Under the Cahrk Tree

It’s said that, despite its small size, that there are countless variations of Irish accents in Ireland. You can literally go down the road to the next neighborhood… and people will sound different. When I made the trek down south to Cork this weekend with some friends, it immediately felt like we were in an entirely different place because the Cork accent is completely different than the Dublin accent.

What you and I would pronounce as CORK, the people of Cork pronounce cahrk. On the 3 hour bus ride down south, we immediately recognized the driver to be from Cork simply because of his pronounciation of the town. For such a small country, the accent variations are many and fascinating. To me, anyway! I was excited for our little getaway because I was getting a little stir-crazy in Dublin. I had been to Cork before, but it was my first time to go with locals and that made for a different (and more fun!) experience.

Since one of my friends is from Cork, we stayed with his family in their gorgeous 19th century townhome. When I was little and used to take summer trips to Galveston with my family, I’d beg my parents to let me take tours of Moody Mansion. I must have dragged them on five tours in just as many summers. And that’s what this townhome felt like! Formal sitting rooms… a library full of antique books… I was DEFINITELY nerding out. It was one of those moments where I once again questioned how I ended up on this crazy adventure in Ireland at 22. *note: how will I survive 23? No one likes you when you’re 23. And I won’t be able to top 22. Already dreading it. TYPE A & LEFT BRAIN PROBS*

Casual drawing rooms, amirite.
Casual drawing rooms, amirite.
Their front door! Pretty doors are a thing here. Cameo by friend's kiddo.
Their front door! Pretty doors are a thing here. Cameo by friend’s kiddo.
Cloudy skies... pretty used to this by now.
Cloudy skies… pretty used to this by now.

On Sunday morning, we trekked it to the neighboring island of Cobh (pronounced Cove). Fun fact: Cobh is famously known as the last port for the Titanic before she set sail in 1912. There’s a tiny museum dedicated to the Titanic, and I immediately proceeded to fangirl over this… internally, of course. I have to act cool around these people because to them, constantly being surrounded by history is just not a big deal. If only they knew that I’m constantly shrieking every time I remind myself I’m walking around buildings that are just as old (and, some, older!) than the United States.

I loved being by the ocean- even if it was 50 degrees!
I loved being by the ocean- even if it was 50 degrees!
Beautiful church with the best views of the ocean!
Beautiful church with the best views of the ocean!
Art or trash?
Trash or art?

The most interesting thing that happened the whole weekend didn’t pertain to one event, but rather to a state of mind. I was strictly surrounded by vegetarians and vegans. It was the first time that I, as a meat-eater, felt like an outsider. I FELT LIKE SUCH A DUMB KILLER. Essentially, that’s what I am (of animals, not humans, don’t worry, Mom). And, of course, no one made me feel that way… but I know better because I’m educated on food and stuff now that I live with two vegetarians in Dublin. I know that there’s no need to kill animals for food. They’re just so tasty, it’s so hard to resist. Especially in Texas. I never expected for Ireland to change me in this way- that I would leave in December even considering becoming a vegetarian. On one hand, I love animals and don’t want to contribute to harming them. On the other hand… crawfish boils are a life staple. I know my flatmates are cringing reading about how I want to become vegetarian, but probably won’t because DAMMIT CHICK-FIL-A IS JUST SO TASTY. Sorry, y’all…

Moving on to a story: Here’s something that just wouldn’t happen in America. Sunday night, we ordered a vegan cheese pizza from a local pizzeria at 7:30 pm. They said it was going to be an hour before it would arrive… and everyone saltily agreed that was okay, because they really wanted this vegan cheese pizza. The pizza place ends up calling us an hour later, trying to get out of delivering the pizza because they’re understaffed and there’s no one to bring the pizza… after much back and forth, our pizza was FINALLY delivered… at 10:30 pm. WE WAITED THREE HOURS FOR A PIZZA! And the poor pizza had apparently been through a lot, because the entire vegan cheese topping was stuck to the pizza box lid, and it was colder than frozen tater-tots. This would never happen in my country!!! And this is why it’s important to travel y’all. You don’t know bad customer service till ya get out of America. The worst American customer service is generally still wayyy better than some of the chet I’ve seen pulled in parts of Europe (shooting dagger eyes at you, snobby taco place in Madrid).


The Animal Killer Monique



13 thoughts on “Under the Cahrk Tree

  1. Monique…Loving the posts. They are so interesting, I feel like I am reading the Irish version of Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have read about the eat, and the pray, but the Love section has not been written yet. You can’t leave without writing that chapter. I know you love England, but what about some man love? Dreamy eyes, Irish accent, Guinness beer breath? Ok that chapter may not get written. But if it does, it better be creatively juicy. Feel free to just make some crap up. We’ll never know. That is always the best chapter of these types of books. Well, maybe for married women it is! That home that you visited is very nice. I noticed the beautiful moldings, fireplace, pretty tone paint on the walls and lovely window treatments in the background. Just saying, this friend must come from a comfortable family. (wink) Take care and enjoy the rest of your time there.

    1. My friend is a distant cousin of William and Harry! He has a title, though I forget what it is. He’s married to my expat friend from Colorado. Crazy life!
      As far as the boy goes, maybe he’ll make it in the blog eventually… or maybe I’ll leave it for the book so it’ll force y’all to buy some copies 🙂

  2. What is with us? I was romanticizing her travel to include something like the movie ‘Leap Year’ where the girl finds her true love….. oh well. Sorry, no pressure Kiks nothing happens like in the movies.
    I too love meat, hard to imagine though if we had to kill it ourselves, we probably would give it up. Enjoy your adventure- we’re enjoying it through your eyes & words 🙂

  3. Cork!! So cool–do you have any favourite spots/best places to hang out there? I’ve decided on doing my working holiday in Clonakilty, which is about 50min outside of Cork so I’m sure I’ll be in Cork a lot and can’t wait, it looks great.

    1. Oooh, my flatmates are from Cork so I’ll have to give ya an extensive list! I live in Dublin on my working holiday visa, and have only been to Cork a few times, but Wetherspoons has cheap drinks, Cafe Paradise has the best crepes everrr, and definitely trek it to the Blarney Stone 🙂
      Lemme know if you need any other advise on traveling whist here!
      Thanks for le read 🙂

      1. Oh that’s great! Thanks! Also, quick question on the working holiday visa since I couldn’t find your email on your site–but what did you do about sending “original documents” to prove you graduated & had a recent college education? The app says to provide recent original certificates and I can’t imagine boxing my entire, official paper degree up and sending it off to the consulate!

    2. Hey!
      My personal email is– email me for anything!
      I’m American, and I’m unsure if the process is same for other nationalities but if you’re American too… I sent in my original diploma (high school and university) as well as an official transcript from my university. They were very adamant towards me about getting the originals. It was super annoying but just jump through their hoops, it’ll be worth it in the end!

  4. I love reading your blog so much that I read it aloud to your Uncle with animation. He and I have chuckled so. I am so happy that you are enjoying your time there and wish I could be a fly on the wall when your mom goes to visit. Fun!! I too am curious about the man with the Guiness beer breath. Is there going to be a romantic chapter or not?

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I’m having so much fun being here, though I am ready, in a way, to be home… I miss my mom’s cookin’!
      The romantic chapter is TBA… 😉

  5. Loved the Cahrk visit ! I am like you in being a crazed history enthusiast. I would be reveling in the overwhelming sites, sounds, textures and smells of all that was once so completely absolutely too faraway too imagine (that you most likely once read about in a book) was part of your present experience and existence. The difference is I would be the person freaking out at every little thing I saw and got to do. People there would hate me…… Haha! P.S. Tell Colorado to hook you up with Harry!

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