Galway & Cliffs of Moher: Roadtrippin’ in Ireland

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Last Saturday, we woke up early and walked to the rental car center in downtown Dublin to pick up our wheels for our Irish roadtrip. Thankfully, my friend is a left-side-of-the-road driving professional from her time living in Uganda and India, so we made the two-hour drive to Galway without any mishaps (see my post on our Scottish highlands auto-rescue for a comparison).

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Dublin: Sláinte!

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We met one of my dearest friends and her fiancé in Dublin last week to celebrate their engagement and gosh did we have a lovely time. Even without the first-class company, I think I would have been a big fan of Ireland’s capital, from the abundant supply of bookstores to the bright facades and lively pubs. It reminded me more of the states than any other destination we’ve visited in Europe, and yet had a distinct European — or dare I say Irish — flair. We somehow managed to have particularly great weather, despite Ireland’s reputation for gray, rainy winters, so I’m very thankful to the leprechauns (I’ve got that all wrong, haven’t I?) Continue reading

Understanding Your British and Irish Friends: An American’s Guide

Since we moved to Geneva last year, I’ve had some incredible opportunities to learn my husband’s native tongue of French — but I’ve also had the pleasure of expanding my English vocabulary from a purely American repertoire to one that understands that your Irish friend has not, in fact, just declared that she’s high (more on that later). Indeed, it turns out that the differences between American, British and Irish English extend quite a bit beyond the occasional “bloody hell,” and often can lead to some rather amusing confusion. I’ve been keeping a list of some of those particularities since I started grad school last semester, courtesy of my dear — American dear that is — classmates who call England and Ireland home. So without further ado, here it is: An American’s Guide to Understanding Your British and Irish Friends!

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