Dezzie Diamond Stores – Part one

Part one “May the odds be ever  in your favour”

She sat down abruptly on the stool, and gazed up into the face of the store supervisor Damian. Her palms were sweating profusely and her nerves were wrought with tension. If it was one thing she loathed it was interviews, but then very few people do enjoy being interrogated.. Damian looked down at the beautifully formatted cover letter and Cv that she handed him.

Right says here you’re doing law? what the fuck are you doing here so?“. He stated gruffly, swaggering around the office with a pompous air. Rachel looked up in dismay. Soon however nothing would shock her..

The one thing that could be said for Damian was that he worked hard. Or rather that he made others work hard for him.. He had a keen eye for business , just like his father. Dezzie’s store was renowned for quality service, excellent staff and the freshest chicken fillet rolls in the area. Then again there was only one store in the area.. and most of the customers were elderly, veruca ridden church goers, with a great affection for Brady’s Ham and a deep mistrust of large commercialized entities. “Can’t be trusting dem big stores.. not the same value that dezzie would get ya, and lots of foreigners making the sandwiches “.

Rachel reflected on the first question.. what the fuck was she doing there was right ? she swallowed sadly and looked down at her curled up fists. She thought back to all the rejections and felt a lump rise in her throat. She could almost plaster her walls in the numerous No’s she received..  We regret to inform you that..  Unfortunately … The standard was just so high.. We wish you the very best of luck with your future..  she sighed .

“OI! ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION!!” Damian exclaimed getting impatient. There was rolls to be made, newspapers to be stocked, customers to please, and employees that deserved a good bollocking .

Sorry sir. I am here because I am currently looking for part time work. The reason you should hire me is that I work well under pressure and this is demonstrated...” Damian abruptly stopped her.

Yeah I don’t give a fuck about all that lawyer lingo. Can you do the job properly?! and you’re not fucking going anywhere? like no big fancy jobs lined up, not going off to fucking Hong Kong on an exchange or becoming the next chief justice are ya? like we need you on call whenever the fuck we need someone. So what I don’t need is a big fucking academic throwing their weight around and talking shite“. He crumpled up her CV and covernote with venom, and chucked it into the waste paper basket.

No sir I won’t be going anywhere “. She mumbled sadly, looking down at her black polished shoes.  Damian smiled. “Right so.. Here’s your apron and your cap, I’m Damo, I’m the boss round here. I keep the order, what I say goes.. There’s none of your fancy laws round here.. Only D and D law..” 

D and D law ?” Rachel inquired . Damian chuckled to himself and stomped down the stairs ” Dezzie and Damo’s law.. what we say goes right.  ?”  Rachel nodded glumly, stuffing her unruly mop of hair into a threadbare hair net, which smelt oddly like gherkins.  He lead her down a narrow set of stairs and into the store itself. “Right better introduce ya to some of the staff so”.  Rachel was shocked by this sudden display of decorum, but scurried hurriedly along in his wake.

First site on the list  was the fruit and vegetable stall. Two men in grey uniforms approached her. One with a slight limp, an oblong crooked nose and horn rimmed glasses. The other in his twenties balding with a broad grin splayed across his face. He unfortunately had cross eyes, one eye looking at Rachel, the other looking for her.. Damian left her there momentarily, to fetch her a supervisor for the day.  The cross eyed man introduced himself first ” Hey I’m Tim and that’s Luke there. He has a speech impediment so I’l save him the bother of introducing himself”. Luke grunted gruffly and limped away behind the cabbages.

“He’s a bit shy “. Tim stated blushing slightly. “Oh I don’t mind, I hate small talk anyway”. Rachel said, delighted that she had come across someone pleasant for a change. “Yeah there won’t be much small talk being done here anyway! Just so you know you’d best prepare yourself for the worst.. most people.. well they don’t really make it past the first couple of days here..It would be best to think of working here like competing in the hunger games”.  Damian stormed out of the store fuming “I’M NOT PAYING YOU TO STAND HERE AND FUCKING TALK FOR HOURS, GET IN HERE NOW “.  Tim patted Rachel on the back ..”May the odds be ever in your favour…”

 

 

 

Shop girl shenanigans !

Shop girl shenanigans !

 

So I have just began my first official proper job as a shop assistant ( yay thank god I studied law for four years to stack shelves!) but actually I think this kind of job is just what I needed to get kickstarted into the working world. To be honest I think it is completely necessary for us as students to experience this in order to give us the kick up the ass we need to work harder! I was babied by my grandparents and the government sustained me on a grant but now that’s all been snatched from underneath me. I have no choice but to be a grown up, and take all the responsibilities and burdens that come with that! To tell you the truth though I am incredibly grateful and delighted that I have this kind of opportunity to earn a little cash. Anyway for those thinking of a retail career I have made a brief list of some of the Pros and cons of a typical day as a shop assistant.

Pros

  1. Having the bants with fellow employees :     I have been incredibly fortunate to have met very patient and reasonable people to train me up. Yes there is an art to crisp packing and rotation, and using the till! Actually one of the girls is only 16 yet she is so fast moving and enigmatic she puts me to shame. We were chattering amicably whilst tidying cards and she gave me the lowdown on all the other fellow employees..”Watch out for her with the hoop earrings,” or “the fella with the cross eyes is alright actually he will put all yer bins out for ya”.  We talked about everything from man trouble to politics whilst checking the dates on dusty boxes of toblerone. Having the bants makes work a little more bearable.
  2. Transferrable skills : My god so many of these! My brain is fried I have had to learn so much so quickly. Like I guess previously my pace was porpoise  on pot now I’m a porpoise on a cocktail of E and redbull mixed together with fear and adrenaline. I have to be organised, efficient, show initiative and work well with people, all pretty good transferrable skills.
  3. Dolla dolla bills : I get my wages in cash in a little envelope, which seems a bit dodgey but see no evil speak no evil and all that jazz! I was delighted when I received my first little wad of cash

Cons

  1. Working under pressure : I have never experienced such pressure in the entirety of my legal life ! we have to work at a ferocious pace. The ques build up and cascade out the door when im on the till. Wish I had a makeshift register to practice on each evening.
  2. Strange purchases : unfortunately for me the outlet I work in sells everything from pliers to signed mass cards. I hate all smokers and lotto players also as the I do neither of these things, the different varieties throw me every time.  Or bill payers another problematic issue. WHY?! WHY MUST YOU GET A LOTTO TICKET, A MASS CARD, A PACK OF CIGARES AND FILTERS AND PAY HALF IN CARD AND HALF IN CHANGE WHY?!
  3. Terrible bosses : Well the problem with the place I work is I have several employers  and they all prowl around sniffing out mistakes or lackadaisical laziness.  “QUIT TALKING YOU TWO DONKEYS” or “FUCKING CLEAN THAT QUICKLY” though sometimes they can be nice too “Listen if I fucking told you to get off the till, its nothing personal right? I just think you’re too slow because you’re new like”. Awww love is in the air!

So overall It’s a really worthy and valuable experience and one I would entirely recommend !

Proper pops the new healthy snack?!

Proper pops“PROPER POPS..THE POPTASTIC SNACK OF THE FUTURE!”

So I was perusing through Facebook, as unemployed graduates often do, and I came across a very interesting offer. A new brand of healthy snack was advertised “Proper Pops”. My curiosity got the better of me, and I investigated this phenomenon further. Some of the flavours seemed very peculiar to say in the least. lemon and chilli, paprika, lemon grass and garlic. But since I had recently graduated from college, my new aim in life was to try all things wacky and wonderful. Though I should mention as a disclaimer here, I was so hungry that if I was offered chocolate dipped rats I would probably have consumed them by the dozen as well.

Anyway moving swiftly onwards. so I noticed Proper pops were looking for tasters. PICK ME! I said and in return I would write a small review. So the company were happy to oblige, and within a few days I had a very flashy package delivered right to my door.  As soon as it arrived I was ready to rip it open, but my granny exclaimed “NO! NOT TILL AFTER DINNER”. (as a 23-year-old ex law student I know granny’s rules take precedent in my house so I would have to wait) So we had the usual mundane meal of potatoes and cabbage and gravy (yawn boring) Then we heard the chime of the doorbell and a wave of visitors entered in.  Two elderly ladies in tanned stockings and tartan skirts, and a rather pious nun, (who for the sake of this review shall be named sister Angela) I realised that through underhand methods I could in fact coerce them into becoming my Secret sample group. So I coaxed the rosary bead laden trio into the sitting room, and concocted a cunning plan.  I filled up the teapot and instead of dusting off the ancient crumbled fig rolls, or attempting to separate the sticky mass of mint humbugs (What is it with the elderly and disgusting boiled sweets?!) I offered them proper pops instead. Living on the edge or what?!

So in separate bowls I placed the five individual flavours for trying. I had to convince them that the snack was in fact delicious and totally safe but yet I also had to exclude myself from all liability should anything go awry (there would be no duty of care owed in this house!!)  There were a few usual concerns coming from Maureen “Will they get stuck in my dentures?! What if you have high blood pressure? Will I choke on them?!” So after assuring them all that proper pops would not stick in their craw, or affect their blood pressure, and yes of course they would still have tea, we got down to business.

Flavour result table…

  1. Zesty lemon and fiery chilli: So I tried this first and oh lord Jesus it was simply divine! The lemon was tangy and refreshing yet the chilli gave it quite an exciting kick, but it wasn’t overbearing at all. I thought they would be quite nice as a replacement crouton in a salad. My score for that would be 8/10.   Sister Angela was the brave soldier for this “I’ve been to Nigeria on the missions, and we had lots of spicy concoctions there!” she exclaimed as she took the plunge. “OH SACRED HEART!” she exclaimed, dropping her rosary beads to the floor. “THAT’S VERY SPICY ALL TOGETHER”. She took a big gulp of tea, but yet consumed another handful whilst murmuring” mmm that’s quite tasty, I could get used to this”. So we popped the proper pops into her handbag to take back the convent to snack on with her cross word. So 8/10 score for that one.
  2. Sizzling and sweet paprika: A definite winner for me! Had a kind of smoky bacon taste.10/10 Thought it would be yummy with a pint of beer whilst watching the match. So poor old denture ridden Maureen went for this one. Her purple rinse candy floss perm stood seemed to crackle with excitement “OOOH THAT REMINDS ME OF MY HUSBAND’S BARBEQUE PARTY IN 1993”, and then there was a gentle chorus of lord rest his soul, isn’t it terrible, and lord have mercy Christ have mercy. but still despite the sad association it was still yummy 10/10
  3. LEMON GRASS, LIME AND GARLIC: ok I wasn’t too sure on this one, the mix seemed a little bit too intense for me and my bland taste buds. I mean still quite zesty and salty and the texture of the crisp was lovely but it wasn’t too my individual liking. However, this could definitely come down to snack bias. so in order to assess what the reasonable man would think of the crisp I had my grandad try it who stated “ooh that’s actually quite nice, couldn’t eat too many but in moderation tasty enough” So we will say 6/ 10 for that one due to personal taste only.

Ok now on the packaging front. Seriously impressive packaging, the colour schemes were really enticing. I’m a bit like a fly to a lit bulb and bright packaging is really enticing to me.  Also the lid ensured that the snacks wouldn’t go stale, and meant I could bring them with me for bus snacks and the like.

On a nutrition related note they were incredibly low in calories, 89 per a pot, which was great for a recovering chocoholic like myself who needs to fit into a grad dress pretty soon. Also they were packed full of protein and fibre which was like an extra added bonus brownie point!

So overall a really delicious, reasonably healthy snack that myself and family would completely recommend.

Interview Blues

I don’t Know why but when it comes to interviews I feel like im cursed..

None of them  go without some form of unfortuante mishap.. Here is a brief summary of some of them.

So 2014 summer was a difficult one. I was bored, Jobless and broke and nothing much of any significance was happening. I was delighted when i got a call from a shop in town and was invited for an interview..

Job interview one : Small boutique , random attic

“Come upstairs to the attic”.  I looked at the strange man with the oblong headscarf and sweat stained shirt and said ok. A job was a Job at the end of the day. After clambering up those flights of stairs I sat down on the wooden chair in front of him and the attic door was shut behind me by another angry man in a greyish white tanktop.

” Are you married?” He asked gruffly looking me up and down as if i was a cattle being sold at a mart.

” No but I am in a committed relationship”. He seemed to approve of this statement.

” I DONT SEE ANY REFERENCES ON THIS CV!!WHERE ARE YOUR REFERENCES?!” his spittle hit my chubby face like bullets and i winced under his ferocious glare.

” I can provide them of course”. My hands were mildly sweaty by this stage.

” YOU BETTER NOT BE LYING TO ME!! I HATE LIARS !!”.

” oh no sir, I would never lie to you!” Unfortunatly for me most of the places I had carried out work experience in had unfortuantely shut down, leaving me in a difficult predicament and making me seem even more suspicous.

” You must dress like the other girls downstairs , i like Bright colours and short skirts”.

“Oh yes absolutely”. He looked me up and down undressing me with his eyes. I could already see i was not sutiable for the Job. Too much education and too much Burger King.

Job interview two : The chrystal cave

The next interview i recieved was for a faux jewellery shop in town which priamrily stocked plastic chrystals for belly dancers to stick on their bikinis. I was greeted by a thin asian woman with luxuriosly long hair and a tight fitting pencil skirt. Here i was brought upstairs to be interviewed.

“Here it is compulsory to wear lipstick and full make up, so for your next appearance you should have a fully made up face”.

” I am wearing make up “. she looked at me with distaste.

“Oh, well thank you for your application”.

Needless to say i did not get the job there.

Job interview three Lidl

I was delighted after a long process of filling out application forms, scenario questions and IQ tests that I would eventually be interviewed by Lidl. After three more tests in english maths and other logic tests I was forced to wait five hours for my interview with the other 150 applicants all wishing to stock shelves at lidl. I felt it necessary to kindly greet those around me. There was a large rotund bleached blonde girl beside me so i felt it would be best to begin with her.

” How did the tests go for you?”

“Ah grand i just coloured in the circles yano?”. I was puzzled momentarily but i realised by circles she meant answer options and that no thought had gone into her test, rather she just coloured in the circles as she pleased. I admired her free spirit but also questioned the lack of thought that had gone into her application and how she had got here in the first place.

“Dont ya just hate those college fuckers who think their better than everyone? fucking snobs they are”. of course being in the most snobbiest course in ireland i felt it was best i kept my cakehole shut to survive.

“Oh yeah absolutely right old fuckers so they are, so what do you reckon work here for life?”

” Ya i have a frien’ jacinta who works there says their great to ya there”.

Unfortuantely the manager approached me

” ah our only law graduate how interesting?!”.

All of the other girls hissed like snakes and an angry fire burnt in their eyes.

” Ya lying geebag thought you were better than us did ye?”

“No NO YOU ARE MUCH BETTER THAN ME , I HAVE NO PRACTICAL SKILLS TO MY NAME,SURE I HAVENT HAD A JOB YET, YOU WOULD BE WAY MORE CLUED IN THAN ME , SALT OF THE EARTH, TRUE DUBLINERS!”.

“ya youre right we are better than ye i bet we will get this job and you won’t”.

And never was a word truer spoken. I think i spoke too much about law and by the time it got to half five i was exhausted as i had been avoiding being beaten up all day.

Job interview four: Boots

So today i had my Job interview for boots. My first downfall was that i had forgotten my passport which was stated in the email. Then the questions asked were of a very curious nature.

“Did you ever have a relationship of confidence in your life?”

” Have you developed much as a person since you made this application?”

” what difficult encounter did you overcome and how did it mould who you are today?”  after blabbing out some incoherent answers i was forced to try and explain the advantages of a club card to customers.

The first one i startled completely and she dropped her shopping all over the floor. “WHAT DO YOU WANT? YOU STARTLED ME”.  The manager watched from afar as i helped the woman pick up her shopping “No no im fine really please i already have one of those”.

The second person looked up angrily ” could i have a moment of your time to possibly…?”

“No i dont want one of them “. and she walked away grumbling.

The third woman was busy with her baby and just shook her head before i could speak properly to her. By this stage i was so flustered that i found it difficult to sell my product to the manager herself. I must have repeated the word luxurious a million times and it was just a fecking bath scrub at the end of the day. I had over endorsed it so much the queen herself would have exfoliated her arse with it but alas it was too late. I had failed yet again.

I do not know why I am so unlucky. I am overqualified for the part time jobs but under qualifed for a career in law.. I am in a no mans land, a dark hole where no employer ever ventures!  Will i be forced to roam the streets in search of scraps? stay tuned !

Leprachaun colonies

I have begun my struggle through the incomprehensible terrain that is the german language. For me it is definitely a challenge!! From the three types of THE  Die, Der and Das, to the multiple uses of the word sie whether it be for she, You plural or the formal you. Also the constant questioning of whether a word was masculine or feminine! with spanish i felt the word was a give away El Toro, La piscina the words sounded manly/ feminine! here its like a vicious game of russian roulette and constant second guessing oneself. I am undoubtedly eager to learn,because to me this actually meant something. It meant  an end to a summer of loneliness due to language barriers and an ability to order a chocolate “kuchen” without fear or just a plain “gipfelli”. If german was not hard enough, then you have to try and decipher the divide between high german and the swiss german which is utilised here in basel. I haven’t a hope!

My classmates are a lovely, but strange mishmash of  people.  I sit beside a wonderful brazillian girl who unfortunately has little, to no english. We communicate mostly with elaborate gestures, with intense eye contact and random bursts of hysteric laughter. I can tell she’s a kind soul and perhaps she sees something in me too, as we our permanent class buddies, maybe dare i say it, friends.  I so badly want to learn to speak to her properly but i feel i dont have enough time.

There is another beautiful, elegant serbian girl with a radiant smile .She is timid but pleasant. We share the occasional amble to the Bahnof Sbb ( swiss railway station) together. When saying goodbye she leant in to kiss me on either cheek. I was not used to such close and personal behaviour. In Ireland i feel you only gain hugging privelleges after three months of close friendship ,otherwise you can be gauranteed you would be viewed as ” a bit touchy feely ” . So i just stayed still,panicking within my shell, like a snail in the desert sun. I left it too late of course, and she left with a strange expression on her face. Should i have chased her? Probably not.. She would think i was embarking on a childish game of kiss chase. Either that or she might feel I was a ravenous rapist, looking for my next victim.. anyway moving on…

There is also two other brazillian girls in the class. One is prone to bouts of  random moodswings and suffers from an overload of “emocianales” which seem to be out of her control. She storms out of the class when questions are asked of her which the other girl referred to as a “latino moment”. She is very beautiful though and when she smiles she really lights up the room. She just doesn’t smile very often but i couldn’t really blame her. Having no english or german would definitely make me upset too! The other is a much calmer laid back woman with a child at home. She keeps her friend grounded, translating into portugeuse where necessary.

Then we have the wonderful newyorker! Her first question of course was “where is the air conditioning?” I think she said what we were all thinking. I feel like a battered cod most days in that class, moist and sweating in my breadcrumb coat,in that Deutsch furnace. She is also beautiful and speaks   fluent spanish. She had a long flowing pocohantas like mane and  dark ebony skin. She is a very prominent character in the classroom ,forever questioning frau sybille, and eating things in class ( such as a yoghurt which nearly turned to cheese by twelve o clock) She also has a love of rare steak and often asks our vegetarian teacher very distressing questions.

Then we have two men of both japanese and asian descent. They both have their little quirky habits. The chinese man tends to medidate, while the japanese man is prone to bouts of booming laughter and introduced himself in a rather flamboyant fashion ” I AM A STUDENT, GOOD MORNING! I FEEL I AM IN HEAVEN WITH SO MANY BEAUTIFUL WOMEN BESIDE ME”. The two had a squabble though over a vocabulary game. ” HAHA I WIN, JAPAN ALWAYS WIN AGAINST CHINA”. Frau shneider was forced to be a referee in a possible jostling match, as the young chinese man went out to the hall to medidate, to calm his nerves.

The teacher herself is a eccentric but wonderful woman, who i have yet to see frown or look even slightly impatient. She has a tendency to wear loose fitting clothes and not a smidgeon of make up could be seen on her pale face. She made everyone feel comfortable and feel safe, as we attempted to grapple with the ever growing body of vocabulary, rules and angry pronounciations.

I have only ever had one mishap, in which I declared that i was a panda. She had asked us waren sie schon einmal in den ferien? ( or something to that effect) I naturally didnt have a clue, as usual. So i interpreted that as what kind of animal i was in my past life ( she had drawn a time line with liebe written above it on and an arrow pointing backwards. ) I Gave the question some deep contemplation. I certainly wasnt a cheetah , they were much too fast. A bear was far to agressive and a hawk too observant. I would be a warm fat rotund animal for sure, but definitely not a grizzly.  “ICH BIN EIN PANDA”. she stared at me,with a worried frown splayed accross her face. ” PANDA?! WAS IS DAS?! NEIN! NICHT ANIMAL” “I ASKED YOU WHERE YOU HAD BEEN ON HOLIDAYS”.  She laughed so hard tears formed in her eyes and rolled down her freckled cheeks. Another incident that could perhaps be mentioned was when my humour was intepreted as a serious statement leading people to believe that leprauchans did in fact exist in ireland.

” So on saint patricks day people dress in green like little leprachauns?”Where did that idea come from ?” “well it’s quite sad really. In ireland in the early 18th century, people lived in tight knit communities, and often inter clan relationships took place, leading to some deformities at birth and a high rate of dwarfism. Those people were cast out in society and labelled as leprauchans and thats where the name came from. Like we all laugh about it now but it’s quite tragic really ”

“OH MEINN GOTT HOW HORRIBLE”.  ..it was too late to back out now ” Yeah there have been some charities set up for dwarfism and stuff but the name really stuck, biscuit anyone?”.  Note to self never try to be funny with swiss german language teachers again, they will not get sarcasm. Though admittedly i took that joke way too far.

Classes end on wednesday.. I do not want them to end, because it is the first time since i have arrived that i have not felt alone and that i felt truly part of a community. It is with great sorrow i depart from klub schule despite all my hausafgaben ( homework ):( I guess all good things come to an end?

Falling down the rabbit hole..

On saturday i travelled to London on a whim! It was a stupendous trip but defintely somewhat overwhelming.

That  morning i headed towards Basel airport! I felt like an unfortuante pig roasting on a spit it was so hot! Roughly 35 degrees! I instantly regretted wearing a leather jacket and black skinny jeans but i wanted to be prepared for potential rain. I suffered through the laborious security checks and the desperate search for departure gates and made it just on time for my flight!

Eventually I arrived in Luton and to my utmost dismay I realised that my hotel was out in the back arse of nowhere. I felt too uneasy to conquer the underground maze and felt quite lost. Within the confines of the hotel carpark were clusters of fluffy brown rabbits. I had never seen so many rabbits in one place before! I felt they knew the lay of the land better than me, and my best chance of survival would be to follow in their footsteps and eke out a meagre  lving in the bushes. Alas i was not welcome in their clan and they scurried off into the darkness, away from the confused and blundering giant (me !:D)

I waited in the hotel for my friend to arrive and decided to order a pizza from a dominoes nearby. It was probably the most awkward experience of my life.

Jahred ” hello..( indecipherable muttering) this is jahred speaking “.

Me “Hello is this dominoes?”

Jahred “Yes”

Me” Um well could i order something please?”

jahred ” Yes”

Me “Ok um well can i get a pizza?”

jahred ” I need a phone number ”

I was then quite flustered and bothered because i was not quite sure what number to use because i possessed numerous phones .

Me “I might have to call back sorry “.

*hangs up, rifles in bag for phone, finds number, calls back dominoes *

Me ” Hi it’s um.. me again i have the number”.

Sajeed ” This is dominoe’s sajeed speaking”

Me ” Oh sorry i was last speaking to jared, id like to make an order ..

sajeed ” I will get jared”

Me “Oh no it’s grand dont worry about it .. sorry for all this fuss”

Jared ” can i have your phone number please mam?”

Me ” sure.. *gives phone number *

Jared ” ok may i have you post code please?”

Me ” well um my post code is in dublin do you deliver there ?”( awkward silence at the deliverance of this pathetic joke )

Jared “no”

Me ” Ok well I am staying at the Ibis hotel Lutton”

Jared ” I need the postal code of the hotel and your room number please”

* sweat prickles in the furrows of my brow as i desperately ransack the room for that specific information*

Me ” Hold on one second just trying to find this stuff sorry! so when did you move to england?”

* WHY DID YOU ASK HIM THAT?! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD !”

Jared ” what is your postcode?”

me ” yeah sorry.. here you go! um can i order a pizza now?”

Jared ” yep”. * phone credit goes, has to call back on hotel telephone*

jared ” hello dominoes ”

me “hello its me again sorry about that..”

jared ” Ok mam can you please make your order, thank you”.

was the most uncomfortable phone call i ever made.

The next day I headed towards the train station, feeling apprehensive at the thought of exploring london alone. The map seemed to be even more confusing, i couldnt comprehend the tracery of coloured lines depicting each of the numerous stops in london.  I took the tube to kensington on the picadilly line. I felt like Alice, falling down the rabbit hole, plunging into the darkness of the underground! I stepped out into the sparkling light of kensington and was dazzled by London’s beauty and  consumed by Its vibrant culture. The streets were bustling and lined by a variety of restaurants, shops and numerous museums. I eventually found my family and we experienced the delights london had to offer, from indian cuisine, to the chilled out atmosphere of covent garden and the packed pavements of picadilly.  Big ben loomed over us in the distance , a beacon of hope for all lost and weary travellers like myself and a creation of majestic beauty. I left the next day with a sorrowfull lump in my throat at the prospects of leaving my family and one of my best friends behind. I also felt a yearning in my heart to explore more of what london had to offer, and feel another visit is in order! Alice must return to wonderland 🙂

Trier Triumph

So i was kindly invited by my friend to stay with her in Trier (in germany ) for the weekend. I was very excited about the prospect of seeing someone, who was not under the age of five, and was looking forward to rekindling the flames of an old friendship. I was of course nervous also, afraid i would get lost, or that i would be a burden, or be unable to socialise in a normal fashion! ( If I am to be honest I am a tad socially awkward) However the trip went with relatively little, to no mishaps!

I grabbed the train from bahnof Sbb at around half two. It was late due to a person related accident. However this was the swiss standard of late, so i only had three minutes to reflect on the fragility of life and the tragedy that had occured. In ireland our definition of early is fifteen minutes late, so i was pleasantly suprised by the smart arrival. I was still somewhat concerned as i was afraid i would miss my connection at mannheim ( i had only nine mintues to disembark and find the new platform ) I also wasn’t quite sure whether i was on the correct train and was worried, i was hurtling to some other destination in europe.  In dublin i had the habit of grabbing random buses and hoping for the best, leaving chaos in my wake, and becoming hopelessly lost. Luckily for me this did not occur this time round.

I arrived on time and was greeted warmly by my friend. All my fears of not being able to speak or not having anything in common seemed to dissolve and we seemed to chat amicably amongst ourselves, as if it was only a few days ago when we had last said our goodbyes.

I visited ancient roman ruins near the town centre, and there was a festival being held there. There wasmusic playing ,and random stalls set up selling beer and food . I also noticed that people were returning their old beer bottles for recycling! I was shocked by this outward display of environmental awareness but then i was relieved to hear there was financial gain involved.:D

The next day I Visited Karl Marx’s house ( which i admittedly fan girled over like the nerd i am ) I almost had a doughnut induced coma at Dunkin Doughnuts ( Which we weirdly Don’t have in Dublin, thank god, Burger King is enough of a temptation ) We bought the cheapest booze ever in the local shop, 2 euro for a bottle of wine! In Switzerland it seems to be fecking 15 franks for a beer! We saw beautiful cathedrals, with stained glass windows and intricate sculptures. The architecture was phenomonal. I felt like i had stepped straight into the Hanzel and gretel narrative! The streets were paved with cobblestones and lined by traditional german buildings with gothic style pointed rooves.

Being with a friend made me forget my homesickness. Despite the language barrier between myself and her friends they tried their best to accomodate the fact i was clueless. I  came to the horrible realisation i was just as reserved and quiet when I did understand the language, amongst my own friends back home. This depressed me somewhat, but then i realised this trip was a chance for me to grow , to learn to open up, to reach out to people, and grow more confident in my ability to concur the social anxiety i seemed to battle my whole life.  I revelled in the glory of the Trier Triumph. That i had travelled half way accross Europe alone , stayed in another country i had never been  before, and most importantly that i had dealt with my fear of meeting new people! It had been totally worth it and had taught me not to sweat the small stuff.

When i eventually arrived back in Basel i sighed a breath of relief to be back on familiar soil, and in a way it somewhat cured the homesickness that plagued me since i arrived here! As i huddled in the train station, shielding myself from a thunderstorm, I felt proud of all that  I had achieved so far and excited at the prospect of the adventures to follow. Stay tuned folks, as next weekend i will take on London!