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Life in arrghland

A blog about the life of an alien in a little town in Ireland…

Category

Holidays

Anniversary Shenanegans

Last weekend was our 5 year wedding anniversary so imagine my surprise to hear dear hubby had managed to plan a weekend away to the beautiful west of Ireland in Galway.

For those of you who don’t know, Galway city was my very first introduction to Ireland. It was where I did my graduate studies (Go NUIG!), landed my very first Irish job and met my first true love (awwwww).

So off we went on a road trip making good time from Kerry in about 2 hours. We checked into our hotel and off we went into the city. Galway will always be a magical place to me. It is not called the walking city for nothing. We did not need our car once (well excluding an early morning run to McDonalds for breaky) and so we walked around for hours. We checked out all our old haunts like McDonaghs fish and chips, strolled by the Spanish Arch, and reminisced over the smoke house burger in what used to be Eddie Rockets (now called something else but the menu is still the same). We sat down for a rest in Eyre Square and watched to all the buskers and musicians on shop street. I love vintage stuff so we tried to find some of them in the city center to no avail. This even after checking the locations online. We perused the used books in Charlie Byrne’s bookshop as well as hitting up Easons for a literary treat.

All in all it was a great trip and after two days of walking, we were glad for our comfy beds, a bottle of wine and a good night sleep. We have now decided that if we ever win the lottery, we’ll gladly leave it all behind for the magic of Galway city.

Spanish Arch
Spanish Arch
A walk by the river
A walk by the river
Flower shop, middle street
Flower shop, middle street
shop street
shop street
shop street
shop street

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River Corrib

College road
College road

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Charlie Byrne's bookshop
Charlie Byrne’s bookshop
Scotty's Steakhouse
Scotty’s Steakhouse
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A Long Time Coming (Home)

I went back home to Lagos after a long hiatus for my Dad’s 70th birthday celebration. It was an emotional homecoming for me because I had really been homesick for the last 2 years. I did not realize how much I missed my friends and extended family!

As expected there were good and bad bits to this trip. I’ll start with the bad so I can end on a good note. 

The bad and ugly:  

Bullies. My old bully came around and started with her old tricks. I know she doesn’t like me and years ago I let her know that I didn’t care for her either. But she keeps up appearances in public and especially when my parents are around. The funny thing is she gets in well and is very gracious to my other siblings but me? Well, she can’t quite get herself to be civil. And these hurtful jabs at me are done with a pasty sacharine smile that makes you want to give her a dirty slap. For example if anyone should compliment an achievement of mine, she will be sure to let me know in a fee words how not so special it was. At her first visit to my parents and having not seen me in 7 yrs, she proceeds to rave about how lovely my sister’ hair looked (we had just had our hair braided) and then asked me why I didn’t have mine done. The fake shock when I revealed that yes i had just had it done and by the same person. Oh she replied how nobody could tell that i had braided my hair on same day as my sister. Although i’m used to her barbed tongue, it never stops hurting. Alas I am not the one that stole her spiritual husband so i’ll leave her to her bitterness. Smh. 

Not so bad

Weather was so so. June-August is the best time to visit Lagos if not used to the heat. Why? Rain season! Even with the cool breeze and consistent(ish) electricity, I’d never sweated that much except in a steam room. It was hot, humid and tropical. The misquitoes would have really dealt with me if not for insect repellant sprays and wipes. I still managed to catch Malaria when I returned to Ireland but thanks to an anti malaria medicine i took in Nigeria, it was a mild version (Thank you Jesus!). 

Opportunists who came around to steal, scavange and decieve. By the way these are people known to the family. People who call themselves friends and consider themselves religious but have little moral compass. In their world, it is right to grab from people you think are better off from you. Afterall they won’t miss it. And if they do and try to hold you accountable for your actions, why, they are just being greedy and selfish! Yeah, I’m not bitter at all!

The good: My favourite bits

Family was awesome. I connected with old cousins,uncles, aunts, friends and what not that I felt full all the time. Good company has a way of making you feel better, reminds you of who you are and what really matters. Living abroad can be very lonely. You gain friends for sure but they usually only know a part of you. Friends who know you from your awkward teenage years or even toddler years will bring out your old swag lol. Being around my family made me realize who I was, what I came from and what I should be. I’ve been sleeping for the last 5yrs. I forgot and have been trying to make myself fit into my new life. Trying to dull my shine so I don’t stick out. Not anymore! For that awakening, I’m grateful. 

   
Me and Baby Sis    
Victoria Garden City

 
Me and Siblings

 
Mom and Sister from another Mama  
 
Mom and Sis

   
Ikeja City Mall

 

Mum and Dad

Food

Well I thought I ate a lot on this trip so imagine my surprise when I returned to Ireland a few pounds lighter (woohoo!). I ate pretty much anything I knew I couldn’t get abroad. My Mum did not disappoint haha. 

   
Eba and gbure/ugwu stew

 
Nigerian peanuts (the best)

 
 Ikokore (grated wateryam dumplings and more spinach stew)
Shopping

The Ikeja city Mall saved my life and intermittent boredom. I basically lived in the Woodin store (i’m a fabric hoarder) and Shoprite grocery store (bakery counter hello). 

   
    
    
    
   
All in all, great trip! Next time, I hope to go sightseeing in the West of Nigeria and Ghana. I can’t wait!

The art of avoidance

We had some really sad news last week and decided to travel to avoid thinking about it. Sure we know we’d have to face it when the holiday is over but we want some good memories to temper the sad ones. No better excuse to be with family.

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The Holidays are over: here are some bits

In no particular order-
Church nativity play
Carols
Dublin at Christmas
Church christmas dinner
Christmas day
Family
General silliness

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