As you can probably tell I'm not Irish. Prior to moving to Ireland, it was an unknown country to me. Well because I was 10 and stupid and couldn't even pronounce it without saying Iceland.
The very first day in Ireland, the cold struck the whole family really hard. We all got sick the following day. That drastic changed lingered on to me, it's one of the reason why I felt extreme homesickness. The bluish sky just at 4pm (winter) was so strange to me that it was depressing.
Months later. The dreadful new school experience is upon me again. My dad said to us that we're guest in this country so behave but don't be a pushover. When there are bullies tell the teacher or threaten them with kung fu... Yeah that won't do shit.
At first year in school, I was scared shitless of the new environment I was in. Everything was different. However the kiddos in my new school was friendly. I quickly became friends with the classmates. I was the only brown kid in class but I'm not that brown. Though it's true, many Irish are pale so my complexion just stood out. Overtime I didn't feel different because people here are accepting. Even the people who are 'rough'. By rough I mean the poorer people, where society looks down upon. In my country they're known as squatters, tambays, basaguleros. If you're in the USA they're probably known as ghettos or rednecks or something. If you're in Australia they're called 'Bogans'. In Ireland it's much more complicated than that because they are recognised as their own ethnic group. They're known as the ''travellers''. Commonly known as ''knackers'', growing up I used that term but see I didn't know that term was offensive until a teacher said it was. It was like the N word.. The travellers can be spotted by use of tracksuit all the time despite not going to gym at all, also they always have caravans.
There were three traveller kids in my class. My experience with travellers were quite normal, they didn't treat me differently and they were as matter of fact hilarious. Although one kid was rough, always in trouble and we always play fight and he chases me around the school. He became my friend later on.
Perfect Summer Weather
I've established that the new strange climate attributed to my severe homesickness at young age. But the Irish summer is just damn perfect. Coming from a humid tropical country, the summer here is a perfect temperature especially when the warmish breeze hits my face. A great feeling, it became an anticipation every year. The catch is it only lasts for few weeks or days when it rains
This year was different, there were months long heatwave that struck the British Isles. Irish summer could be different now in the future due to climate change.
The Irish Aren't Pushovers
Irish aren't pushovers and they fight for their rights. During the recession years, Ireland was particularly struck hard.. Ireland is one of the two countries where water is free, one is Turkmenistan. There is no metered water or charge here.. Anyway as part of the EU-IMF bailout package, austerity measures was part of the deal but the most controversial was Ireland to have water charges. By 2015 the bill was passed and Ireland got to had water charges, had because it was repealed. 46 percent of the population payed, including us. The rest were boycotts. What soon followed over the coming years was protest. Anti-water chargers quickly posted on poles and flyers dropped into houses. Local communities protested, in my neighbourhood people put up their signs every morning.
The political system in Ireland is similar to my country but in my opinion a lot better. The similarities are in Ireland it is a republic and democratic. There is a coalition government and multi-party system.
The difference is that Ireland is a parliamentary where the PM (Taoiseach) is the head of government while the president is the head of state. In my country it's the president fulfilling both the role of head of state and government, in which the legislative power in the Senate and House of Representatives.
The big difference is, in Ireland there is a practice of direct democracy in form of referendums. Recently in Ireland through referendum vote, it allowed same sex marriage two years ago. And just months ago a vote was carried out to replace the 8th amendment which impose total ban on abortion as ascribed on the constitution in Ireland. I think referendums can be a good way to rest certain issues into place.
A Lot Less People
I don't mind people but I only included this because it results in smaller city. I've come to appreciate living in a small city as someone coming from a large chaotic mega-city. It's simply due to the fact the problem of traffic jams is a lot less. The places are within reach of walking which I do everyday. It just helps with the livability of the city if you know what I mean... Recently I came to realise I have so gotten uses to a small city that every time I visit Dublin city, a city of one million people I find it too overcrowded and too big for me.
Although I don't like GAA sports (hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, Gaelic handball and rounders), the culture of GAA and sports in Ireland in general is far different from my country. GAA is the organisation that regulates and organises GAA games. GAA is present in local communities and gets children involved in sporting life. GAA was created to preserve Irish games as during those times under the rule of British Empire, like many of other colonies, British sport took hold on the society. Over the years GAA has become part of the Irish culture and identity. This is why Association Football is commonly called as soccer in Ireland because there is Gaelic Football. (Yes it's not just USA that calls it that)
The sporting culture of Ireland is drastically different from my country.. Where big companies are the ones competing in the sports of basketball. Yep, fucking companies! the name of the teams are the name of the companies which often times sounds ridiculous!
Guy1: So what's your team on the PBA?
Guy 2: Tender Juicy Giants, pare!
Guy 1: I asked for your fave team not your fave porno movie.
Guy 2: *Shows picture*
Guy 2: What the fuck (-_-)
In Ireland the teams competing in their respective sports are the counties of Ireland. They represent their counties, where they came from on the national stage.
So In conclusion, what really I loved about Ireland is the accepting nature of the Irish towards me. As one of the lad said to me. ''Ah well you're Irish''.