I have only been in Ireland for about 3 weeks now - having come over on an internship - and I have encountered many things that I really didn't expect. Although there have been many culture shocks, here are 5 things that have stuck out to me the most.
It doesn't matter what side of the sidewalk your walking on as long as you keep moving.
In the States it’s common knowledge - you walk on the right side always. In Dublin, I've noticed it's more of a free for all. You just walk and you have to make sure you're paying attention because chances are there is someone walking straight towards you or the Luas is coming up behind.
Tipping is not very common.
I am a bartender in the states so I thrive on getting tips. Tips basically make up my entire paycheck. What a great idea to pay the waiting staff a full wage. Of course, it's always acceptable to credit your server for good service but it is not required or frowned upon if you leave without giving one.
The driving is crazy.
This girl from the mid-west could never imagine trying to learn to drive in Ireland. Not only is everything switched around but city drivers are just intense. Even being on the Dublin Bus, I get a little freaked. They get so close to other cars, the pedestrians, and the bikers. They are the bravest of them all. I have never seen someone on a bike weave in between traffic so quickly and get so close to the side of the bus as I ride to work.
The Pubs are truly poppin' all nights of the week.
We arrived here on a Monday afternoon after a long overnight flight. We're in Ireland so of course, we all decide to head to the pub. To my surprise, we were not the only ones with that idea. There was even live music playing. Though it started to clear out a decent time, to make sure they could get to work in the morning.
Everyone seems very relaxed.
I am so used to the whole work, work, work and maybe you'll have time to play mentality. It's really nice to take a step back and really take in everything I am experiencing. The Irish really value their time, especially with their family and doing things they enjoy. I know these 8 weeks are going to fly by so I am doing my best to take it one day at a time and really engulf myself in the Irish culture.