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30 October 2009

First Week in Galway

My first week in Galway has been busy, and interesting, and overwhelming, and incredibly exhausting.

Galway is very cloudy, and I am told that now we won't see they sky again until March. It is also quite rainy, but I am told that it has not really rained yet.

University here is completely different to what I am used to. Things are very un-organised. Or perhaps you would just call it laid back. There is definately less structure. I don't have to do any health and safety training nor any inductions to the labs and equipment. Things are just kept wherevery and we don't have all our chemicals lined up according to class. The way Honours is done is very different to what I did last year, and the undergraduate Zoology degree here is also very different to what I have done.

The city is also very different to any that I have seen before. The streets are narrow and windy, for some reason there is terrible traffic. The city centre is nice, there is a pedestrian area which cars cannot go down, the streets are paving stones not concrete, and everything is very close together. There are wee alleyways to get between some streets. I was there on Saturday and it was so very market-like, with buskers and stalls and a lot of people. There are some really nice looking shops. I will have to be so careful when I begin to make money to not just spend it all. There were also a couple of beggers though, something I have never seen anywhere that I have so far travelled, just sitting there with their hands out waiting for coins.

Speaking of coins the money here is also crazy and will take a lot of getting used to. The paper money is definately not as nice as New Zealand's or even most other countries' that I have visited - it is very plain, not at all pretty. Doesn't have all the nice pictures and colours. And there are so many coins, they have all the usual ones but also 5c, 2c and 1c. And we don't even have 5c in NZ! It makes for an awful lot of change in your wallet.

It is raining again now, I definately have to get an umbrella.

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