A List of Things That Are Different Here.
- Irish grocery stores don’t refrigerate eggs. I’m not sure if this is a specifically Ireland or a Europe-wide concept, but apparently you won’t die if you eat eggs that were room temperature for a while. I tried it, I’m still here.
- Punctuality is not a priority. Everything moves at a slower pace, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Americans are far too rushed. Meetings start twenty minutes late, lecturers forget they’re teaching a class, and people stroll rather than scurry done the streets.
- People don’t eat while they’re walking. This goes back to the punctuality point, maybe the Irish don’t feel the need to save time by multitasking and instead enjoy two more minutes with that bagel at a kitchen table.
- Taxi drivers are so friendly. In every taxi that I’ve taken since I’ve been here, the drivers initiate conversation in a completely not creepy way. It’s the norm to chat with them about the upcoming hurling game or why you decided to come home at 12am as opposed to 2am.
- Irish students go home every weekend. The majority of UCC students live within an hour of campus, so every Friday they head back to their mom’s cooking and a place to do free laundry.
- Irish students study during the day. In between classes, the library is packed. It works for me because I function much better earlier on in the day. While Americans fill the library from 6pm-sometimes 6am, the UCC library is nearly empty as soon as it gets dark outside.
- I can watch Downton Abbey in real time because I’m so close to England!
- Some common phrases/words include: cheers, lads, it’ll be good craic, there are loads of.. (enter every and any noun here), oh you’ll be grand. These and many others are quickly making their way into my vocabulary.
In closing, here is a very cool photo of me on a zip line at Killary Adventure Center.