The things you can’t get used living in Ireland

It’s been 10 months so far that I’m in Ireland, my forth country of residence. During my stay, I’ve been astonished or couldn’t get used by many things that I wanted to share:

Why cold and hot taps are separate?

I couldn’t figure out why cold and hot taps are separated in Ireland! I have been at least ten houses and dozens of bars where taps were always separated. How you guys have warm water in the case you need? I’m not sure if there’s a logical reason behind that. Possible! If somebody knows, please let me know!

Why there is no Irish cuisine nor Irish Restaurant?

I’m asked continuously these questions: So you live in Ireland, what people eat there? How is their cuisine? And me “aaaaa”, “hmmmm”, “I don’t know”. Then I’ve started to ask my Irish friends what was their cuisine and answers were “we don’t have”, “we don’t have”, “potatoes”, “potatoes and stew”…

I want to taste these Irish dishes but still I couldn’t find any Irish Restaurant. 

Every object you buy, has fire caution sticker. Doesn’t matter what, stay away fire!

What’s the problem with fire?

This is a serious question. I have never seen any country where fire extinguishers are in each square meter. That’s by law in Ireland, but why? In our 2 bedrooms home we have two fire extinguishers, a fire blanket and an emergency fire button. My guess was, a huge fire happened in the country and lots of people died, therefore they did intervention to prevent such accidents. I asked people but they said NO.  

Even in the building, at some corners, you can see fire extinguishers.

Why garbage bins are inside the building?

Waste bins have to be inside the building if you don’t have a garden to put them according to the Irish law. 

Meaning, bins are not outside or on the street unlikely in to the other countries.

But why?

After my investigations I was told that the reason is, people might steal or fire if bin was outside.

Here there is another fire extinguisher.  Each time I have to take a deep breath while passing.

 But again, why??

I don’t understand, why people steal or fire the waste bin? What are they going to do with it? 

Ultimately we had this experience, when there was a little construction work in our building, the waste bin (left on the photo) was put outside for a couple of hours, and it has been stolen!

Apart from the weird matter what law says, keeping bins inside cause lots of hygienic problems such as dirt and smell.

Good consequence of putting waste bin inside the building that it improves your breath holding.

Driving on the left

No question. I know this is my problem. I can’t just set my brain while all the traffic is running reverse. Still looking wrong direction crossing the street and sometimes I feel like the cars are going by itself!! I still didn’t get used to be driven on the other side!

Spitting!

Ireland is the second country I saw where most the people spit after India. In India I have found an explanation of if with the alimentation. But in Ireland? Why people spit so frequently that need to put this kind of sign?

Why abortion is illegal?

Being in modern European country, one of my biggest astonishment was getting know that abortion is illegal in Ireland. It’s as strict as in Poland and Malta. Abortion is out of the question even for healthy reasons and no matter how many months is the pregnancy.  It is estimated that 12 women travel from the country to Great Britain every day to access a safe and legal termination. 

After the death of Indian Mrs Halappanavar the public opinion started to give strong reactions, that’s why, every year there are lots of strikes, protests and campaigns against abortion ban.

Plugs!

In Ireland the plugs and sockets are different from the other European countries. So we had to adapt all our electronics to the new plug system and here how it looks:

Why door bells aren’t working?

Why door bells are not working in Ireland? I have never seen any single one that’s working. When I asked to the agency about that, she told me they changed once and people just smashed it. Smashed it? Why? Who smash it?

When somebody comes to my home they have to call me, fine, but even the button to open the door is not working, and it’s not outside exposed to the people, it’s in my home. Her answer was ironic “it’s risky to open the door without seeing the person”, so they cannot fix the button.

I wonder how this bell system has been established at the first time, if it’s never going to be used.

So, each time when my friend or deliveryman comes, they have to call me and I have to go 3 floors down to open the door. So handy!!

Bureaucracy!

Coming from Italy, I was thinking I already saw what bureaucracy was, but… I didn’t know what I’m going to come across living in Ireland.

In Ireland, there’s no any public office where you can go to take your proof of residence. Utility bills or bank account statements are considered as a proof of residence. If I don’t have bank account (if I don’t work, I cannot have bank account), and utility bills aren’t on my name, I cannot proof my residence.

So when I needed a proof of my residence, has been so easy to call the internet company and asking them to put my name on the bill. But the rental contract which I signed for living in the house is not valid as a proof of residence. I already explained the renting crisis in Ireland How hard renting can be in Ireland.

It was very difficult to have a work permit, and after 5 months waiting I got it although it was temporary and now I’ve started to work. The thing is that when I go out of Ireland, I need a reentry visa to come back to the country. Can somebody explain it to me? I can travel everywhere, but to come back to the place where I work and live, I need a visa?

You might used to be in bikini when you go to the beach but often you can find yourself fully covered on the beach in Ireland.

Why it’s difficult to find a corkscrew or shoe covers?

I don’t know if it was just our experience but we had to go 6 shops to find a corkscrew. Maybe in particular day there was a huge sales of bottle openers and we just arrived at the end. I don’t know.

Same with shoe covers, I needed some and searched everywhere. At the end one old seller man understood what I was looking for, and told me it has been long time, maybe 40 years, he doesn’t see it around. Weird!!


These are my questions for now. If somebody got through the same cultural shocks, share your ideas with me. If you know the answer of my questions, I will be glad to listen 🙂 

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13 thoughts on “The things you can’t get used living in Ireland

  1. Everything you’re saying is so true! Some things I never noticed until reading your article! Once again beautifully described. I will try to answer your questions when I investigate for answers

  2. Hi Ozzy, I think that the real problem for Ireland is that they just became an multicultural country. The houses where we live are at least 30 years old and were build for people who could not effort to live in the countryside.

    You could taste some Irish dish in the English market. They cuisine is more soups and stews which are very tasty.Try the Farmgate cafe` and ask for a chowder.

    May people got drunk during the weekend, therefore is not safe live outside not even a plant.

  3. These are so funny! The fire extinguishers especially. I’ve never been to Ireland, but will look out for these when I finally do visit. Thanks for sharing these great observations with us.

  4. I would like to add another point 🙂 Bláithín, Niamh, Grainne, Caoimhín, Eoin etc… I cannot can’t read any of those ! But all of them are Irish names and even though you might believe the opposite, you may run into them quite often and then embarrass yourself not knowing how to pronounce them !

  5. Hola! I really didn’t know nothing about Ireland. So strange! I don’t hunderstand that things you are writing. Every country have something that people don’t hunderstand. You have to investigate.

  6. Hahaha! I found the thingy about fire really intriguing and funny in a way, these people seem to be really scared of fire Do they have fireworks there and if they do then I can imagine how they store it

    1. Good point Deepika! We were exactly thinking about that!! And the answer is NO obviously. It’s very dangerous to be able to buy fireworks!!! Now you made me think, I wonder why smoking is still legal while it’s very dangerous!

  7. Very nice post. I can definitely relate to a few points, especially the door bells are a mystery to me!
    I agree that the bureaucracy is horrible here, but I lived in Italy as well, and Italy is still the worst for that for me..
    I didn’t realise about the quantity of the fire extinguishers but I will keep an eye on that now!

    1. Ohhh! I’m so happy to hear that I’m not the only person suffering from bells 🙂
      About bureaucracy, man, I lived in Italy but I assure you, I haven’t struggle that much I did here. Italy is just legend! Maybe you shouldn’t have EU passport to understand what I mean!
      And please let me know about your opinion once you checked houses, shops and stairs about fire extinguisher 🙂

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