SEEN as I'm in nostalgic form, it would be impossible for this soon-to-be unemployed immigrant to venture far down memory lane without making one of my regular stops in Galway.
Four years of my life were spent in the City of the Tribes and while I'm still only at the ripe age of 24 (and I'm pretty sure the best is yet to come) the most fun I've experienced so far was without doubt during that period spent out West.
Right from the start of my time in Galway, starting with the wild liberation of Hoge in Corrib Village, I was learning.
Among the things I discovered were how to have a well-oiled night out for less than a tenner, how to procrastinate like it's an Olympic sport and how to identify the one person in a class of several hundred most likely to give you notes a week before an exam.
Courtesy of a stint playing with Corinthians on the Tuam Road, I discovered that they had heard of rugby up in Connacht and, to my amazement, some of them could even play the game fairly well too.
Being honest about it, little of what I learned could be described as having much academic value - after all, how many colleges test their students' ability to watch movies and play board games until 7 in the morning - but my education sure was one big barrel of belly laughs.
Plus I made some great new friends and became much closer to those friends I'd already known who also came to Galway from Limerick - three of whom are joining me on the Canadian adventure.
It's hard to single some of the highlights from my time in Galway - not just because of the volume of memories but also because of their haziness - but here are just a small few which I can recall.
- Setting off a rape alarm in Mondo McFlurry's room which we had hidden in his cupboard without telling him before he went to bed. This was early on in the Corrib Village era and was almost the first time I vomited due to laughter as I listened to him search his room in panic for the source of the unbearable noise.
- Watching in disbelief as two of my pals, Larry Longshanks and Jay McKay, completely bound and gagged their smallest roommate Micheal, kidnapper style, before leaving him outside their neighbour's front door. The neighbour did not find it quite as hilarious as the gaggle of giggling idiots that watched his reaction from behind a nearby ditch as he opened the door.
- Learning how to play Poker, Risk, 45, 21, Cup, King's Cup, Fuzzy Duck, the Name Game, Articulate, Mario Kart and Time Splitters but still not having much of a notion about Sociology despite studying it for three years and managing to get an honours degree.
- Watching Bryan Adams performing in Pearse Stadium from the roof of a friend's house while sipping on Buckfast on the sunniest day I ever experienced in Galway before tipping into Roisin Dubh to see Republic of Loose.
There's plenty more memories I could recall but I'd be here all day and some of my antics may offend the sensibilities of the thin skinned.
Great place though. Hopefully Vancouver is its Canadian equivalent.