Tea and cakes is usually coupled with the image of an English person. We forget that the Irish are right up there drinking tea with cakes and biscuits and scones and basically anything else you can consume while drinking tea. At the office here, there is always someone who gets up from their desk and will ask, “Anyone for acuppa tea?” (Not making this up, stereotypes are real for a reason.)
What do you picture when you think about British or Irish people drinking tea? Cute teapot, nice china cups, and a flower plate topped with biscuits right?
Well let me introduce you to THIS GUY:
I’m not even sure what this is called here… its an electric tea pot? It plugs into the wall, has coils inside it that heat up REAL FAST and give you hot water in a very short amount of time. An average office or home in Ireland must go through many of these in a lifetime, because it is always plugged in and ready to run. Whenever I want a cup of tea, I go into the kitchen and “check” to see if the water is hot or not, but I should really stop checking it by now; I should just accept that of course it will be hot. BECAUSE ITS ALWAYS BEING USED.
After taking this picture I realized that there is another one of them in here too!
(Probably a back up, in case God forbid, the other one broke.)
Now I consider myself a to be a “tea person”. Mainly because I dont drink coffee. I’m a “Non coffee person”. And because I like tea… In Boston, being a tea person is sort of a niche thing. Especially around the daily coffee drinkers, who surround me with their dark obsession. In Ireland if you are a tea drinker, it’s like “uh you’re not special”. But unlike in Boston, where being a “tea person” means you buy many different flavors and varieties of tea, in Ireland, so far I have only experienced “regular tea”. I dont even know what they mean by “regular tea”, because I am too afraid to ask. Black tea? Maybe.. Lipton? I don’t think so.
“What kind of tea do you want?”
“There´s more than one kind of tea?…What do you have?”
“Let´s see… Blueberry, Raspberry, Ginseng, Sleepytime, Green Tea, Green Tea with Lemon, Green Tea with Lemon and Honey, Liver Disaster, Ginger with Honey, Ginger Without Honey, Vanilla Almond, White Truffle Coconut, Chamomile, Blueberry Chamomile, Decaf Vanilla Walnut, Constant Comment and Earl Grey.”
“I.. Uh…What are you having?… Did you make some of those up?”
― Bryan Lee O’Malley, Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life
I’m sure that I am missing out on the cute cafe or shop here in Dublin, that has millions of tea varieties. But here in the office, I drink Earl Grey, all day, erry-day. As a tea drinker in Boston, I drank a good amount of tea; I especially love me some Earl Grey with Sugar In The Raw in it. Or sometimes I’ll just “raw dog” it if theres no sugar to be had. (“raw dog” in the tea world would equate to “black” in the coffee world)
For the past couple weeks, my tea intake has doubled. I have at least two cups of tea per day. I believe this is because of several factors:
– the mugs here are much smaller than the average mug I would use back home. I’m a BIG mug user. I don’t mean I use mugs a lot, I mean I use big mugs..
– smaller mug = less tea for me = I want more tea = more cups of tea
– smaller mug = different tea bag to water ratio = less diluted tea than I usually consume in my BIG mug..
-THIS in turn leads to a second level of factors I wasn’t considering until I started to feel the affects. CAFFEINE. As I said I like the Ear Grey a lot. Which has caffeine in it. (Plus the sugar I add to it). Multiply that by a small mug with less water, times the sheer amount of cups I have begun to consume, divided by the little amount of sleep I am getting each night, which will still equal a more caffeinated Me.
For those of you who know me and the affect caffeine has on me, don’t worry. This is not like Mountain Dew affects. Its much more subtle. But I do experience a distinct jittery-ness in my limbs brought on by two, back to back cups of concentrated Earl Grey.
ALSO a new factor: apparently my increased intake of caffeine is making me have to pee more often than I already do.
I already have one of the smallest bladders that I know of. (Granted I haven’t met or actually seen my or anyone else’s bladder, but I’m taking a guess here.) I am probably a step above the average annoying girl with a small bladder who has to pee all the time.
I have what I would call a “bladder problem”. And by that I mean, it sucks. I thought about self diagnosing myself with “Incompetent Bladder Syndrome”, but then I realized the acronym is IBS……so yeah, not that one.
Even right now as I am typing this and sipping my tea, I have to pee.
It is really the short amount of time that passes between the frequent bathroom runs that concerns me. It will be like 45 mins later and YUP I have to pee again. How is my body producing this much pee and should I be concerned? Was this too much information to share on my trip to Ireland blog? Probably.
I just dipped that cookie (SORRY BISCUIT) into my tea, trying to be cool like a real tea person. I kept it in there too long and it mushed away and fell on the desk when I took it out…. #teadrinkerfail
So in conclusion, I think I am going to keep my “Tea Drinker” title to myself until I return to Boston.
HIGHLIGHTS OF MY DAY:
1. My breakfast: a single cup of “ready to make” porridge. Basically like those instant oatmeal packets you just add water to, but in its own little cup. It tasted like a blueberry muffin! But in mushy form… That sounds bad but it was good, trust me.
2. Finding out that I get to assist a photographer with a wedding she is shooting in July. Irish wedding photography! I have always been pretty anti- “wedding photography”, mostly because the intense digital aspect of it, coupled with the anxiety of capturing one of the most important days of someone’s life. Also I REALLY HATE it when people find out that I majored in photography and then the next thing they say is “Oh cool, what do you do like wedding photography??” NO. No, I don’t.
But the idea of being an assistant to an Irish photographer at an Irish wedding sounds pretty awesome to me.
3. DOMA being declared as unconstitutional! You all knew that already though.
4. Learning more in InDesign at work. I have been pretty much doing busy work all week. Cataloging, yet also researching photo options for the September cover, as well as other inside photos. But today I got to pick options for photo layouts inside the magazine.
This was one of the pages I helped design today. And by design, I mean find, edit, and size the photo, as well as pick the colors. The layout was already made, so it was pretty easy…But it was more experience with InDesign!
5. Trying to find pantyhose on my route home. I went to two pharmacies, a convenience store, and a grocery store. Nothing. I MISS YOU CVS!!! But then the lady at the grocery store told me to go around the corner to the local SPAR, which I would basically equate to a classier 7-Eleven. Tights at a 7-Eleven? But after a quick walk around the sodas, chips, and processed food, there they were, a rack of pantyhose and tights. Success.
6. And the last part of my day: walking into the kitchen to see the French girl in my apartment, watching Pretty Little Liars on her computer. In French. It was great. Not that she took to my attempt to share a moment with her about our similar show watching, but OH well.
On Thursday last week, Caroline and I went to a promotional event being held by Supervalu, which is one of the local grocery store in Ireland (imagine a Stop n Shop and Whole Foods combined).
Easy Food was invited to the event, so Caroline was attending as representative for the magazine and I was going along for the free food and drinks.
We had been cooking and shooting “How To” shots all day, before heading to the event, so we were both tired and not exactly looking our best. As soon as we walked into the hotel it was being held in, we realized this event was Kind Of A Big Deal.
A banquet room was filled with several small high and low tables, covered with white tablecloths, red napkins, and tiers of fresh fruit and cupcakes in the center. There was a large arrangement of many different breads and oils, several bowls of assorted salads and sides, and of course a large table of dessert options. Doors led out to an outside porch area, which held several grills and a long buffet table set with warmers. As soon as we entered the room we were met by a server with a tray of champagne and wine.
We immediately attached ourselves to a high top table to stand at while we sipped champagne and ate bites of strawberries and raspberries. Eventually we were introduced to a few representatives of Supervalu, who were extremely nice and easy to talk with.
Supervalu is very much about promoting fresh, local Irish products. Almost everything they were serving was grown or made in Ireland. There were chefs at the event who were showing guests how to cook their fresh pre packaged meals of meats and fish and vegetables. It was very interesting to see Supervalu’s commitment to supply people with affordable, yet fresh, good quality food.
This was the menu options for the evening:
Overall it was a very fun event that I am glad we attended. It was a nice taste of the world of food and advertising events. Hopefully I will be able to attend more events like this during the rest of the time I am here.
My desserts! Raspberry pannacotta, berries trifle, and strawberry pavolova. AKA lots of cream.
Things I have been pondering lately:
–Since they drive on the left side of the road in Ireland, is right turn on red not a thing? Doe this mean left turn on red is a thing?
–Just because I may half heartedly wash my dishes after I eat, doesn’t mean everyone else is doing this too right? The fact that we are all half heartedly washing the communal silverware and continuously sticking them in our mouths to start the cycle over again, should probably be more a of a concern to me.
-Is it bad that I pretend to have a slight Irish twang to my voice when I interact in daily activities with grocery clerks or bartenders?
-Who gets to decide which door gets painted which color? What if I want a blue door instead of a red door? Who do I talk to? Irish door painters?
–Reading while walking reminds me of young kids. I picture a nerdy boy with his nose close to the pages as he walks unaware down a street. A shy girl with pigtails clutching her book on the journey home. It is an activity that is seen as silly. Nerdy. Loner-ish?
I’m not a little girl. Yes I did wear my hear in pigtails the other day, but you try having hair shoulder length and thinking of creative things to do with it!!
What I mean is, I’m an adult. Sorta. I wear buttoned jackets and sunglasses and a leather purse. (ok its not real leather)
–So if I am reading as I walk down the street on my way home, does it cast the same stigma as the previously mentioned children?
I realize that I come off a little crazy as I walk home from the train, simultaneously reading and attempting to steer a straight line. Jim Gaffigan’s book, Dad is Fat, is making me look even more crazy because it forces uncontrollable spurts of laughter out of my mouth, as I read and walk my way home. There goes the reading girl. Oh and look she’s laughing to herself today….
My friend from work said that Her Friend from some where else, tweeted about Dad is Fat at Jim Gaffigan and then he retweeted it himself and liked it or whatever it is you can do on twitter. Maybe I’ll tweet at Jim Gaffigan too. He’s gotta like my tweet about potentially walking in to traffic and making myself look like a crazy person just so I can continue to read his book, right??
OH WAIT I’LL NEVER FIND OUT BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE INTERNET.
The internet pretends to be there, flashing its full bosom of bars at me, yet denying me actual internet connection.
It’s a good thing I didn’t go for the real rural experience out here or I know how I would be doing.
No. I take that back. If I was in a castle or on a farm somewhere in the middle of nowhere/Ireland, I would know that internet wouldn’t work, and therefore give up the need for it. Here however, IT SHOULD FREAKIN WORK. I can’t call the landlord lady though cause my Irish phone ran out of minutes. And I already called her yesterday to ask why the stove and oven weren’t working. (The fuse switch somehow was down? It took three Italians and a French guy to not figure out which switch it was. I did eventually once the Men were done.)
I’m not sure why being in Ireland has made me believe that the things I think about should be posted online for others to read. I don’t have all y’all back home to entertain me so apparently that leads to actual thinking. If you can consider musing about left turns on red and potentially germ infected dishes “actual thinking”.
This no internet thing is killing me. Its not just that it’s not working. Its that it LOOKS LIKE its working, but ITS NOT. Thats a lie. I don’t appreciate that.
I only have so many LOST episodes on DVD left. I can’t start again. that would be crazier than I already am.
(Sidebar: the ice cream I’m eating is melting alarmingly fast. Especially because I would say my room is slightly chilly right now.)
Over the past week and a half, my daily life has become incredibly scheduled. I blame the trains. I am slave to their schedule. I wake up at 7 am, leave at 7:50 am to walk to Drumcondra station. I take the 8:10 am train from Drumcondra to Connolly station where I get off and wait for the 8:30 am train to Greystones. I arrive in Greystones at 9:20 am, walk to work to start at 9:30 am. Work till 5:20 pm, get on the 5:30 pm train back to Connolly, switch trains to Drumcondra, walk home, enter door at 7pm. The 12 major hours of my day are scheduled almost to a T. (ha T..like the MBTA. except it’s not the T it’s the DART)
I haven’t slept past 8:30 in the morning in two weeks. No, not even on the weekends because traveling around Ireland on the weekends begins at early hours, preceded of course by late nights.
On week nights I don’t get home till 7pm, so by the time I decided what to eat, and buy or make it, it is usually close to 9 pm. Then of course, I have to check all the things online, or more recently edit food photos I took during the week. (What? No I am not being paid for this. Thank you for reminding me.)
Then I like to watch a TV show that I get on illegal websites, since Hulu doesn’t like Ireland. And by the time I’m done watching something, all of a sudden its 11:30 or midnight. 6 hours of sleep again…
Or on the random night that I would go somewhere other than home after work, it usually involves drinking, which leads into later hours in the night, which means I am still not getting to sleep before midnight.
Vicious cycle? yes.
I JUST WANT TO SLEEP PAST 9 AM. Is that so much to ask??
Nine just feels like a good time to me. It’s still morning, but not EARLY. Its right before the double digits, like 10 which is also a respectable time to wake but in a lazier way. You can be productive if you wake at 9 am, but you wont be wicked tired like from 7 am.
Noon is a stupid time to wake up. If you’re going to sleep in, at least make it to 1pm or 2pm. Or if you are really ambitious, 3 pm. Either wake up at 10 am (MAYBE 11 am) or make it past noon. COMMIT to the laziness or get up.
I have also found that the “3 pm FEELING” people talk about at work, doesn’t really happen to me? I get the incredibly tired feeling around 11:45. I can’t even make it till noon before I realize my eyes have been drifting shut for several minutes. And for some reason, in this office, lunch starts at 1pm. So at quarter to noon, I can’t even console myself with the fact that lunch is soon, because its not. Thankfully the people in this office are big snackers. There is always some sort of sweet or chocolate or maybe fruit “snack” at the end of someones desk, into which everyone picks at continuously.
Having lunch at 1 pm does have its perks though, as I find the rest of the day goes by quite quickly. It is now 2 pm and my lunch break is over. Which means I have to stop typing and go back to work. BAHHH.
Yesterday I got to experience firsthand the filming of the “How To” videos that Easy Food puts out. The “How To’s” are basic cooking videos that show how to do things like roasting garlic, boiling eggs, or even making simple stir frys. One of the locations that they film in is in Howth, a town north of Dublin right on the sea. And by location, what I mean is CASTLE:
Yup. There is a cookery school in a castle.
And that’s where we were yesterday. The kitchen was beautiful; modern appliances mixed with wooden counter tops, teal cabinets, assorted china, old cast iron tops and ovens.
The production crew for today consisted of Mark and Robin, two very nice guys who were great at what they do, as well as good fun to be around. Caroline seemed to sport the same distaste that I have at being in front of a camera, yet she delivered her lines with a practiced grace that seemed to appear from no where, only to flee away the second the shot was finished.
Mark and Robin were using a Canon EOS C300 camera to film the videos. Robin described it as the video equivalent to the Canon 5D. It was so amazing. They showed me what the feed looked like at F 1.8, the shallowest stop the camera could go to. The crisp detail surrounded by shallow depth of field was incredible. They also used a 5D to film from a different angle, and a second 5D to take still shots of the step by steps. This job eventually was handed over to me, so that the filming and still shots could be done at the same time. It was good practice for me, as Caroline and I will be starting our own “How To” shots later this week.
(Sorry to everyone who has no idea what all those numbers and cameras mean. Its basically just one of the best digital camera equipment around.)
More pics of said CASTLE:
I’d like to believe that everyone has a list of guilty pleasure songs that would be very embarrassing if your iPod randomly shuffles to. For me, it’s the musicals. I’m definitely not a die hard “New York Musical” collector, but I do have a fair amount of musical albums. Whenever one of the songs pop up on my shuffle, I usually shamefully skip past it; as if the person next to me might be able to hear the jaunty tune slipping out from my headphones.
Sometimes I throw caution to the wind and quietly revel in the random musical ditty, enjoying the fact that no one knows what I am listening to.
There are moments however when a particular musical theatre masterpiece will come on and I will proudly blast it (in my headphones), pitying the people around me who can’t match this moment with this great song.
This morning as I walked along the canal, my iPod surprised me with none other than “The Circle of Life”. That song is never unwanted for me. As I passed the flowing water and reeds rustling in the wind I thought, “Well done iPod, well done.”
And as I turned the corner, after realizing how long my peaceful walk had taken me, my iPod rewarded me with PYT to enjoy as I hurried down the busy street to the train station. Mr. Jackson finished his song just in time for me to watch the train that I needed to be on, pull away from the station.
Next song, wise iPod shuffle?
None of my titles seem to have anything to do with the actual posts… I usually can’t think of one till the end and then I just want to post it so whatever pops up in my head next. And since I’ve been watching a lot of Lost lately…
THE REASON I’M HERE:
I realized that I have been in Ireland for a week and two days now and I have yet to post about what I am actually doing here in Ireland. The fabulous internship that I told everyone about… WELLLLLLLLLLLLL:
Voila’! I am cataloging!
I am doing the things interns do at an office: All the things that the real workers can’t take the time to do because they have real things that need to get done.
Here’s the rundown: I am working for Zahra Publishing. They have three magazines: XPOSE, Easy Parenting, and Easy Food. I, of course, am working for Easy Food. Basically they want to have their own stock image data base, so they can stop buying them from stock sites online. That’s where I come in. Currently I am just labeling and organizing the images they have already bought so that they can find them later to use in the future. Soon though I will be taking generic photos of food on white backgrounds so that they can stock up (ha) on those types of photos. I am to be a stock photo chugging out machine.
Now I want pie.
At the end of this week however, the other American in the office, Caroline, and I will be bringing a whole bunch of food and supplies over to a kind Irish civilian’s house to use their kitchen. We will be testing out some “test recipes” and then photographing them. SO basically we get a bunch of free ingredients to go make a bunch of food in a stranger’s adorable Irish home and then take pictures of it. (Before eventually eating it…I hope.) The woman’s house that we are using is adorable. Below is a bad picture of the front, but she has pet bunnies on her lawn! I will try to sneak more photos of the inside once we are actually there. But I am very excited for that to start, even though it will tear me away from me incredibly important computer work.
Also more photos of one part of the office:
My second week in Ireland and I’m standing outside of Trinity College. As I gaze up at the Corinthian columns that line the front facade I think to myself, my neck really f***ing hurts.
I hurry past the college and take a left to turn onto Suffolk street because its ten to five and I’m not sure where I am going. On my second week in Ireland, I am not on my merry way to visit historical sites; I am instead trying to locate the Body Wise Clinic, the massage and physical therapy place I am scheduled to be at in ten minutes.
I have left my internship in Greystones two hours early today, so that I could make it to this appointment in the hopes that someone here will fix the very bothersome pain in my neck. I’d like to say I injured myself during all of the wild pub touring and neck-craining sight seeing I’ve been doing in Ireland. Unfortunately that would be a lie.
I’m not exactly sure why I woke up in incredible pain this morning, unable to move my neck without eliciting a sharp yelp from my soul.
My best guess for this unpleasant occurrence is due to a culmination of the following:
-New living habits and environment such as: the “bed” I attempt to sleep on each night, the train seats I sit in for an hour to an fro work each day, the computer desk I sit at for hours performing extremely significant photographic endeavors, and finally, the horrible new tendency I have to sit hunched on my bed with my laptop, attempting to communicate with the outside world.
(Skyping hurts kids. Tell your friends.)
Add in the fact that I have returned to my Pre Pilates unmotivated state, in which my wonderful teacher Ann is not here to stop the inevitable slouching of my entire body.
Translation? My back hurts!
(Well actually more my neck today, but that was for Shannon, since she’s the only one who will get this reference.) (Points if you do tho!)
SO I find the office and climb the two sets of narrow stairs to be greeted by the soothing sounds of light chimes. This is where I meet my massage therapist of the day: Keat.
The reason I decided to post about this, other than to fulfill your obvious desire to know everything I am doing in Dublin, besides the actual important Dublin things, IS because I’m SO SICK of therapists. Specifically body and muscle related ones.
They all think that they know how to fix everyone and that everyone else trying to fix people is a crack. (Not like Irish “craic”. Crazy “crack”. A fake. An imposter.)
-Massage therapists think chiropractors are pompous lunatics cracking people left and right;
-Acupuncturists think they are channeling ancient spirits through their work;
-Structural integration(ists?) are REAL WEIRDOS who silently torture you for information you would willing give up in the first five minutes if you knew what they wanted;
-Physical therapists all need to decide on one book of rules and methods to read and follow, because y’all are contradicting and confusing!
If you viewers out there (and I know your not viewers) don’t already know, I have a very extensive history with back pain and all the potential therapies that go with it. So when I walked into the Body Wise clinic and met Keat in his office, well lets just say this wasn’t my first time at the rodeo. So of course, as I list off all the various treatment methods I have undergone, Keat fulfills my expectations by beginning to rag on every other treatment besides MASSAGE. Fortunately, I am ready for this. I am very good at nodding and mmhhmm-ing. (Nothing I say can defend the other treatments, nor do I really want to, because obviously I still had I come here to see this guy, so they’re not winning any medals either.) He continues to assure me that his methods produce results. They always say “results”. What they don’t say is AWESOME RESULTS. Not that I would believe them if they did but come on, can you try to Wow me a little??
Keat continues to use all the fancy scientific names for the muscles and nerves in my body that are unhappy and yelling about it. “And this muscles connects to this muscle and they are hanging out near these nerves and if one of them is unhappy, EVERYBODY UNHAPPY.” (That is my translation for you people, not his. #caleykeepsitreal)
I should really start memorizing the actual muscle names so that I can rattle them off impressively before the therapist gets a chance to. It was all very interesting to me a few years ago, when I was young and naive, but now I’m like yeah yeah ok can you just start massaging my neck cause it kinda hurts…….
So it is now an hour later and I am on the bus back to my apartment, slightly looser, smelling like oils, but still with a painful spot in my neck. He did loosen up my shoulders though! Not the reason I went there for, but SURE. He also used the SPECIAL laser gadget on me that will help loosen my muscles and promote faster cell growth, but No! of course it’s not anything like the electric pulse machine thing that does the same thing at my last chiropractor.. Sorry I mentioned it.
THIS is why people with chronic pain become drug addicts and alcoholics. Because stupid doctors tell them billions of different contradicting things and they just can’t handle it anymore!
Don’t worry people if I become an alcoholic it’ll be because I’m Irish. It’s in my blood.
So for now I need to stop being lazy and start channeling the wacky amazing spirit of my Pilates teacher back in Boston, so that I can stop messing my back up each day. And maybe I’ll start visiting some actual Irish sites and not doctors…
In order to repay Dublin for not visiting any of the sites I passed today on the way to the massage therapist, I believe I must now go to the nearest pub and order a Guinness.
Please accept my apology. Cheers.
Saw this guy on my way home. I obviously went to the wrong doctor.
“Thanks a million.” –yes we say this too, but they say it ALL THE TIME.
“You’re good.” –I don’t remember when they say this, but they do.
“Hi-ya”– Its just Hi…. but with a ya after.
“How ya gettin on?” — pretty self explanatory, but I often when I hear it I am like, what?
“Ok. Yah. Thanks a million. Talk to you soon. Take care. BYYIEEEE.” –the end of many phone conversations I hear in the office
“Grand” — I’ve decided to translate this into “wicked good”
“Brilliant”– “wicked awesome”
“Half 3” — 3:30
“For here or carry out?” — This is For here or To go. Yes I will be carrying out my food…to go..