After an unfairly late night, I was supposed to meet with my consortium and our Irish contact. We met at the main gates of the school. Christy was there, as was a girl from my university (I had not met her previously), a girl name Audrey, and two guys. Our contact was named Mary–quite fitting, I suppose. Anyway, we walked together to city centre, and then Mary told us we were going to play a game–a scavenger hunt of sorts. We split into two teams, Mary gave each team a map and a list of items, told us where to meet her, then sent us off. Christy and I had defaulted onto the same team, and Audrey joined us. Christy and I immediately looked at the list, planning out the fastest route to all of the places. Apparently while she was fumbling with the map, Audrey missed the fact that I had been in Cork for over a week now, and knew where everything was.
It pays to arrive early, folks.
There were a variety of fun places and cultural points, some of which we just had to flat out ask people about. We could guess that the famous sports people were hurlers (and we were right), but sometimes you have to just stop and ask people who the Echo boy is (he’s the newspaper boy who stands on the street calling “Echo”–apparently the paper is named “Echo”). I had guessed that Grand Parade was, in fact, St. Patrick Street, and I was right. We had gone past Dunnes the day prior, so we knew where to find it, along with the weird escalators inside, the pub wasn’t hard to find, and we disposed of the rest of the list in short order.
It took about half of the list for Audrey to finally realize that I either had an internet connection in my brain, or was familiar with the area and had a phone. We all seemed to get on a little better once she realized that. On the other hand, I think we might have scared her somewhat, as Christy and I are both fairly competitive and were egging each other on.
We got back to Mary first, with photographic proof of our successes. Mary was just finishing checking out work when the second team arrived. Happily, we won a prize–we each got a $10 gift card to Tesco. The losing team also got a prize-but it was only chocolate (choooooooocolaaaaaaaaate). Afterward, Mary showed up where the Garda station was where we would need to register for immigration. We walked around a bit more, asked random questions, then stood and listened while Audrey asked a ton of questions about classes only she would be taking. The girl is crazy–she’s trying to take eight heavy science and math courses, including multiple chemistry courses–all in one semester.
After we split off from our time with Mary, Audrey and I went back to Dunnes and Tesco to do some food shopping, making a stop at the phone store on the way to get a SIM card for Audrey. Audrey seemed more personable and calmer, which was nice, and made me think we might have been a little too goal focused during the scavenger hunt. Still, she didn’t quite get the concept that, no matter how much you think your phone is unlocked because you bought it from Apple, it is actually locked by your provider, if it happens to be AT&T. I told her what Christy had done, and she agreed to try it once she got home and could message someone–her boyfriend, because she didn’t want to rely on her family (who she shares plans with) while she was gone.
Despite a lack in logic, Audrey does seem to be smart and fun, but I don’t know how well I’m going to get to know her. She’s in a different compressed class, so we won’t interact regularly, and, unlike Christy, I don’t think that there is enough to hold a friendship together out of one day of walking around city centre.