When I say I love Ireland, it's a bit of an understatement.
I'm kind of obsessed with it. Irish accents, Irish people, Irish music, Irish holidays (or just one), Irish pubs, Irish beer, Irish shots (Baby Guiness!), even Irish food (ok not all of it). I hear someone mention it and my ears perk up. When I pass by the travel section in a book store, I have to browse through the Ireland books. If I'm bored at work sometimes, I look at pictures of Ireland. It's a bit sick, really.
My infatuation with the glorious Emerald Isle started back in Fall of 2005, when I studied abroad in Galway. When we first got there, I'll admit I wasn't too crazy about it. Perhaps it was after the disastrous first night in which we got ridiculously drunk on Red Bull vodkas with a handful of boys from Liverpool...right. Can't tell that story. I'd probably be shot.
But as the slight culture shock wore off, I fell in love with it. Classes didn't matter much there. My 3 "flatmates" (my high school friend A, a girl from my college I hadn't known previously, and a girl from NY) and I had a rule: If it was raining, we didn't have to go to class. And it rained a lot. We went out almost every night, met the cutest (and not so cute) Irish boys and traveled all over Europe on the weekends. And when I ended up dating a very cute Irish guy for a couple of months, it was the icing on the cake.
Though sometimes I grew tired of the constant rain, I loved every moment. When we had to leave and I had to say goodbye to everyone, especially my Irish guy, I was heartbroken. I literally cried the whole night before I left, the whole bus ride to the airport, the whole time at the airport and then the whole 7 hour flight back. I was a hot mess. No not even hot...I was a cold, tired, ugly, sniffly, snotty mess. Sick. The poor woman sitting next to me must have thought I was crazy.
I had the time of my life in Ireland. I could literally talk about it for hours on end. And every day, I wish I could go back. One day I do want to go back there...actually I want to go back now. But I know it won't be the same.
So luckily, I get the next best thing. Tomorrow night we're having a mini Galway reunion. Technially it's only me, A and our other roommate from the Niland House (where we lived over there), but it's the first time we've all been out together since we left Galway 3 years ago. I can't even wait. We're going on a little Irish pub crawl around Chicago. It should be a lot of fun. And hopefully it will be like having a tiny little piece of Ireland back again.
Sidenote: "Craic" is a Gaelic word for fun, good time, etc. They say it all the time over there.