45 little things I miss about Ireland

It’s been a handful of months since I’ve left the Emerald Isle. In that time I’ve started to think about the little things that I took for granted, but now miss terribly.

Here they are:

  1. Going to the pub regularly is socially acceptable. Apparently it’s part of the Irish culture. Here, you’re either in College or have a problem.
  2. Striking up random conversations with strangers. People in Ireland were painfully nice. People outside the New York city area just aren’t.
  3. Fearing for my life every time I get in a car. Just like a game of Grand Theft Auto, cars can drive and park on sidewalks…
  4. Being able to fit all my cherished belongings in a couple of bags. Knowing you’re going to pack up your life and get on a plane forces you to live with less.
  5. Being fundamentally different, yet never being treated like an outsider.
  6. Public transportation that doesn’t suck. Take notes, Lady Liberty.
  7. Exploring selections of sweets & chocolates I’ve never tasted before. Cadbury… Flakes… Snack… Turkish?
  8. Knowing the difference between sweets & chocolates. I’ve been so used to just calling everything “candy”.
  9. Getting to see films in the cinema a full two weeks earlier than my American friends. I guess european countries release some movies earlier than American countries.
  10. My awesome tiny apartment I rented in Cork City Centre.
  11. Swapping the er with an re in words like Centre
  12. Drunk driving is significantly more unacceptable than it is in the States. People here are comfortable having one or two before getting behind the wheel. Not the case in Ireland.
  13. Euro notes. Different sizes and colors… So much easier to see in your wallet.
  14. Euro coins. They go all the way up to €2!
  15. Being able to buy a full lunch with three €2 coins.
  16. Internally debating if someone was legitimately talking about the weather, or just filling the awkward silence. I’m still not sure.
  17. Never hearing debates about healthcare.
  18. Never hearing debates about gun control.
  19. Frequently hearing debates about water.
  20. Whiskey. Oh my god…
  21. The word Craic. Look it up.
  22. Food without preservatives. Milk and bread expires in a couple days… who knew?
  23. Correctly saying chips and crisps. After a while it came natural.
  24. Kerrygold. Holy shit is that what butter is supposed to taste like?
  25. 55 minute flights to London, for less than €50.
  26. Having “American” be a strong part of my identity. Often the first thing I talked about when meeting new people.
  27. Being amazed that people who live 15 minutes from one another have different accents.
  28. Not knowing what an Immersion is and wondering why I can’t leave it on. Still don’t know.
  29. Never being sure if someone meant “Three” or “Tree”. “Thanks” and “Tanks” always gave me a chuckle too.
  30. Never needing to check the weather. Just bring your umbrella.
  31. Attending a University that looks like Hogwarts.
  32. Never getting carded. Apparently, I look “old as fuck” as one bouncer informed me.
  33. Never hearing rap music in any club. Except Fresh Prince of Bel Air… because that shit is tight.
  34. Not being sure why everybody is calling each other “Ted”.
  35. Figuring out why everybody is calling each other “Ted”.
  36. Serial watching “Father Ted” on Netflix.
  37. Having an entirely different Netflix library.
  38. Chippers. Lunch in a newspaper. ‘nuff said.
  39. Figuring out what Gatt and Gaff meant all by myself. Gatt means beer. Gaff means place or house. I have no idea how that started, but I’m proud that I’m down with the lingo.
  40. Learning that pre-drinking and drinking are actually the same thing… despite the prefix “pre”.
  41. Hot beverage addiction. Irish people tend to drink lots of coffee and Tea. Coming off that caffeine addiction left me with a rough headache for a week.
  42. Cliffs of fucking Moher. Scroll up. Can’t see shit like that in the United States.
  43. Living out of my comfort zone.Being homesick and not being able to do anything about it can test you. I had no idea.
  44. The difference between the Imperial Pint and the US Pint. That additional 95ml of glory…
  45. All signs written in two languages. It seems impressive to tourists, but everyone only reads the English part.

It was a fun couple years… and I already can’t wait to go back.

Pete Marcano @marcano