Today marks a year since I’ve moved to the beautiful city of Dublin. I have fallen in love with Ireland ever since, and even though the original plan was to stay for six months only and “moving to Ireland” wasn’t really a plan for any longer term, that plan has changed quite a bit… Obviously.
Since I moved here, I’ve witnessed some amazing things, including the gay marriage referendum, and I’ve been to great events like Web Summit, Dublin Marathon and Ironman 70.3. I’ve met amazing people from all sides of the planet, of all the different cultures and backgrounds and it’s awesome.
The list below are things that people might or might not know, but the fact that I’m from a place so different than Dublin, I found it extremely fun and new, so I hope that others will find this list useful, amusing or just simply a good read.
Also see: Dublin is Awesome #3: Dublin in December
If there is anything you don’t agree with or you’d like to add something to the list, let me know! 🙂
Bláithín, Niamh, Grainne, Caoimhín, Eoin, Tadhg, Aoife, Saoirse, Róisín, Siobhan, Caoimhe…
Yeah, I know you can’t read any of those, but all of them are Irish names and even though you might believe the opposite, I run into them quite often (and then embarrass myself not knowing how to pronounce them). Soooo yeah, go ahead and Google all of them (and look for more) because before you know it, Tadhg might be your new best friend, and you don’t want to be calling him ‘yo’.
‘Half 10’ means 10:30.
And I’m warning you about this because in many languages, including Croatian, literally translated half 10 means 9:30. So this is to save you from arriving an hour earlier.
‘Your man’ and ‘your one’ have nothing to do with possession.
So when someone tells you ‘I was talking to your man about…’, stop thinking about which one of your men is involved here. This means ‘I was talking to a man’. Simple, right? It still took me months after moving to Ireland to stop asking ‘My man? How do you know my man?!’
Days in the summer are ridiculously long.
Not as long as in Iceland, but there are over 17 hours of daylight. And vice versa, in winter, you’re lucky if you see any daylight at all, because you’ll find yourself going to the office in complete dark at 8 in the morning, and returning when it’s already night again.
Speaking of summers, there is no such thing.
Technically, there is, and there are times when the air temperature really goes over 20 degrees, but in general, you can see all 4 seasons in one day at any time of the year. This is also why you’ll see some people in flipflops and others in full winter gear on any given day.
— Marijana Kostelac (@MarijanaKay) November 17, 2015
‘Jacks’ means a toilet.
This is a simple one, but it needed to be said.
Things are grand or shite.
Yes, it’s great and shit, but pronounced differently. For me, this is usually the quickest way to find out if someone’s Irish, because I don’t remember hearing this from someone who’s not. And don’t worry, you’ll easily recognize these words in everyday speech and you’ll feel like you belong in a matter of seconds.
People say thanks to the bus driver before they step out.
This is something I’ve never witnessed before moving to Ireland. Here, people basically appreciate a fact that the bus transported them from point A to point B. I love it.
‘What’s the craic?’ and ‘Story?’ are legit questions.
Craic is pronounced ‘crack’, but it doesn’t mean the same. The most literal translation is ‘fun’, but the use is much wider than that. Having the craic is having a good laugh or fun, and you’ll hear it on daily basis. A lot of Irish souvenirs are based on the word craic. And before you ask, yes, people ask each other ‘Story?’ as a short version of ‘What’s the story?’. Why waste words?
There is no such thing as one pint.
Before you ask – a pint is 568 ml and it’s used as a standard beer unit in the common speech, meaning 1 pint = 1 beer (btw, 568 ml is a British measuring unit, and it’s almost 100 ml bigger than the American pint). I found that Irish people are very easy-going and they are ready to drink and hang out on any day of the week. I don’t think I’ve ever met an Irish person and went for only one pint with them.
Sport is a big deal.
You might or might not know this, but Gaelic football, hurling and rugby are quite a big deal here. Even though I’m a genuine sports fan, these were a complete novelty for me. I still don’t understand the rules even one bit, but I do know how important it is to cheer for the team when I find myself in a pub during a game.
Everything’s in feet and inches.
So I’m talking to someone and they are like, You’re about 5’5’’ tall, are you? And I’m like, hold on, let me convert that on my phone, because I have no idea. Waist size when buying clothes, furniture size, carpets… It makes life just slightly more fun.
Oh, and you might meet a person that will tell you ‘I have lost 2 stone this year’. Well, I’ll save you from Googling this in front of them ever: one stone is about 6,35 kilograms. You’re welcome.
Opposite-side traffic messes with your brain.
You know all those photos you see online from UK and Ireland with ‘look left’ or ‘look right’ signs on the road for the pedestrians? Yeah, it looks fun, but it isn’t. When you look the opposite way of the one you’re used to, it feels horribly wrong. Yet, if you do it your way, you can get yourself killed.
The only real way to make your brain work the right way (pun intended) is to start being an actual driver. Once I was a bit less terrified of being a pedestrian (after more than half a year passed since moving to Ireland), I started cycling on the roads and it made me fully be comfortable with this switch.
‘Cheers’ is everything!
My favorite point of this list: the word cheers can be used for an unbelievable amount of purposes. You want to say cheers? Cheers! Thank you? Cheers! You’re welcome? Cheers! Enjoy? Cheers! Bye? You get the point…
I’m not really sure how far does this spread and does it relate to certain areas only (it probably does), but that’s how it is in Dublin.
And just one random thing to add, that you probably already know, but it’s worth saying: Dublin is absolutely stunning.
— Marijana Kostelac (@MarijanaKay) December 4, 2014
This completes my list! Have you ever moved? What did the new city or new country made you learn and become aware of? Let me know!