the friend dilemma

(For the record, none of these names are real.)

Today my office friend Valerie and I took a break and chatted about sleeping. Eventually the conversation drifted to the Italian kids currently living in my apartment building, who congregate without fail around 11:30 under my window to holler at each other and sing. Sheila, who works upstairs, overheard this and dropped in.

“Oh, that can’t be good. Is it very annoying?”

“No, it’s okay – they quiet down after a while. I just don’t want to be the girl who leans out the window and yells at them to knock it off.”

She frowned. “Yeah, yeah. And are you meeting other people? Do you have roommates?”

I explained Basically Nonexistent Surfer Roommate and she frowned more. “You should try Ulster Hall. You should move.”

“Move? I don’t think I can, I mean, I’m settled in and I think it costs more – ”

She shook her head. “You should talk to Grace. I had to give her a ring anyway, let me talk to her.”

And suddenly she was on the phone with Grace, explaining that I liked my current apartment well enough, but would it be possible for me to relocate? And it turns out it is. The other hall isn’t available to first-year students, only post-grad and other long-term students. I may be able to move in with Irish students – hopefully even girl students – and get some human interaction outside of work.

But I am a Cancer and an introvert and at the end of it all, I would very much prefer to curl up and read than go out to a party with strangers. I’m already making friends at work – in fact, Valerie and I are going to see Harry Potter next week with some of her friends. Maybe the summer school kids tomorrow won’t be so terrible and I’ll actually make some friends there.

But, as Sheila pointed out, “you don’t want to be sitting on your own for the next six weeks.” Especially since it’s more like nine weeks.

And I suppose it all boils down to what kind of results I want and how much effort I want to put into being social. I can comfortably say I’m making friends in the office, and for now, that’s great. But three or four weeks down the road, how will I be feeling?

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3 thoughts on “the friend dilemma

  1. Great stuff, Laura!

    Bookshops – try “Vibes and Scribes” over the bridge into that other bit of “downtown” —

    Vibes & Scribes
    Bridge St
    Cork, Co Cork, Ireland
    +353 21 4505370
    Get directions

    Also, there are a couple of good looking restaurants right there. And if you have visitors coming and need a good B and B, I stayed at Auburn House near there, and it was great.

    • Ooh, thanks for the recommendation! I am always on the hunt for bookshops. I’m excited to explore the north side of the city – I haven’t been up there yet.

  2. Love your stories and photos, Laura. Your trench coat looks good. It makes you look like a professional news reporter. You are doing a great job sharing the Irish culture. I am learning a lot. So glad you are making friends and doing some sightseeing. Enjoy!

    p.s. Don’t worry about culture shock. Keep busy and by the time you notice anything, you’d be done with your internship. Time flies when you are having fun.

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