Song of the day: Asa – Dreamer Girl
Time’s fast when you’re having flies! It’s officially 4 weeks into my Irish life and I love it. Really, I do. I’m learning alot, exploring this beautiful city and country, and meeting amazing people. I’m even getting used to the weather and drove across the country on the left side of the road! On to my one month ‘review’:
The Craic [Irish slang for fun/enjoyment]:
- The vocabulary: It’s highly amusing. I don’t even think I used craic correctly in this section title, but I wasn’t going to write this post without using that word. I only learned it yesterday during a word game on a road trip (more on that in the next post. Here’s a preview 😉
- The weather: Yes, really. You get used to it. “Four seasons in one day” is not a joke, it actually happens. My winter jacket has been my second best friend, after google maps. Daytime goes until around 10pm: This will change in the winter to 3 p.m. , so I’m taking advantage of any sunny day and evening I can.
- Public transport options: I can walk, bike, take the bus, or take the DART/LUAS(commuter trains) almost anywhere. I can even Hail-o a taxi without breaking the bank[Hailo is to Dublin as Uber is to America, except for actual taxi companies]. When I walk to work, I run into kids riding scooters or bikes to work or walking with their parents, and it always makes me smile, because in Richmond I would walk to the grocery store 200 meters away and get strange looks or offers for a ride.
- The metric system: Just add or remove X number of zeros for the conversion. Hallelujah.
- The social scene: Maybe because I’m living in a bigger city? Maybe I’ve become less socially awkward over the years? Maybe because this is a more social culture in general? Probably all of the above. I’m just making observations. And my observation is I remember trying 15 different things to get assimilated in Richmond when I first moved, and Dublin has been 7.56 times easier. I discussed an inherent cliquishness in Richmond culture with my other transplant friends a few times, and that’s missing from the scene here. I may or may not take this up in another post, that’s not the point of this one.
- An African hair braiding salon for half the price of American ones. *Happy dance*
- Grand means ok. As in, when I asked my roommate whether she didn’t need a jacket to go buy milk, she said “no, it’s just a five minute walk, it’s grand”. I’ve stopped cracking up about it. Now I just smile inwardly.
- That’s deadly means that’s awesome. Still smiling outwardly at this one. Baby steps.
- Street signs etched on the corner of the road, often on a building, not hanging on an intersection or pole. And only on one side! Some roads don’t have said signs. Why, Ireland, why? This is a hazard to people relying on street signs to get around, especially when they’re biking and the GPS is always 50 meters off. You can’t do a three point turn on a bike lane. Not without being physically run over by other bikers or scared to your almost death by their glares and bell dings.
- Using the Euro but not being part of the schengen. The visa struggle will be real.
- Measuring temperature in celsius. I’m still using fahrenheit on my phone. Again, baby steps.
- This country is absolutely beautiful. Like seriously. I live within walking distance of Sandymount and 30 minutes on the DART from Bray and Howth and 3 hours from the Cliffs of Moher. It’s insane.
- Ryanair and their flight sales. There’s a lot to see just within Ireland and the UK, but I can’t wait to take advantage of these insane fares when they come about and explore Europe.
- Parks and beautiful quaint villages. St Stephen’s green and Sandymount and Howth and Phoenix Park and the list goes on. Absolutely beautiful.
- My job and the people I work with. I was lucky to work with amazing people at my last job, and I’m lucky to have the same be the case here. It’s been easy to find “my people”. Partly because I’m blessed to live an extremely privileged life, partly because amazing people exist everywhere, partly because I’m a more open person. Just as an example, I used to feel special for speaking 4 languages. That’s run of the mill on my team. Everyone is super smart and super well traveled and I’m just trying to keep up. I love it.
- GARDA immigration: I didn’t think any public service could be worse than the DMV Saturday morning queue. Alas, GARDA proved me wrong. I arrived at 9:30 am and didn’t leave with my residence permit until 5 p.m. In the words of an Irish friend, “There are two speeds in Irish civil service: slow, and very slow”. Dear Garda, please invent an electronic ticket system, thanks.
There you have it, observations on one month in Ireland. Here’s to many more!