Ireland for Beginners

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What is it like to be a foreigner staying in Ireland?

I really enjoyed seeing us through the eyes of students, Julia Gollub and Susanne Graatrud Schiager  – from Germany and Norway respectively who explained what they have learned about Ireland during their first three months in University College Dublin, in today’s Irish Times.

Pedestrian lights are a recommendation, not a rule Everyone can tell you’re a foreigner when you’re the only person waiting at a red light for ten minutes.

Irish people are generally very polite Don’t be surprised if people apologise when you accidentally bump into them – even if it’s your fault.

Snow is an unusual occurrence Public transport breaks down, Schools and universities close and people keep slipping. If you’re from Norway, 10cm is not heavy snow.

TV commercials can be shocking It’s not unusual, when you are eating while watching TV, for a really bad road accident to appear suddenly on your screen, telling you not to drink and drive.

Irish words and accents can be difficult to get “Craic” is actually not a drug, “gas” is a positive description and “grand” can be used in nearly every sentence. And “tea-shock” is not an overdose but the title of the prime minister.

Doctors are obsessed with pregnancy It doesn’t matter whether you consult a doctor because you have a stiff neck or a really bad cold; they will keep asking you questions about the possibility of being pregnant.

Food you’ve never heard of If a menu gives you the choice between dishes you’ve never heard of – such as rashers, bangers and mash or boxty – try them. It’s worth it.

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5 responses »

  1. I love it all! Hahahahaha! I have been to Eire twice and only wish, wish, wish I could spend some real time there; the most beautiful, wonderful, fun, fun, fun country I could ever ask to be in (besides my own) and I fell in love w/her immediately. Thanks for the tips about being a foreigner! I laughed all over at myself!

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