The Exam

The examinator called my name and I stepped up. “The assignment is to change the stoma and teach the patient how to do so himself.” I was overjoyed. Over the last few weeks I’ve spent hours upon hours practicing the different tasks we could receive, and this one I felt confident in.

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My patient ❤

The exam began. And it went wrong from the beginning. Suddenly I couldn’t remember the order of things. Suddenly I couldn’t explain my actions. I drew a complete blank on the first two questions she asked me. My pulse quickened. My breathing became shallow. Nothing about my hands resembled the firm, yet gentle, touch of a nurse.

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With real patients I’ve never wavered. But with this doll? My hands were shaking.

“Tell the patient what you’re thinking,” the examinator said. Our eyes met. I didn’t need her to say it out loud to know what she was thinking. I refused to give up though. I struggled onward and made awkward conversation with the doll. It went a little bit better, but not nearly good enough. The last minutes were miserable ones.

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I’m sorry for the awful treatment this time, but at least you know that I know better.

The nerves really got the better of me this time. What’s worse, I can tell you exactly where I went wrong. When push came to shove I choked – I couldn’t show my knowledge when it mattered. Have any of you ever experienced something similar? If you haven’t, be glad, because it downright sucks.

Dublin Castle

There since the days of King John, the Dublin Castle still stands. Large, yet not colossal. Hidden, yet not forgotten. Amongst new buldings, the castle can be found in the centre of Dublin. The outside is befitting the royals that once lived there. However, it still doesn’t do the inside justice.

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From the side of the castle

Tourists can only visit parts of the castle. You can either buy a self-guided ticket (and download a free app for an audio guide) and venture through the State Apartments, or you can join a tour that also shows the Viking Excavation and the Chapel Royal. Student tickets are available.

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The State Drawing room. Today in use for the reception of foreign dignitaries.

The royals were all about fireplaces, floor to ceiling windows and chandeliers. They had at least two fireplaces in every room, and a room for every possible occasion. I wonder what it was like living here. Were they happy? Did they sometimes wish to be normal, and not have to follow each uncomfortable (#corsets) fashion trend?

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Because if you didn’t look like this guy, were you even a royal?

I would recommend a visit to the Dublin Castle to anyone in the area. Be prepared to spend at least an hour and a half. It’s easy to lose yourself in imagining how they lived, and fascinating to compare the previous functions of the rooms to the new ones. The castle is a significant part of the history of Dublin, and will continue to be.

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Saint Patrick’s Hall. Formerly the ballroom, today used for presidential inaugurations.

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is organized chaos. It is a mix of soft and hard, modern and old. In one moment you can walk down cobblestone streets with flowers hanging from every lamppost. In the next, the edges of the modern houses are in sharp contrast to the traditional brick ones. And then, suddenly, palm trees.

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The traditional Irish weather is overcast, with a strong chance of lots of rain. 

Dublin is the largest city and capital of Ireland. Walking around today, you’d never think it started as a Viking settlement. The citizens seem constantly happy, and the sound of clinking glasses and Irish music drift out through the open doors of the many local pubs – seven days a week. Inbetween there’s loud voices speaking polite words.

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You can find the Dublin Castle amongst colorful new buildings.

I love Dublin so far. It is welcoming and tourist-friendly. My only objection is that if you can’t party like the Irish – find a hotel outside of the city centre. Irish people believe that a couple of pints a day keeps the doctor away, and sleep is therefore overrated. Lastly, if someone asks you to join them for “strong tea”, you better believe it’s not tea.

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I’m in love with these lampposts ❤

Nesebar – The City of Roses

We went to Nesebar to see a different part of Bulgaria. The old town was everything we hoped it would be. Serene, homly, and full of ruins. The new part was pretty similar, only sans the ruins and with slightly newer buildings.

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Ruin of a church, Old town.

Old Nesebar, a tourist magnet, had the unique silence of a beautiful place that don’t need to be loud to be noticed. We walked around and took in the sights – visted a church, and stopped by one of the tiny shops that sold rose-related products. Roses were everywhere in Nessebar, both in the old and new part.

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I will forever remember it as the city of roses.

Walking here and there, no destination in mind, we enjoyed the view. We were also entertained by a local who tried to convince us to eat at his restaurant by speaking Norwegian. I wonder what it must be like to constantly have your city crowded with tourists. Good for business, but otherwise?

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This picture doesn’t do the ocean justice, it was azure and clear – effortlessly amazing.

The atmosphere in Nesebar makes it worth a visit, so if you’re ever in Bulgaria – do take a day trip, and enjoy lots and lots of (cheap) ice cream in one of the cute, local cafés!