During the holidays I usually stay up late, much later as when I have to go to school. I’m a nocturnal creature by nature, so as soon as night falls I become very active. After two weeks of holidays, it’s difficult to return to the daily routines.
Yes, I have to admit that I’m actually a vampire. I roam the streets of Dublin at night, looking for my next victim. I’ve made the switch from tomato smoothies over to the real red thing. The downside: People in the neighbourhood have recently started calling me “Timcula” and just the other day, a large group of people turned up unannounced and armed with pitchforks. They kept shouting “Down with Timcula”….
Ok, all this vampire talk is really just my imagination running wild, but the part about staying up late is very true. I stayed up late into the night and then usually slept just up until around lunchtime. Then I would stumble downstairs, bleary-eyed and drowsy and would treat myself to a late breakfast.
So what did I do during these long nights? Two weeks after starting school again in Switzerland, I will have to pass an end-of-term math test. Let me bring this into perspective with another hilarious Dracula analogy: Failing this important test is similar to having a stake driven through your heart by Van Helsing and his goons. So my plan is to study each and every page of my Swiss math book, the whole 600 pages. It will take more than two weeks to complete this monstrous task, but I’ve made a good start. How did I come up with this plan? It was actually one of my New Year resolutions. I’m sure you’ve made your own New Years resolutions and are just dying to share them with me via the comments section!
It seems that I’m not the only vampire in town, as everyone at school today looked a bit pale and even the teachers looked like they were ready to bite someone’s head of. I kept some garlic in my pocket for protection and it worked. People stayed away from me but that might also have been due to the awful smell.
As promised, I now want to talk about the Irish Christmas, beginning with Christmas Eve (December 24th).
In Switzerland I usually celebrate Christmas on the 24th but here it’s different. The Irish celebrate the real Christmas on the 25th of December. Technically, this is of course accurate but they are taking it so far as to have 25 doors on their advent calendars. In Switzerland, the last door on the calendar is number 24. But I prefer the Irish system because that way I get one more piece of chocolate.
The main celebration is on Christmas day but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate on Christmas Eve as well. Every family has their own Christmas traditions, some have dinner together (very common) others hunt for vampires in the woods (less common). My host family invited me to the traditional dinner at a nice restaurant. The restaurant is called “Joel’s” and it’s a fairly expensive place. The dinner went over several courses, starting with soup and bread and the followed by the main course. I had a “Chicken Marsala” which is a chicken in a mushroom sauce, with onions, basil and parmesan and all mixed in with tasty pasta. I don’t know about you but reading about food always makes me very hungry. So when you finish this text, I want you to go to your fridge and treat yourself to a lovely snack. But don’t eat in front of the computer or you’ll get crumbs on the keyboard! But I digress… the best thing about the dinner was the dessert: Probably the best strawberry ice cream I’ve had in a long time, it was really delicious.
On this picture you can see my whole host family. From left to right: “Conor, Margaret, Me, Robert, “Granddad”, Sean
PS – Dear EF: This is NOT my Guinness on this picture, its Robert’s!
“Granddad” is Margaret’s father and he spends a lot of time with us. Ever since I told him that army service in Switzerland is mandatory, he insists on calling me Private Ryan. He always cracks jokes and is generally a very funny person but he is also quite wise. We often debate topics and because of his extensive general knowledge, he typically wins all arguments…. He also has a small dog named Sam. Whenever Sam is separated from his master, he starts to howl and he doesn’t stop before his master has returned. It doesn’t matter if it’s a minute or an hour, he will howl and howl until he is happily reunited.
Anyway, the dinner was absolutely delicious and I already said thank you for this nice dinner. But just in case a member of my host family reads this post: Thank you very much for this, it was absolutely brilliant and I will always remember this experience!
That’s all I have for you today, but in my next post I will write about the actual Christmas Day.