After a tedious wait for my luggage at Dublin International Airport, I walked out to the taxi queue and attempted to blend into the local crowd and act as normal as possible. However, this attempt to fit in was unsuccessful after I tried to open the taxi driver’s door thinking it was the shotgun seat. Feeling embarrassed and out-of-place, I calmly strutted over to the passenger door and proceeded to make my way to University College Dublin – my home for the next 11 weeks. Driving through Dublin (on the “wrong” side of the road might I note) provided me with my first taste of this diverse and intricate city. Unlike most American cities, Dublin does not have a financial district with tall skyscrapers and hotels. Rather, the city stretches over a span of about 5 square miles and most buildings are old, unique and no more than five/six stories tall. (see image below)
One of my first observations about Dublin are its people. Friendly, charismatic and helpful are some of the words that come to mind when thinking about how to describe the locals. Lost and need directions? Ask a local and they’ll be happy to help. Want to know the best pub in the area? Ask a local. Need advice on how to get home? Ask a local. I cannot transcribe how kind these people are, only first hand experience can do it justice.
Over the past six and a half days, myself, along with most of the Pitt IIP’ers have ventured across all areas of Dublin, and imerssed ourselves in the culture and tried to get a taste for what kind of experiences we will be having in the future. From St. Patrick’s Catherdral, to Grafton Street (the times square of Dublin), to the Guinness Storehouse, we have explored all of the typical tourist locations and taken advantage of our only open week before work! The view from the “Gravity Bar” on top of the Guiness Storehouse was breathtaking. It provides its viewers with a tremendous view of the city and the surrounding mountains. (below)
If my first week in Dublin is a represenation of my entire summer, I can tell that I am going to have a great time here. I have finally gotten over the jet-lag, and I can finally feel myself starting to settle into my dorm and new lifestyle. With my first day of work just two days away, I can feel the nerves setting in – as I want to make sure that I impress my supervisor and co-workers. However, after my on-site visit, I think that I will assimilate into the work culture with relative ease. To sum things up, I am extremily happy with my choice to travel to Dublin, and I’m looking forward to more fun and excited experiances in the near future.