Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cork Cork Cork

« Dernier appel : Angèle Mars et Sophie Trigaux sont priées de se présenter à la porte d’embarquement. » This was the very beginning of the Erasmus adventure.
This morning of 9th September, the head full of dreams, we left Belgium for a completely different environment. After a few hours by plane, we landed in Ireland. This country I didn’t know at all some months ago rhymes today with wonderful landscapes, rain, pubs, Guinness, parties with girls in super mini-skirts teetering on gigantic heels, tea at every hour of the day, cars on the left side of the road, Gaelic football, Irish coffee, plenty of “fucking” things of all kind (my flatmate was clearly one of the fucking best users of this fucking word), hot chocolate with marshmallows, and many other things. Together with Elisa, we took great pleasure in discovering all that makes of Ireland such a unique place.
After a first city tour, the three Belgian girls went to their respective accommodation. Having a natural non-sense of orientation, I had to ask people where was “50, Mc Curtains Villas, College Road”. Doing so, I quickly realized how nice (not always red-haired) Irish people are. Once in my new house, I could also appreciate the particular understanding of the word “hygiene” they have. In order to apply my own definition of the term, I had to engage Angèle and Elisa for a full day to help me with the cleaning of the few square meters. Apart from this, I was really happy with the place I shared with three Irish students: Kate, Orla and …

- Hi! What’s your name?
- (Something impossible to understand)
- Sorry, could you repeat it?
- (Same problem)
- …. Ah ok! Nice to meet you….
- Hi Kate! What’s the name of the boy?
- (Same problem)
- Ok. Could you spell it please?
- N-I-A-L-L

QED: the Irish accent is something hard to understand!
Anyway, I was living with very pleasant guys and even if the house was situated quite far from the centre, I had a walk of only two minutes to go to the university.
It is in an amazing setting that we had the chance to study. The university offers to my delight a very large choice of classes such as literature, translation, music, folklore, philosophy, and much more. It was great to try my hand at classes that have nothing to do with the programme of Germanic languages. The only thing that disappointed me at university was the contact with the native people. They were quite distant towards the Erasmus students and I have to say that nothing was put in place by the Erasmus coordinator to encourage our integration among the Irish students. Fortunately, this was made possible by the impressive variety of clubs and societies.
It is simply impossible not to find something you like. On the programme: Kung Fu, biology, volleyball, medieval society (for the ones who enjoy being dressed up like knights and fighting with swords), chess, politics, … This was clearly the best way to meet plenty of Irish and people from other parts of the world. The one I chose was Ultimate Frisbee. I then ignored that I would once really enjoy going to the sport centre.
But there was much more that I didn’t know before these four months. The Erasmus experience was not only a wonderful way to improve my English. It was also a chance to take some distance from my Belgian life and consider things differently, to discover a country and its culture, to clear my way through a labyrinth of novelties… The Erasmus experience is something you can only be enriched with.


No comments: