My friend Aleyse Peterson, a 20-year-old theatre major, returned from Ireland in December of 2009, and she already wants to go back.  I figured it must be a pretty good place if her desire to return there is so great.  I wanted to know more (in case I ever decide to travel to Ireland), so we skyped and here’s what I found out from her:

Desiree: What made you choose Ireland for study abroad?

Aleyse: Well, it is my favorite country. I love the people, the country, the culture…pretty much everything about it.  When I found out I could study theatre in Ireland, I jumped at the chance.

Desiree: What kinds of theatre classes did you take there? What were the courses like?

Aleyse: Well, I took Devising, Movement, Voice, Acting and Irish Drama.  The first four were very physically intense, focusing on the performance side of theatre. Irish Drama was our “academic” class, the only one we actually sat in a classroom setting for.

Desiree: Which was your favorite?

Aleyse: Probably acting–although all of them had their amazing points.

Desiree: So you were fairly busy then? Did you get any time to travel around Ireland?

Aleyse: I was quite busy, but yeah, we had the weekends free.  It was our own responsibility to make travel plans if we wanted to, and we did.

Desiree: What were your weekends like?

Aleyse: Well, they varied. If I wasn’t traveling, I was usually sitting in the apartment watching TV, or else going out to the pubs at night with other people in my group.  It was kind of like a typical college student in any country except for the traveling bit.

Desiree: True! Sounds like a fun time. Is it nice being able to drink over there?  I bet that sucked coming back and not being of age all of a sudden.

Aleyse: Yes, it really did suck. I got used to being able to go into pubs anytime I felt like it.

Desiree: What was the best drink there?

Aleyse: Bulmers!

Desiree: Oh yeah, you told me about that before.  What does it taste like?

Aleyse: Well it’s a cider, kind of fruity, and it’s carbonated slightly. It’s like carbonated wine…you know, sparkling? Tasty!

Desiree: Oh okay, that wouldn’t be too bad! So what was your favorite part of Ireland? Besides the pubs…

Aleyse: Hmm…that’s a tough one. Honestly, I think I have to say the food.

Desiree: Why?

Aleyse: BECAUSE THE FOOD IS AWESOME! — Much more pure than over here.  I miss rashers!

Desiree: What are rashers?

Aleyse: Rashers are the Irish form of bacon — much thicker than here.  Our bacon is actually called streaky bacon; Rashers are MUCH tastier than our bacon. I like my bacon chewy so rashers are just perfect. And their milk is tastier too because its pasteurized very differently. However, it doesn’t last as long. With how quick I drank milk, I was buying milk every time I went to Mace.

Desiree: I take it Mace is the store there?

Aleyse: It’s a type of convenience store.

Desiree: Okay good to know — in case I’m ever going to Ireland, I will know the name of a convenience store.

Aleyse: We had one on our LUAS stop, so we stopped there quite frequently before walking home. Londis is another one to know.

Desiree: What is LUAS?

Aleyse: It’s their light rail system — exactly like here! Luas means speed in Irish.

Desiree: Okay, so now I know two store names and how to say speed in Irish. I also know what to order when I go to a pub! Any last things I should know about Ireland?

Aleyse: Let’s see: everybody says cheers as a goodbye, and if you want an authentic Irish experience, don’t go to Temple Bar. And there are other things, but I can’t think of any right now!

Desiree: That’s all right…another interview for another time then!