Dublin, at First Glance

On Thursday we went on two site visits; in the morning we visited a non-profit called FoodCloud and after lunch, we toured Croke Park, the third largest stadium in the EU. My first 48 hours in Dublin have been jammed packed with awesome events and very little sleep. I am hoping tomorrow will be our first day without rain so we can spend more time outside exploring the city. Overall, I really am loving Dublin and its intimate city street atmosphere.

Over the course of the past two days, I have noticed aspects of Dublin that are different from Pittsburgh and my home city, Boston. The first thing I noticed was people drive on the left side of the road. Before I came here, I thought England was the only country in Europe that did this. When walking around the city I need to pay more attention to traffic than if I were back in the USA. Another feature of Dublin that differs from the US is our different English lingos. Already on this trip, there have been points where I talk to an Irish person and we both say words that are not used in our respective dialects. For example, I might have blown a circuit in my room because I plugged a power strip through an adapter to the wall. Don’t worry, it was fixed; but as a result, I have been asking locals where I can buy more adapters to charge my electronics. At the store, I asked for a ‘power-strip’ and this confused the employee because in Ireland a ‘power-strip’ is called an ‘extension lead’. There are plenty of other words that differentiate our English speech and this is a subtle difference, but one to note.

Even though Dublin is not in the US, it had similar aspects to an American city. The first similarity I have noticed is the food. Yes, there are different ways to cook food here, but the overall options are extremely comparable. Every day, we eat breakfast at a cafe, Chorus Cafe, and the food is so well prepared. Highly recommend. But the menu has very similar options to what I would find from a diner in the US. The food there is delicious, so even though the options are familiar, I am so happy to eat there. Also, I have seen many American founded restaurants like Papa Johns, Dominos, Subway, Burger King. However, I promise I will not eat at these places while I am in Dublin. Maybe McDonald’s because I have heard the food quality is better overseas and I want to see if this is true. Another similarity about Dublin relates to my home city of Boston. As stated before, the city streets are very narrow and the buildings are extremely close together. This atmosphere reminds me of the North End in Boston. The streets of this section of the city are very old so there are many one-way roads. I love this setting because it is very uncommon with many US cities I have visited. It expresses a unique feeling and brings together the surrounding community.

In Dublin, we are staying in a rentable apartment complex called StayCity. Our group of 15 students is living in four different four-person suites. During our unexpected stay in Charlotte, we rented rooms at a Hyatt hotel. There are some cultural differences between the two living accommodations I want to discuss. The most notable difference between the Hyatt and StayCity are the bedroom sizes. At the Hyatt, we stayed in a typical sized hotel suite with two beds and a pull-out couch. The room in StayCity is noticeably smaller. Each room houses two twin beds and the dimensions of the room is around 15×12. This is not an issue but does say something about our different cultures. Europeans do not need as much space as Americans do and can live normally in smaller living arrangements. Another difference is that Hyatt is a hotel while StayCity resembles an Airbnb apartment. We have a full living room and kitchen here in Dublin. From my current knowledge, people seem to stay in these types of places more than a traditional hotel. In my opinion, Europeans might want to eat in more while Americans might like to eat out when traveling. This could explain the different living arrangements. Looking around the two different rooms, the Hyatt was much more colorful while the StayCity employs more simple colors such as grey, tan, and mild yellow. This might say something about the culture but from my limited time in Ireland, I do not want to make assumptions.

Thank you for reading my blog post today. Tune in next time for more about my trip!



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