during “peak hours”, or £19 for a midnight arrival in London. THEN, there was Megabus. It cost me £3.50 to ride for 6 hours, leaving at 6am and arriving at noon in London. If I had opted for a 2-8am or a 3-8pm ride, it would’ve cost £10.50. Crazy stuff.

Captain America with an “Irish viking” hat preparing for St. Patrick’s Day week to begin.

Almost ‘Til Spring Break! (7/3/14)

I was SOOOOO glad when I finished my last midterm this morning. However, it was an essay exam midterm, so I can only hope that it went well, especially since my handwriting decided to become a more angular kind of cursive towards the end. It got awkward.

Anyways, after all that stressing over testing, I celebrated the beginning of Spring Break with my new American trampoliner friend and my Italian flatmate. We decided to eat out at Captain America’s. It was quite an interesting place with an “American feel”, much like Red Robin, and about just as expensive. It felt like a lot of the restaurants at home, except it was in Ireland. I rather liked it. If only I had enough money to go more often.

I had originally hesitated going to such a place, but I was recommended to go there, so we all decided to try it. It was definitely really good.

Things I Learned “today”

  • Anise seed liquor exists.
  • Ghost flowers, also known as Indian pipes or corpse plants, are indirect parasites. They feed off their host plants by utilizing its “symbiotic” connection with a mycorrhizal fungus.
  • Hungarians have roadside fruit tree harvesting events. They plant fruit trees on the road side and harvest them together as a community.
  • Spinach is dioecious, meaning its male and female flowers grown on different plants.
  • Irish people don’t “prom”. They have “debs”, or something like a debutante ball; and instead of having it BEFORE finals of your senior/final year, they have it AFTER (smart).

Words/Phrases of the Day

  • Bloke = man/guy (unlike what we, Americans, think it means)
  • Give a  dig in the head = hit someone in the head, most of the time for being stupid
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