Last Week of Semester 2!

Visitors! (21/4/14)

So, today was a bank holiday – meaning we have no school! Yay! Horray! My friend is visiting from her study abroad location in England along with one of her friends. I picked both of them up from the airport at separate times today. It was quite fun. I got to make my first welcome sign for an airport pick-up, since I didn’t really know her friend and didn’t quite know what her friend looks like. I took them from the airport to Abigail’s Hostel – ah, the memories.

While I was a Abigail’s indulging in the memories of my first weeks in Dublin, I noticed that apparently there’s a Game of Thrones Tour that was recently established and now being advertised. My new friend got super excited over it and planned to take the trip. After resting up and settling in, the three of us went out for a bit and took a walk around town. The best part of the day was definitely going to Asia Market again. I picked up a box of delicious Chinese egg/biscuit roll snacks and a pennywort drink, which I had been DYING to try for a while but never stumbled across. It was an absolutely relaxing day.

Top left: The egg before opening. Top right: Opening the egg. Bottom: a cute, new friend!

Sommie Side-Up Eggs (22/4/14)

My Italian flatmate had brought back an Easter egg during her last visit home before the Easter insanities. It was adorable. So, the Easter eggs here in Ireland are compose of a chocolate shell with more candies – most of the time more chocolates – inside of that shell. However, the Italian Easter egg my flatmate brought back to Ireland, it was a chocolate shell around a large, plastic egg that encases a plushie – she likes to say ‘plushie’ because ‘stuffed animals’ makes her think of taxidermy – wrapped in plastic. It was the cutest thing!

Later tonight, I went for trampoline practice and I began to learn front somersaults – or as one of my coaches likes to call them “front sommies”. My coach keeps telling me that I have good power, but I don’t know what that entails. Either way, the coaches I worked with tonight were both impressed by how well I do them….apparently. One of them told me it’s because I propel myself into the somersault AFTER my feet leave the trampoline rather than before – essentially my feet leave the trampoline in a rather vertical manner instead of a diagonal manner (?). Either way, it was absolutely FUN – and frightening.

Different Places, Different Ways (23/4/14)

This morning, for breakfast, my flatmate was having chestnut jam and she offered some to me. She had brought it from home, as her granny makes it every year. Chestnut jam…who wouldn’t thought. Anyways, it had about the same consistency as apple butter/apple sauce. I’d never had chestnuts before, but I can tell you that chestnut jam was pretty good.

Tonight, I went to our trampoline club annual general meeting (AGM). Apparently every club hosts one of these towards the end of the year to vote for the new committee/board/leadership positions – and to amend their club constitutions. You sit there for a few hours listening to speeches by people who want to try for a position, then you fill out the order in which you’d vote for these people on little slips of papers. These papers are counted and sorted by people not associated with the club – who I think work for the school or something. What’s interesting is that even club members who have graduated – as “club members” entail anyone who wants to pay the club fee – can run for these positions as well.

After all the serious stuff at the AGM, the club had put together an awards slideshow for fun awards and casual awards. Casual awards were things like best coach of the year and best fresher – apparently fresher applies to ANY newbie, no matter their status in the school. Then, the fun awards were things they had going as a tradition and things made up for the year like hottie tramp, gossip tramp, etc. I got awarded “creeper tramp” because I’ve taken SOOO many pictures of everyone on my camera over the semester I’ve been part of the club. I also won another one which I got a pair of kites for. I think I might actually take them out to try and fly them one day – hopefully soon.

Lessons in Fooding (24/4/14)

I don’t know how I came up with this, but I LOVE my yerba mate for those days most people would drink coffee. However, yerba mate tea tends to be somewhat bitter. At home, we have Guayaki that makes pretty good yerba mate drinks – flavoured of course. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner, but this morning, I made my yerba mate tea and added my strawberry-elderflower cordial to it. It was stupendous! Delicious! Seriously, wish I had thought of it sooner – rather than on my second two last bag of yerba mate.

Then, this afternoon, I went food shopping. I was so excited over a €10 bag of salmon on offer that I just HAD to buy it. So I did, and I dragged it home. In the middle of cutting these two sides of a WHOLE salmon into quarters, I realized there were still scales on it. Now, I know at home I’d seen a fish scaler before – when I didn’t know what it was used for – but I had never used one. But this idea popped into my head that the scaler looked A LOT like a grater. So – with the permission of my flatmate – I used my flatmate’s grater – which she LOVES to use for her cheese on her pastas – and performed a kitchen experiment. Result: SUCCESSFUL! I feel absolutely ingenious today!

Asian Potluck! (25/4/14)

So, I was invited to my first (and probably last) Asian potluck party here in Ireland. A bunch of us international students from – mostly – Asia got together and had a party. My dish: Chinese tea eggs. Now, I’ve talked about this dish repeatedly – because I LOVE IT! – but I still hadn’t perfected the recipe to make at home. So today, I did things on a large scale (9 eggs instead of 3) and tried it out.

9 eggs +½ cup soy sauce (~100g @ 15.5g sodium/100mL) +4-5 cup water (~900mL) +4-6 pu-erh tea bags (~10g tea leaves) +8 anise seeds

Simmered from 8am-6:30pm (10.5 hrs)

Result: absolutely mouthwateringly delectable – it was GOOOOOOD.

Things I Learned “today”

  • Alfalfa is known as lucerne and it is in the pea family (Fabaceae).
  • One of my favorite Chinese vegetables (空心菜), which I have not had in a long time, is apparently also known as “morning glory” – among many other names, as it is in the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae). Sadly, it is also a USDA recognized noxious weed.

Words/Phrases of the Day

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