Weekend Musings, Vol. 4: From a Movie to My Time in Ireland

Last night I went to the movies to watch “Finding you”, a movie about an American college girl going on an exchange to Ireland, meeting a film star and falling in love with him, but mostly a movie about finding herself. It reminded me of all that time I spent in Ireland when I was in university. I first went to Cork in winter 2005 for an internship at an all boys school. And because I had such a great time I returned in summer 2005. And in winter 2006. And for a year of Erasmus at UCC (University College Cork) from August 2006 to summer 2007.

I even wrote my first state exam paper on teaching German in Irish high schools. There definitely was a time when I thought I would one day move to Ireland for good. Because I had such an amazing time there. Away from everyone and everything I had ever known – and that ever had known me – I suddenly was fully myself. During my internships I realized how much I loved teaching, esp. German abroad. But I also loved to go to the pub straight from school with the teachers. Particularly my Erasmus year was characterized by learning what I felt like (I actually studied Chinese language and Gaelic Irish that year), trying things out (I ended up having the main role in a theater play – without prior experience), and lots and lots of partying.

The only times I went ever back to Ireland was in summer 2008, in spring 2009 and in summer 2012. At one point I figured out that Ireland most likely does not need another German teacher and that all those visits to the pub could damage my liver. Without making the obvious decision to saying no to Ireland, I let fate (or coincidence) decide where life would take me and then received a job offer from Istanbul. So I moved to Turkey instead. And from there to the U.S.

Right now, esp. after a year with the pandemic, I am reminded of all the great memories I made in Ireland when I was about the same age as the main character in that movie from last night. I was there when digital cameras were still a rather new invention, i.e. I don’t have that many photos from back then (the one above is of me sitting in a park in Dublin – and let’s not talk about that horrible blonde, after all those were the 2000s). Unlike in the movie, I even climbed the Cliffs of Moher before the tourist center was built and there were far less fences. But the rest felt so similar that I wish I could just book a flight for July and travel Ireland. So it pains me that my Green Card application has taken the freedom of travel away from me until I hopefully get a travel permit in a few months. But that is a bigger complaint for another time.

Things I love this week:

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© janavar

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