Greetings from Dublin! I’m Tess Koerner, a senior at the Mount studying English and Communication. I am currently studying abroad this semester with 18 other Mounties. Studying abroad came highly recommended by two of my siblings, who described it as a life-changing experience (my older sister being a Mount alum who studied in Salzburg, Austria circa 2012). To me, study abroad means broadening my horizons, pushing myself to do things I’m not usually comfortable with, and soaking up as much culture along the way. This is my first time traveling outside of the States and I couldn’t be more excited to share some of my adventures here with you all.
In my blog, you can expect delicious gluten-free food, noteworthy excursions for book, film, and music lovers, and ~of course~ my sense of humor. Why gluten-free food? About 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease which completely changed my lifestyle. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks intestinal tissue when gluten is ingested. Since there is no cure for Celiac disease, following a strict gluten-free diet is crucial.
Gluten: a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Also found in things like canned soups, soy sauce and envelopes. I can’t even lick my own envelopes.
In simpler terms, my body hates me because having Celiac disease means I can never have Costco pepperoni pizza again. Not to fret, Ireland has shown itself to be well-educated about Celiac disease and the proper precautions to take when preparing gluten-free food. Studies show that Celiac disease affects about 1 in every 100 people in Ireland. With almost two weeks of living in Dublin already under my belt, it’s become easier to find gluten-free options around the city. Stick around every week to read about great gluten-free eats.
Why books, film, and music? Well, I’m an avid reader, movie nerd, and the Mount’s own WMTB radio DJ. These are the kind of excursions I seek out everywhere I go and Ireland is no exception. Since I’ve arrived, I’ve already visited bookstores, watched Irish films, and even attended a concert.
At the tail end of August, a couple of friends and I attended a Boygenius concert at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Located in Dublin 8*, the Royal Hospital Kilmainham was a 17th-century hospital that housed soldiers of the Irish army and now serves as a museum and concert venue. *Dublin is divided into 24 districts; North of the river Liffey are odd numbers and South are even.
The venue itself was fully outdoors so we were not protected from the unpredictable Irish weather. Thankfully, it only misted for 15 minutes or so. Food trucks of different offerings lined the perimeter of the venue, and before the opener got too far into their set, I spotted a gluten-free and vegan food truck! So, I enjoyed some classic chips and ketchup.
Some of the food truck’s gluten-free options
We heard Ye Vagabonds, an Irish folk duo, whom Pheobe Bridgers introduced as her favorite Irish musicians, and MUNA a synth-pop group who has such hits as “Silk Chiffon” and “I Know a Place.” The main group, Boygenius, consists of Pheobe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker. Once the sun went down, they nailed every song on their setlist, and the crowd’s energy was top-notch.
This was just a taste of what’s to come to my blog this semester. Stay tuned for more of my adventures!
My friend Erin (left) and I (right)