I was a little worried about gaining the dreaded “Freshman Fifteen” when I first entered college back in 2010. Although I did find myself eating food that wasn’t as healthy as I once ate at home, I only gained a couple of pounds and luckily evaded the curse. Before departing for Ireland, I was sure the food wasn’t going to be that great. Oh, how wrong I was about that.
They have the best fish n’ chips I have ever tasted in my life. Beef and Guinness pie is also a favorite among the students in my program. It warms the heart as it brings you back home to mom’s stews filled with meat and potatoes and other various vegetables. One thing I have yet to try is the blood pudding. Yes, it actually contains blood. That’s probably why I have been so hesitant to indulge in this common Irish breakfast food. It’s a goal of mine to at least try it before I leave in less than two months. One of the girls in my program tried it and said she couldn’t taste the blood so at least I have that to boost my courage.
When I’m not going out to restaurants, I tend to make a lot of pasta or frozen pizza, solely because it’s cheap and easy to make. I’m also not much of a chef ,so that plays into my little skill in the kitchen. Grocery stores here are much smaller than those found in the states. Food also tends to go bad a lot quicker as well because there’s fewer preservatives put into products. This means more trips to the store every week and more pressure to cook everything before it goes bad. Luckily for me, though, pasta and frozen pizza stay fresh for a while.
As much as I love living in a city with diverse food such as Italian (amazing pizza), Indian, Thai and even Mexican food, it has definitely put a damper on my bank account. I didn’t previously know that Dublin was such an expensive city. For example, those amazing fish n’ chips cost about 14.95 euro (€14.95), which means it’s about $20. Our advisers told us not to worry about converting euros to dollars because it tends to make students shy away from spending their money on interesting food or trips. I try not to concern myself with this, but it’s hard not to when you’re the one paying for flights and eating out.
Regardless, this is money well spent because I’m not going to be able to do something as fulfilling as studying abroad ever again. It’s a small price to pay for the experience I’m getting from immersing myself in a different culture and tracing my roots back to Ireland. In ten or twenty years I’ll look back and think about what I learned from Dublin rather than reminiscing about my withering checking account. “Seize the day” has never rung truer.