Two weeks into my experience abroad I’m realizing how much the Dubliners work at a slower pace. I’m so used to the constant go-go-go nature of Americans.
Taking two hours for dinner seemed ludicrous before, but that’s just the way it is here. Waiters don’t try to rush you out of the restaurant so that they can earn more tips. Instead, you have to wave them down to get your bill. I do enjoy being able to talk to my roommates over some after-dinner tea though. It’s nice not to be bothered much at all.
Ireland is a social island and everyone is so nice and quick to help you on the street when you look lost. The day that my roommates and I moved in we were looking for a Spar, which is a convenience store with a little bit pricier items. We couldn’t figure out exactly where it was. I stood in the street looking around like a complete tourist until a man came up to me and offered to help. He seemed genuinely interested in where we were from and what we were doing in Ireland. I’m going to have to let go of the “don’t talk to strangers” advice that my mother gave me when I was young. There are too many interesting people I could miss here.
Irish people definitely have a sense of humor as well. My professor for Irish culture and language was telling our class about how death isn’t a taboo in Ireland. Her friend’s grandma was dressed in a very nice suit when she came over one day and she asked why she looked so nice. The grandma replied, “Oh honey, I’m just trying to pick out what to wear when they lay me down!” So her friend made her grandma lay on the bed to see if it would look good at a funeral. Americans usually don’t make death into a joke, but they find it quite humorous.
I’ve found that Dublin is a smaller city than most, but it still isn’t the easiest to get around. The maps are bewildering to read because streets are cut off by blocks so one second you’ll be on Grafton street and the next you’ll be on something completely different and you won’t even know it. I’m starting to get the hang of it though. Soon enough I’ll know this city like the back of my hand.