Alright, so you’ve always dreamed of living in Ireland, have ya? It looks so plush and green, does it? The people seem so friendly and fun loving, do they? So I posted a blog about moving to America from Ireland and just had this Eureka moment. Why not post a blog about moving to Ireland from America. I only moved just over a year ago, so might as well post this before everything I know about Ireland is irrelevant. First off, you may think the Irish brogue is like listening to a sweet, sweet song but you should beware, even though the country is the size of me right testicle, we have a very diverse set of accents. You may be able to figure out what somebody from Galway or Clare is saying to you, but you might be completely lost when somebody from Cork, Kerry or Donegal talks to you. Also be prepared to concentrate and focus when somebody speaks to you, we speak much faster than you and we, all over the nation pronounce certain words differently to you guys. And this is NOT reason to make fun of us. Just because you say shit differently, it does not mean you say it the right way!
You may expect people to be very friendly and outwardly friendly at that from meeting Irish people on a night out somewhere or from meeting an Irish person at work or some shit. Well, the Irish are friendly but we are not very outwardly friendly. You may even think we are rude when compared to people in America. Not everybody in Ireland will try to make small talk, people won’t project their voices boisterously when greeting you. Don’t expect people to say Welcome to Macys or whatever, in every establishment you go into. Some may say hello, most, will not. The level of customer service in Ireland has improved in the last 3 years or so but it still leaves a lot to be desired. Ireland went through a meteoric rise in terms of wealth and prosperity. During this reign of greatness, Tourism and Service was neglected in favor of skilled labor jobs and pretentiousness. Some of this still lingers. But it’s getting better all the tiiiiiime!
If you are looking to rent a place. You are in luck. Ireland has very stringent rules for landlords to follow to ensure the tennants have a certain quality of living in their dwellings. Apartments and homes come fully furnished with all the necessities and even with some luxuries in most cases. Most places are pretty new (due to that economic boom as noted earlier) If you live in Dublin, you should try to get somewhere located close to some form of public transport. For anywhere else in the country, you should plan on either living within walking distance of work or buying a car. Luckily due to the massive collapse in the countries economy. Cars are currently very cheap to buy. BUT beware, if you are buying a car the size of the engine really matters. We are not a muscle car nation. Our ‘Green” party, the party who represents environmental policy changes got some power and since then cars with big engines have had their yearly tax hiked. I was paying nearly 1,000 euros a year for my 2.2 litre engine when there. So be warned!!
What can you do for fun in Ireland? You can do anything you want! Be warned, the weather is pretty bad all year round. We might get 3 weeks in the summer with decent weather and that’s a big MIGHT. In my last 2 years living in Galway we had about 3 weeks of sun. 2 days during the summer and a few weeks of dry weather (not hot) in November!!! If you are an active outdoorsy type person, you will need all weather wear. We have world class fishing, surfing and golf locations. Dublin is the only city in the south of Ireland that gets big name acts playing all year round. Other parts of the country may get big acts playing one weekend a year. If you befriend Irish people and expect them to be active and want to go do fun things. You should also beware that a large number or Irish people, young and old spend their weekends in the pub. Ireland is what you make of it. Do not rely on others if you want to go do something fun that involves driving far away or being active. (I will get shit for this part but it is so true!)
The work life in Ireland is much more relaxed than in America. We do have an infamous streak of begrudgery so be successful and ambitious at your own risk. If you are the type that goes that extra mile in your job, many will take jabs at you for this. Ireland has a unique complex of begrudging those that stick their neck out and work hard and are successful whilst also at the same time clinging to anybody success if it’s deemed admirable on a global scale. If you work in a call center, don’t be suprised to hear things like “Feckin Yanks” or “Feckin Indians” etc. It’s not racism, it’s just part of this complex. On the plus side you will likely already have a better work ethic than most, so you could carve out a nice little place for yourself. I base this on growing up in Galway, so it may not be fair as we call Galway ‘The Graveyard of Ambition”
The Hospitals are terrible. Most roads outside of Dublin city are shitty. Public Transport outside of Dublin is fairly shite. You can expect to pay much, much more a year in taxes and you will notice different trends in cities than you may be use to seeing in some of the non-major cities in America. I got out of work one day around 2 in Phoenix and went to a mall to get some food. The place was practically empty. This in a city of nearly 2 million people, the mall being in an area with more people living in apartment blocks within a few miles than the entire population of Galway. Any day of the week, if you go through Galways shopping centers you will see crowds of people. This is due to social welfare in Ireland. Your taxes will be very high but in turn you will see what your taxes are going towards walking around the city every day. Really, that aspect is what you make of it too. You can go to work knowing that as bad as things get, you don’t have to be terrified of becoming broke, having to live on the street and giving handjobs for crack.
A difference that won’t be apparent right away is when you go to a grocery store we have different terminology for certain items. I’m not going to mention these because well, there should be some suprises and learning curves. Leave a comment here the first time you go into a place and ask for Pebto 🙂