So this is what I got myself into when I moved to Dublin from the United States last year.
Once you’ve lived in any place for a while, you begin to forget that its quirks are all that quirky at all – and Dubliners are certainly no exception. But to the uninitiated, pretty much nothing about this city makes any sense.
Let us consider the 34 things that have surprised me the most since I first moved to Dublin.
1. I should be very concerned about my potential suitors’ road frontage, which is apparently not some kind of sexual innuendo.
2. George’s Street, Aungier Street, Wexford Street, Camden Street and Richmond Street are, inexplicably, all parts of the same 2km stretch of road.
3. Street layouts that make logical sense are a privilege, not a right. Or was it a left?
4. Crossing the street at any ol’ place with no regard for traffic lights, marked crosswalks, or, you know, oncoming traffic, is totally fine.
5. Sure, look, if you’re looking to start a sentence and not sure how, just add “sure, look.”
6. And if you’re looking to end a conversation on the phone, just keep repeating, ‘Bye bye bye bye bye’ until someone gives up and ends the call.
7. Ireland has two heads of state – well, a head of state and a head of government – and, somehow, neither of them is Bono.
8. Telling someone you don’t like tea is, it turns out, not okay!
9. On a Saturday night out, there is no such thing as too much makeup.
10. There is nowhere in Ireland that a tracksuit cannot be worn. “You can’t wear a tracksuit to my wedding,” you say? Challenge accepted.
11. Even if you love Coppers, you’re not allowed admit it until at least midnight.
12. If you pronounce ‘filet’ as ‘fill-it’, you’re normal and ‘correct’ – but if you don’t know that L-A-O-G-H-A-I-R-E is pronounced leery, you’re clearly an idiot.
13. Only one adjective is worth using in this world, and that adjective is ‘grand’.
14. Along those lines, ‘chipper’ is not an adjective meaning cheerful or happy; it is a noun representing a place that will serve you delicious grease-coated carbohydrates at three in the morning… thereby making you both cheerful and happy.
15. Despite what the actual rules of grammar tells you, ‘like’ and ‘so’ are both acceptable ways to end a sentence, like.
16. Public transportation that follows useful routes is a totally overrated luxury. Walking 20 minutes to start your 10-minute bus journey is totally normal.
17. A bus arriving 20 minutes early with no warning is also normal.
18. So is a bus arriving 20 minutes late.
19. Oh, and bus fares will periodically just increase on a few days’ notice.
20. Basically, don’t trust the buses.
21. Not everyone in Ireland loves Jedward, apparently. Why everyone doesn’t love them is beyond me, because, in case you’ve forgotten, Jedward are flawless.
22. You will tell yourself that Penneys is beneath you, and you will be wrong.
23. You will tell yourself that chicken fillet rolls are beneath you, and you will be wrong again.
24. Because I came from the United States, I should definitely know yer man in San Francisco/Chicago/Florida.
25. As long as your break includes gossip and a cuppa, two hours is a perfectly acceptable length of time for a lunch break.
26. ‘Hurling’ is not (always) a synonym for vomiting.
27. Grafton Street has two gelato shops on it! And that is not actually exciting.
28. People don’t make that many jokes about how much ‘craic’ sounds like ‘crack’ and all its off-color meanings, and this is enormously disappointing.
29. It is normal to cross yourself when you pass a cemetery. It is not, however, normal to enter a church after the age of 14.
30. While Irish weather may be unpredictable, the odds that you’ll have to make small talk about it for one to two hours per day is not.
31. A sandwich in Ireland is not complete until it is drowning in butter, mayonnaise, or – better yet – both.
32. Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 is really cool! You and your Ryanair flights will never go there.
33. The most important food in Ireland is not potatoes or boiled cabbage. Let’s be honest here: it’s burritos.
34. When you’re in doubt about how an Irish word is spelled, assume it contains all five vowels.
You’re probably right.