Seen by others
After a quick Ausflug to Northern Ireland, I am now back in the Republic. In Dublin to be more precise. It is the first capital city on my trip and the number of people in the streets amazes me. Contrary to the rest of Ireland, I see people from all over the world. I wonder if their experience with the Irish is in any way similar to mine, leading me to the question: how do people from outside Ireland feel and think about the Irish?
During the past 11 days, I have collected my own experiences with the Irish and they are all very positive. Wherever I went so far, I was welcomed in a friendly and polite way. Irish people are very social and sociable. Thanks to their wonderful pub network system, they always know how to find each other. And others know where to find them, also when they are travelling abroad.
Jennifer (21) and H?lo?se (23):
`We were surprised by the minimal amount of clothes Irish girls wear when they go out`
Ireland by the Irish
I first speak to Liza (28) and Laura (26) who work in a youth hostel. They are both Irish, but they have also had the opportunity to travel and thus see Ireland from the outside. They tell me how to recognise and locate Irish abroad. And this is where the stereotypes are confirmed. Where to find them? In a pub. How to recognise them? Farmer tan: hardly anybody uses sunblock, they`d much rather let people back home know that they have been away to sunny countries. Girls wear skirts that are too short and guys have mummy-cut hair. How to distinguish them from the English? The Irish are not as violent.
Back to the original questions: what perception of Ireland do visitors get when they are here? Jennifer (21) and H?lo?se (24), both from France (photo) are working in Dublin for two months as a part of their studies. They like the Irish and the Irish way of doing things. What caught their attention right from the start was the way girls dress up when they go out. That is: hardly any clothes. And how they use each and every opportunity to party, with excuse or even without. They further noticed that gay people can easily walk hand in hand or kiss each other in public. That would not be a common sight in France, but it surprised them in a positive way.
Gheorgiana (23, from Romania) agrees with the drinking part and so does Marina (22) from Spain. There are also backsides to that, particularly in the big city. Marina says she does not always feel confident when travelling into the city centre by bus because there are always drunk people on board. I am quite sure that these people are not the same as the ones referred to by the other ladies. But it is very well possible that these people also started as social drinkers - after all, there is a risk to it.
To complete today`s story, I ask my Czech hosts Lenka (22) and Pavel (28) for their opinion about the Irish. They have been living here since mid-2005, so they should be experienced in coping with them. They too can only come up with positive points about the friendliness of the people and how welcome they have been feeling throughout their stay here. Lenka was initially surprised that Irish people have completely different worries from Czech people. The latter will worry about whether they can find a place to live and pay for it. About finding a job and coping with The Irish, or most of them, seem to have the basic needs covered and now they just care about where they want to party.
In addition to that, Pavel was surprised by how Irish people arrive late for work and how it is generally accepted. He thinks that the Irish may have grown too relaxed about work, but while he is here, he is copying their habits just as easily.
It may sound like a honey-sweet ending and a severe generalisation, but this is what I have been finding out about Ireland so far: everybody likes the Irish and the Irish like everybody. I have got four more days to prove the contrary, but I will be happy to leave the conclusion as it is now.
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