There’s no place like not quite like home

As I write this, it’s just over a month since I left Ireland. My Masters is in full swing (no, really. I haven’t had an evening off since I arrived), and Ireland have just been knocked out of the World Cup in a stadium just minutes down the road from my house.

I think it’s time for a mini reflection.

There’s been a few things I’ve had to adjust to since stepping off the plane that Tuesday evening.

The 5p bag charge

You might think this something I’d be accustomed to. Shur we Irish have been handing over 22c for a plastic bag for the best part of the last decade. In Wales though, it’s EVERYTHING. Whether a plastic bag in Tesco, or a paper bag to bring your new River Island purchases in, every single bag will take 5p from you. I’m starting to consider purchasing a trolley alá your gran to keep me somewhat in the clear when it comes to funds.

Exchange rates

I can’t stress upon you how long it took  me to stop saying “£7, that’s a tenner back home.” Once I’d kicked that habit, it got a lot easier to settle into life here and (quite literally) take everything for face value. Who can ignore £1 pints anyway?

Accent porn

This one works both ways. It seems once I’ve opened my gob and the words come out, I turn into Kelly bloody Brook.

Them: Are you Irish?

Me: Yes?


For interactions with Welsh people, swap me for them, and the “say more things” is replaced with an hour of staring creepily lovingly at them as they speak.

Bilingualism is king

In Ireland we think we’re bilingual cos the announcements on the Luas/Dublin Bus/trains. Compared to Wales, we don’t have a CLUE what we’re at.

There’s Welsh everywhere you turn. Primark (Penneys? Not over here, love) on Queen Street suggests the next till point in both Welsh and English. Opening times are given in both languages. Hell, some of my friends over here spoke Welsh- and only Welsh- all the way to their first year in college.

We think we’re bilingual? Ireland don’t know the half of it.

Food, not so glorious food

Any and all my close friends and relations will back me up on my love of food. So you can imagine the shock I got when I came here and found some of my beloved necessities were going to take a bit of a shake up.

I set out to make Hunter’s chicken and spuds one evening for The Dinner. It had been a long day, and I needed some comfort food. You can imagine my horror when I discovered the butter I was going to match with my perfectly cooked spuds (what can I say, I’m a natural) tasted akin to cake batter. I didn’t return since.

Also, gone are the days of asking for a litre of milk. You’ll take the two pints you’re given and you’ll be happy for it.


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