The GoGlobal Blog

Hoods Up for Curly Hair

Hoods Up for Curly Hair

I have finished my first week at Ireland and feel as though I can already relay loads of advice to anyone who wishes to come and visit. While some advice is more philosophical than others, the main piece of advice I can give you all is that there is one thing you must accept if you have curly hair– it will never look good. As someone with VERY thick and curly hair, I have grown up being told again and again how Irish my hair looks (no it’s not red but the curls are enough). So when I embarked on my trip to Cork, I loaded my suitcase up with hair product. Deep down, however, I had this hope and prayer that the majority of people in Ireland have curly hair, so there must be something about the air and water that allows curls to always look salon finished. I was very wrong. Every night I would wash my hair, go through my hair product ritual, but it would never work. The constant moisture in the atmosphere never seemed to allow my hair to dry and when it did, it was simply a frizzy mess. I have yet to completely give up on having a decent hair look, but a fellow curlier haired friend and I have simply adapted a catchphrase “hoods up for curly hair” which means that pretty much every time we are outside and we feel just one raindrop, hoods go up. Definitely not a full-proof plan, and it is a a sure way that we stand out as tourists, but it is only an uphill battle against the fight of frizzy curly hair, and our hoods seem to be our only weapon.

After a paragraph like the one above, dedicated to hair, you may think the only thing I do in Ireland is get ready to go out, go out, and then have my hair ruined. But I have been exposed to a number things in my week here. As a USAC group we went on a scavenger hunt of sorts in the city center. We broke up into teams of 6 and took pictures of various locations around the city. My team came in first, thanks largely (if not all) in part of one of my suite mates, Casey, who we simply call the human GPS. Our prize was a €10 gift card to Tesco (the grocery store) and when I received said prize, I was definitely more excited then I should have been. I have seen a lot of the city so far, been to a number of pubs, eaten at a number of restaurants (yes I have had fish and chips), and walked up and down so many hills in this one week then I think I ever have in my whole life.


cork pic
Best group out there


I have also begun classes here at UCC. The way international scheduling works here, it that we can go to as many classes as we would like the first week and then register by the end of the second week. This gave me the option to visit a number of classes before picking my final schedule. I will be taking Introduction to Traditional Irish Music, Aspects of Irish Folklore, Irish Politics, and Northern Ireland Politics. So it is safe to say that I will be a bit of an Irish expert at the end of the semester. All of my classes seem incredibly interesting and all of the professors seem so excited to teach their courses. This leads me to believe that going to class will not be a drag, especially because I get to go to class at such a beautiful, very green, campus.


This is the main quad at UCC, if you walk on the grass it is rumored that you will not graduate


My final note for this post must, of course, discuss my seemingly terrible luck when it comes to weather. Yesterday, it snowed in Cork for the first time in over 5 years. The last time there was any significant snow in Cork was back in 1976. Needless to say a lot of my West Coast suite mates were extremely excited to see the snow. But my 2 fellow Loyola friends and I simply groaned, we had assumed that we would not have to see snow ever again (or at least until we returned to Chicago). This snowfall was of great excitement to the Irish students as well, who posted all over Yik Yak (an anonymous social media site) how they were going to go out and have a snowball fight. However, seeing as the snow barely stuck and turned into rain for awhile, I don’t see how it would be possible to form even one snowball, let alone to have a full out fight. The snow and rain did leave me with yet another gift, a terrible cold. I am attempting to cure myself with an IV of tea and honey, and will hopefully be better by Thursday which is one of the main nights that all of the college students go out. But alas, it has been raining for hard for 5+ so my odds of fully healing are bleak.

More later!

Cultural notes:

~Whenever an Irish person asks where I am from and I say Chicago, 9 times out of 10, their response is, “Oh the Windy City! Barack Obama!”

~You have to flip on a switch every time you need to use an outlet. I vaguely remember it being like this last time I was in Ireland but I can’t remember if it like that in the rest of Europe. Normally, I remember the switch no problem, but two nights ago I turned on the stove, sprayed the pan, and cracked an egg onto it. It took me 3 minutes to realize why the egg was not cooking whatsoever.

~ Most UCC students, go home on the weekend so the biggest night for students are Tuesday and Thursday. Leaving the weekends open for travel for all of us international students. This weekend, maybe Blarney?

Comments are closed.