California, here I come!

Here is the second instalment to SIN’s Saoirse Rafferty’s Californian column.

“Stay safe in the storm”, were the five words I awakened to last weekend in the sunny state of California. I effortlessly opened my curtain and glanced through the window to see a few drops of rain; it’s safe to say, it finally felt like home. I laughed at how the few drops of rain was being called a storm. ‘Californians and their sun,’ I thought to myself…

So, in the midst of this “storm” I decided to walk to the ‘supermarket’ to get my ‘groceries’ (the American slang is subconsciously growing on me). My housemate offered me her umbrella but I shrugged it off and thought ‘I’m Irish, I could swim through floods if I had to.’

Well, after my adventure to the supermarket, I was no longer laughing and it now looked like I went swimming in my clothes. I now apologise to all Americans for my stereotypical attitude and after seeing trees knocked over and roads flooded I will never laugh at rain in California again.

Alongside the weather not being as expected, life in the kitchen hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows either. I recently learnt that the typical 180 degrees temperature for the oven at home is the equivalent to 400 degrees in America. Basically what I’m trying to tell all of you is that I put potatoes in the oven for an hour hoping to make potato wedges and when I took them out they were still potatoes. Alongside this misfortune, I attempted to use the microwave yesterday and I haven’t seen chicken fly since the movie Chicken Run – but, man was my chicken flying. The microwave somehow managed to make my food fly and stick to the roof, and cleaning up the crime scene was not as much fun as it sounds…

Despite the bad weather and my unfamiliarity with American ovens, life has been very good in California. I finally got to see a Ted Talk live, which was something I always wanted to do after streaming many videos online over the years. If you ever get the opportunity to hear a Ted Talk live, make sure to go. They are even more inspiring in person and I learnt a really important fact: Ireland is the “goodest” country in the world! The ‘goodest’ was defined as being the most giving to other countries throughout the world, a quality that makes a ‘good’ country. I never felt more proud to be Irish.

If you can’t go to a Ted talk in America, at least go to the cinema. Oversized theatres and popcorn can never be a disappointment. FYI: Ordering a small popcorn in America is the equivalent size to a large popcorn in Ireland except somehow more expensive. I’ll fill you guys in on bigger and better things in California in the next issue. Because just when you think you can’t get a bigger food portion, there’s always more…

-By Saoirse Rafferty


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