Monday, February 24, 2014

"See you later" Ireland

By: Kevin Marthinsen, Humber's Study Abroad Student

December 2013

With the last roommate gone, I stand the last remaining resident of apartment 15 L.

I find myself reflecting more and more about my time here in Waterford (mind you, with no one to talk to in the apartment, there leaves a lot of time for reflection). I remember back in August writing a letter to Humber College for an application I was submitting in hopes of receiving a special ‘study abroad bursary’ that the college offers. In that letter I had explain how I would benefit from this experience. What I wrote then and how I feel now are completely different. It might be cliché to say, but

--- I truly believe that I have learned more about myself while overseas than I thought possible ---

(especially being someone who came here not knowing anyone). More than just making new friends, I will truly miss this place; but I suppose, it’s never goodbye, it’s see you later.

To give you a short update as to “what’s up,” classes here finished on the 6th of December, and as for myself, exams were wrapped up December 16th. As I am writing this, every student here has already written their last exam and each morning, I can say with confidence, over 90 per cent of the students here are waking up with a dreadful hangover. Not just any hangover, but the type that makes you vow against this devilish liquid that courses through your veins. However we all know this abstinence from alcohol is never upheld, for alcohol is one of the longest love-hate relationships Generation Y has.

In the next two days, the only responsibilities I have are to pack, and to try and not spend a small fortune on over-weight luggage. Aer Lingus, which is the national airline for Ireland, is probably the most crooked airline I’ve ever had the (dis)pleasure of flying with. Their checked-baggage policy is nothing short of a stick-up. My route back to Canadia on Monday is an early flight from Dublin to London Gatwick, and then from London Gatwick to Toronto. After flying RyanAir so many times since being over here, I’m probably more excited than someone should be about seats that recline on a plane. Oh how I’ve missed you!

Some of the last items of business I’ve conducted here is trying to sell off some household items I’ve purchased and no longer require. I think I’ve gone a little overboard in trying to hustle some of the other students for cash because I found myself selling off my unused eggs. A new low for me I can assure you.

To end, I’ll just quickly talk about the significance of the photo attached with this blog entry. The bar we are standing in front of is called Phil Grimes Pub, owned and operated by a barman named Tom.  Over the last four months, after stumbling into his pub by chance during the first week in September, the group in the featured picture got to know Tom, and he really made an impression on us. I’ve never been to a bar that has felt more like my own living room; one that is pleasantly mixed with locals and students, and that was our own version of Cheers—“Where everybody knows your name”. The photo taken was a gift for Tom that we had enlarged and framed, and now hangs on the wall in the pub.

It’s been one hell of an experience, sad too see go, but happy that I’ll be seeing my old friends back home in Canada very shortly.

Thanks for reading.

Kevin