Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ireland v. America

I've lived in Dublin for almost two months now. During my adventures around the city (and the country, for that matter!) I have slowly become acclimated to Irish culture. I figured I would share some of my observations of how Irish life is different than American!

(View from my balcony. Still not sick of it!) 

Observational PROS of living in Dublin: 

1) The meat here is incredible. It's fresh and clean and raised and cut properly. Same goes for pretty much all other animal products - eggs, milk, butter - probably the best I've had in my life. McDonalds and Burger King both use 100% Irish meat in their sandwiches and let me tell you it is taaasssty. I've definitely made a couple cheeky stops at both since I've been here, where as in America I stay far, far away from them. 

2) Irish people are ridiculously nice and helpful, just as a cultural norm. Not that American people are mean, but over here it's seriously brought up to a whole new level. Also, Dublin is unexpectedly VERY diverse - there's tons of people from all around the world who live here! 

3) Everything around you is historically rich and beautiful and magical and lovely. 

4) Shopping here is a-ma-zing, you can find really beautiful well made clothes & shoes at reasonable prices. 

5) Rent is cheap. Hooray! 

6) Sales tax is included in everything and unless stated otherwise on the menu, restaurants do not require you to tip. Need I say more? 

Observational CONS of living in Dublin (sadly, there are more than I expected): 

1) The few people that I have met that have been assholes are truly assholes. Like, "I hate my life and my job and my wife and my dog and I'm going to take it out on you" kind of assholes. 

2) Ireland is slow. Holy Jesus. I never really understood what people meant when they said America is very "fast-paced"until now. I assumed living in California the pace of life was kinda slow, but here it's just an entirely new level. It's hard to put into an example, it's just something that once you experience you realize. 

3) Sexism is very prevalent here and basically accepted as a cultural norm. I've heard more sexist jokes here then I have in my entire life - and I've never once seen a girl stand up for herself, only laugh it off. I'm not going to get into it but let's just say that California is far more progressive on that frontier. 

4) Technology and progressive thought are lagging. For example, abortion is illegal here. The fight for it is only now starting to become strong. Or the banks, oh my GOD the banks - where do I even start? They're only open 10am-4pm Mon-Fri. It takes 2 days to open an account (not kidding). That's not even the best part - ATM machines are for withdrawal only. If you want to make a deposit you have to go in and stand in line. My bank downtown is a big main branch, and they JUST got one machine (a completely separate machine) where you can deposit cash and checks.  When I went to use it there was a lady there who walked me through the process like it was a crazy new concept - I couldn't help but laugh! Needless to say American ATMs are lightyears ahead of Ireland. If I want to deposit a check at home, I open my Bank of America iPhone app, take a picture of the check, and upload it! BAM - money deposited. 

5) I have officially given up hope on finding a good burrito in Dublin. As has every other Californian that I've met. It's a lost cause. Burrito + Irish ingredients = no bueno. 

6) Speaking of food, is it EXPENSIVE. Twice as much as it is at home, at least. That being said - food quality here is goooood. 

7) Dublin has a shitty public transportation system. Even shittier than San Francisco, and that's saying something. 

Observations that are neither pro NOR con: 

1) When people shop for groceries, they don't grab a huge ass cart and fill it with shit for the month. They shop weekly, or even daily. I've never even seen someone fill a whole basket! This results in you seeing a lot of the same people at the grocery store (or "the shop" as they say here) all the time. 

2) A lot of Irish girls wear a FUCK load of makeup and fake tan. If a member of the Jersey Shore, Kim Kardashian and an oompa loompa had an orgy, I'd imagine the outcome would look something like the girls I see at the shopping malls and in the clubs. In my opinion - not so cute. But hey, to each their own!  

3) Barely anyone here uses Mac computers. iPhones yes, computers - no. There isn't even an Apple store in Dublin! 

I feel like I've forgotten a million things! These we're just the thoughts to come to the front of my mind. In general however, I do love it here. It's just taken some getting used to - but that comes standard with the whole "moving to a different country" thing I guess?  I'm only just getting the hang of things here - for instance, I now call the garbage can a "bin" and a waiting in line "queing." So proud of myself! Baby steps, right? 

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