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CHS Junior - Student Columnist
By Stephanie Madden

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.

An Irish adventure continued

A hop and a skip, and I am already in another part of Ireland. I have traveled the three hours from Dublin to Athenry, County Galway and feel as though I have experienced all the traveling I need for the rest of the trip. There are a good few differences between Ireland and the United States, not counting the obvious such as differences in spelling. As well as differences, there are also some similarities, such as the availability of fast food and spas, which are always a plus for the traveler on the go.

This past weekend I attended an Irish wedding, which was very beautiful, and would have been even more enjoyable had I remembered to take an umbrella with me. I obviously had some memory lapse when I packed my suitcase because I did not pack any jackets, I forgot to pack socks, and I definitely did not bring anything suitable for the rain.

We were hoping for a sunny day, but what we received was a strong Irish mist. The weather of course had no effect on the great day we had. The groom; my cousin who is also from Ireland wed a beautiful American woman, so I was not the only person to attend the wedding who had an American accent. The wedding was wonderful, and one of my favorite features of the wedding, aside from the cake, was the traditional Irish music throughout the day. There is nothing more relaxing and enjoyable than live Irish music, so I highly recommend it to anyone looking for some great entertainment.

I have not yet ventured into the Galway market place, but have already experienced a taste of the great entertainment on the streets, such as the men in the Dublin shopping center area who fool tourists all day by standing on the street, painted in silvers and browns, to disguise themselves as statues, and slowly but surely turn around and wink or smile when passers by least expect it. It really is a sight when people jump with fright before they realize they are being tricked, and I will admit, I was one of those passers by who was fooled at first. There are also different folk bands playing on the streets and also classical groups.

Experiencing the entertainment and culture that Ireland has to offer is great fun, as well as a learning experience. Differences such as driving on the wrong side of the road and having “roundabouts” in place of usual traffic junctions, make it tricky to navigate when you are used the American road system. There is no right turn on red, as drivers are on the other side, and you always have to yield on a green when turning right. All of these facts are examples of how lucky Irish drivers are that I will not be attempting to tackle the roads here.

For now I will sit back and relax while enjoying the summer breeze, but will also be looking forward to returning to the normalcy of the Texas heat.


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