Some Things I have learnt about Ireland so far
“Maybe you will meet a leprechaun” or “Pack a raincoat and boots” are only some advice that I got from my German friends and relatives before going to Ireland. After 2 months of living here I finally know better!
My first impressions were positive, especially concerning the weather. I could not believe how warm it was in September and that I could still walk around in a shirt and enjoy the sun. The strong winds here were something new to me, so I caught a cold after only a week. It fascinates me how Irish people can walk around in tracksuits in pouring rain while I am soaked and freezing. People here seem to be resistant to dankness and chilliness, because they do not really use heating that often. The hot-water bottle has become my best friend in my accommodation.
I also noticed that Ireland has many cars and traffic lights. It is not pleasant for a pedestrian, but you get used to it after a while. Finding a public transport has only been a problem for me in the west of Ireland, but not in Dublin and surrounding areas. The bus drivers are way more easy-going and kinder here than in Germany (which is not too difficult)! One of the first new terms I have learnt is “slagging”. It was hard for me to see through at first, but the Irish are always helpful and fun to talk to. They have shown me a new form of openness in only a couple of weeks! Going out at night or having a pint is also a great experience here. Parties start comparably early and it is easy to get to know people. In small German towns there is no real nightlife or entertainment after 4 p.m., while in Ireland you will always find something to do even in smaller towns!
I will be happy to see my German family again for Christmas and I miss the German recycling system, but the time in Ireland (and at GLC, of course) will always be a special memory for me.