in Ireland, Republic of

Still on campus

Breakfast was yogurt and granola (they call it muesli here), along with an egg sandwich. For the nth time, granola/muesli is my favorite thing ever.

The yogurt I bought promised that it was “The best yogurt you’ll ever try!”. I peeled off the lid and thought, “Yeah, suuuure, whatever.” But ohmygod they weren’t joking, it really is the best yogurt I’ve ever had.

Off to lab via shortcut. Passed by recycling bins specifically stating beer cans! There’s also other bins stating “clear glass”, and “brown glass”. Come on, we all know what most brown glass bottles are for.


Dr B assigned one of his postdocs (A. from Tunisia) to give us (and when I say “us”, I mean the 4 NSF REU students) a tour of our lab and office space. There were also 2 Italian postdocs from Cork. Quick demo of measuring microfluidics chip channels using the scanning electron microscope (SEM).

E. from Zimbabwe (“whenever I say Zimbabwe, everyone thinks of Mugabe…”, said he), and one of the Italian postdocs from Cork. Esco and the Italian postdocs later exchanged numbers because he would be dropping by Cork for a conference (“so you can buy me lunch!”).

A. and V. joined A., E., and the Italians for lunch at the university “restaurant” aka cafeteria. J. and I weren’t interested in university cafeteria food, so we walked back to our apartment to make sandwiches.

When we got back, we automagically had bowls, plates, two cooking pots, and cutlery!! Yay!! Housekeeping had dropped the stuff off. Tomorrow, we will see if they replace our towels as promised in the room cards: “If you would like fresh towels, please leave your towels on the bathroom floor”. Hopefully, the towels will be replaced and we won’t have to use the towels off the floor!

Some former student who still has access to the labs, and has been stealing laptops, etc.:


Pretty much every sign is in Gaelic and English:



The main lobby of the building where I’ll be, most of the time:


The euro, prettier and more colorful than USD:


The postdocs and our prof will be busy at various meetings and conferences all week, so we Amurricans are free until 11 am next Tuesday.

Still stuck on campus, haven’t left except to the Spar on Ballymun, for quick groceries. We didn’t make it to Tesco today, but we’ll try to tomorrow. A. and I plan on getting cheap bicycles to be more mobile.

Things that  I forgot to bring, but I can easily get: lotion, a hairbrush (yes, how uncivilized of me), and enough shirts.

A and I went hunting for the lunar eclipse at night, but the moon was too low. We walked all over campus looking for the moon (how hard could it be??) and were locked out of certain areas by gates. Couldn’t find the moon at all, and could only guesstimate by which area of the sky looked brighter. Finally, we went back to our apartment and it turned out that the best view of the moon was from our kitchen window! The eclipse was well over by then, as it was past 11 pm.

Passed by the student bar (yes, that is correct..) on the way back to our apartment. A and I were a good 50 m away and we could actually smell the beer. They must mop the floor with beer or something.

Also, A is 20 and is totally legal to drink in Ireland and probably the rest of Europe.

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