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What I’ve Learned Living in Ireland

What I’ve Learned Living in Ireland

I've been in Dublin just over a year now, and have the strange urge to share the things I've learnt in the last year with those who may be looking to make the move across the Irish Sea. Now I could tell you about PPS numbers and the best places to live etc. etc. but that information is out there on any number of websites, what I'd like to do is share some things that will hopefully help you understand Irish life a little better and help you avoid some misunderstandings.

First a bit about myself. I'm 29 years old, grew up in Essex, went to Uni in Hertfordshire, then lived and worked in London before being lured to Dublin by the love of a good woman.

I've been in Dublin just over a year now, and have the strange urge to share the things I've learnt in the last year with those who may be looking to make the move across the Irish Sea. Now I could tell you about PPS numbers and the best places to live etc. etc. but that information is out there on any number of websites, what I'd like to do is share some things that will hopefully help you understand Irish life a little better and help you avoid some misunderstandings.

Ive had some Interesting moments in Ireland. I drunkedly paid for a €20 Taxi fare with £35 in my first week, I've nodded and politely while being told that Irish tea, bacon and sausage is better than English (they're not), and I've heard gasps when I said that Pope Benedict XVI looked like the Emperor from Star Wars. So here's what I've learned:

1) Time is not a scientific or mathematical measurement, but rather an abstract concept. "I'll be there at 7:30" means "I'll be there at 8:30" and if you're told a journey will take 20 minutes it will take at least 40.

2) People love to give you directions. These directions will often be full of erroneous detail, while missing out important steps ie. You'll be told of grave yards, windmills and green walls but not told about a T-Juction. Road signs will abandon you at the worst time.

3) You must attend any wedding of anyone you're even slightly linked to you or your family eg. your girlfriends, old bosses niece is getting married and your're going, no questions asked! This applies double for funerals.

4) Wedding ceremonies and wedding receptions will almost certainly be a 45 minute drive apart and neither are likely to bear any relation to where the couple actually live. You'll probably end up staying overnight.

5) If you follow football and don't support Manchester United or Liverpool, forget about ever watching your team play live in a pub. Instead get used to Irish people referring to Man U as "We" and "Us" and then booing Wayne Rooney when he plays for England. If you can't/won't accept that start following Hurling. It's a cross between Hockey and Murder, you'll love it.

6) There is no such thing an an Atheist, Agnostic, Humanist or Spiritualist. You are Catholic or Protestant. People are just figuring out what a Muslim is, nobody understands Hinduism.

7) If you're listening to the radio, watching the TV or reading a road sign and can't understand it, you're not having a stroke. It's probably in Irish.

8) Lack of a driving licence does not exclude you from driving. It's socially acceptable to drive without a license and even with lapsed tax and MOT (NCT), once you profess a desire to sort it out in the near future. The Gards (Police) regularly let people off and look the other way. Because of this driving standards are awful, people run red lights, round-a-bouts are often a lucky dip and many people on motorways are scared and confused.

9) Ireland is divided into two parts. The first being Dublin and the second being "The Country", ie. Everywhere else! Dubs live in Dublin and Culchies live in "The Country".

10) People call a cupboard a press, I've no idea why.

Have fun in Ireland, it's brilliant!

BritishExpats Member "CaptainBrooksie"

 

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Image "Dublin By Night" courtesy of Sebastian Dooris