Culture shocks I had when moving to Ireland

Moving to a different country will confront you with a lot of new things: a new language, new cities and a lot of culture shocks you won’t be prepared for!
Here are the biggest culture shocks I had when I first moved from Germany to Maynooth, Ireland.

  1. The Weather

Still in Germany, everybody predicted that there would be a lot of rain and mostly bad weather in Ireland and when I arrived in Dublin at the end of April it was raining. I was prepared for the worst. But so far, Ireland surprised me with a lot of sunshine and really good weather! Nonetheless: The Irish love talking about the weather, if and when it is going to rain and when it might be sunny. Never have I ever talked about the weather as much as I have in the few weeks, I already spend in Ireland

  1. Left-hand traffic

I was aware that the Irish drive on “the wrong side of the road” as seen as a German, but I would have never thought that I have these many problems with it! Even after a few weeks, I look in the wrong direction when passing the street – every single time.
So be careful when passing a road in Ireland, because the cars might be coming from “the wrong direction” Even more so, because no one really cares about traffic lights as a pedestrian. It will take you ages to go wherever, when you are waiting for every traffic light, and you will look like a tourist.

  1. “How are you”

One thing that confused me the first time I went to an Irish supermarket was the cashier greeting me with “How are you”. It is (for all I know) a very common way to greet people and is not always really meant as a question. A lot of people will just say it instead of “Hello” or “Good Morning” and don’t really want an answer. It is kind of tricky to know when to answer and when not, but you will always be on the safe side to smile and answer, “Good and you”.

  1. The coffee

As a German I was used to drink a lot of coffee every day and it was a shock, when I slowly learned, that coffee isn’t that popular in Ireland. The Irish love their Irish Breakfast tea with milk and I must admit that it took me a while to come into terms with that.

  1. The alcohol

The Germans and beer – a never ending (love) story. But while in Germany you can pretty much drink wherever you go, it is prohibited to drink in the public in Ireland.
And not only so, but the alcohol aisle in Irish supermarket is gated, which was a big surprise for me the first time I went to an Irish supermarket.

But of course, all these things are just little quirks about Ireland and overall, my arrival and getting on were not too bad! Especially with all the nice people I met!

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