A lot of exploring a new city involves finding the local characteristics. Today, I found Lidl and it inspired me to write a poem:
An abrupt turn on the way home
leads me into heaven. Lidl.
I am homesick, I have no Aldi.
I walk through the aisles, my eyes
glazing over from lack of sleep. I awaken
as the low prices jump to life. Lidl.
Fruit, a caesar wrap, blueberry muffins,
perfect for a quick lunch.
All for the price of 9 euros.
Apart from falling in love with Lidl, taking a quick detour through St. Stephen’s Green, and making my way through the city with as little Google Maps as possible, we spent time at Guinness Enterprise Center (GEC) where we learned more about the entrepreneurial side of Dublin. I have never been the type of person who wants to run their own business, create a new, innovative product, or take part in the cutthroat nature of winning over investors, but I found the concept of GEC interesting. I love the physical and emotional space that they provide for entrepreneurs to further their businesses by providing network opportunities and other forms of support.
I feel like the Plus3 program is a similar concept. We have been provided with the space of Dublin to explore not just within the business world, but within our personal lives as well, but we also have the support of our professors and the organizers at CAPA to help guide our experience and ask any questions we may have. Being in a new country and not wanting to come off as obnoxious Americans has made me extremely conscious of the way I look, act, and interact with others in public. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it has allowed me to adjust to the culture and understand our differences more. I have noticed more curiosity in myself that has been brought about from my peers and the conversations we have along with wanting to make the most of my time here and learn all that I can.
Though we have only been here for four days, and Dublin doesn’t feel too much like a new country, I have already learned a lot. I find myself comparing the ways I act with what we learn about how the Irish act and not necessarily trying to assimilate into the culture but at least acknowledging the similarities and differences. I look forward to finding more of these connections between the other site visits we have planned, the activities we participate in, and the exploring we do. Plus, I can’t wait to make another trip back to Lidl.