I moved to Dublin without knowing anything about the city, besides one day to arrange practical things, I had never been here before.
The fun part about moving to a different country/city is exploring it for the first days. Your eyes are wide open & your brain is ready to take everything in. You’re starting over again. It feels like waking up, not knowing what happened the days before. A blank slate of the mind.
Here are the things my mind (and mostly eyes) observed:
1. They drive on the left
So far the idea of riding a bike here. Thank god there are markings on the ground saying which way to look otherwise I would have been in an accident by now. It’s really hard to rewire your brain which side cars are going to come from.
2. Huge drinking culture
Why would you socialize at home when you can socialize in pubs? In Ireland it’s very common to go to the pub after work, get a Guinness or two and have fun with friends before going home. That also means that drinking alcohol is part of the routine. Which means that if you don’t drink you give people a heads up. I had several people telling me they don’t drink when I asked them to meet up in a bar, which to me was so odd.
3. Irish (& other) people are so friendly
It’s incredible. Just like in Iceland, people are helpful and talkative. It must be an “island” mentality.
I thought people in San Francisco were friendly compared to the people over here, but actually the Irish people beat the the San Franciscans.
4. Not all Irish people have red hair
A lot of them do though.
5. The Dublin rain is really not that bad
The rain is overrated. Half of the time it’s sunny. Half of the time it’s grey & rainy. However the good thing about Dublin is that you find it all in one day and in one spot. It will be raining at 11, sunny at 12. As long as you always carry an umbrella it’s fine. And having rain noises at night is the best white noise machine ever!
6. So many quaint & cozy bars, shops & restaurants
It’s amazing how many hip places Dublin has. It’s very multicultural and it beats San Francisco in cool places.
7. Phone theft is a thing over here
On my second day in the city I got my phone stolen. I was looking on Google Maps how to get somewhere on a street corner, while a biker passed by & snatched it out of my hands. 2 days later I witnessed the same thing to someone else. After a quick Google Search I noticed that it’s a thing over here. So be aware when visiting; don’t just flash it.
8. It’s the new San Francisco housing market
Tech companies are booming here, which means that the housing market is booming as well. It’s no surprise that finding a place is almost as hard as finding a place in San Francisco & rent is crazy expensive compared to other cities in Europe.
9. Pedestrian traffic lights don’t make sense
It takes ages for a pedestrian light to turn green. Once it turns green, it stays green for 2 seconds and switches to orange for another 5 seconds. Wait whut? The time the light is orange is longer than it’s actually green? No wonder everyone crosses when it’s red.
10. Weird tech balances
I was surprised how little commercial places offer wifi. Even finding a coffee shop with wifi is out of the ordinary. However their banking technology is crazy; just like Apple Pay you can pay by tapping your debit or credit card on the machine. No need for a PIN code or to insert it. I was blown away when seeing this & couldn’t figure out the weird imbalance between certain things being overly technological & others not at all.
11. I like it here
I’m excited to explore more!