Hello! Today was our first full day in Ireland and we had a really packed day, first going to Food Cloud for a site visit and then going to Croke Park for a tour around the stadium. Both were really awesome experiences that I enjoyed! Arriving only yesterday, we obviously have not been able to see all of Dublin, but we have been able to find ways that Ireland compares and contrasts to the United States.
Some things stood out to me when we first arrived. Every person we have met through the site visits and restaurants have been super welcoming. Coming to Ireland, I had this picture in my mind of what it would look like. I assumed there would be a lot of green everywhere and everything would be very close together. Dublin, from what we have seen so far, is a busy city with tons of roads, and everything is very spread out. But those things are not bad in any way and I have appreciated the views as we are walking around or taking the bus.
When walking around, I was able to find some things that are similar to home and others that contrast. One similarity I noticed right away was the graffiti. I was surprised with how much graffiti there is in Dublin. Also, since Dublin is big and places are not all within walking distance, we have been taking the bus a lot. That reminds me of Oakland because I am constantly taking the bus to get around. Dublin reminds me of Pittsburgh because of the city feel. They both have restaurants and shops along the streets. There are cars all around and drivers are aggressive. Although they both have a city feel, Dublin seems to be more of a quiet, still place whereas Pittsburgh always feels busy and crowded. A huge difference between here and home are the way driving works. In Ireland, the driver’s seat is on the right side of the car and you drive on the left side of the road. That is the complete opposite of how the United States is. Also, the traffic lights in Dublin are on the side of the street instead of in the middle of the intersection. Those differences are very important to know when coming to Ireland, especially if you will be driving a car!
Obviously, the Hyatt Place in Charlotte was a very different place than Staycity apartments. Considering we only stayed in the Hyatt for a few days and that we are staying in Staycity for ten days, they have contrasting setups for how these places run. A few simple ways would be the outlet converters, the amenities given to us, and the size of the rooms. Since we have an apartment at Staycity, we have two bedrooms, a bathroom, a living space and a kitchen, compared to at the Hyatt where we only had one room with a bathroom. The Hyatt Place gave us more amenities because it is a hotel, such as free breakfast every morning and a huge lobby to sit and relax in. Whereas in an apartment complex, it is really simple, and they are more independent. There are barely any spots to sit in the reception area and there is more simplicity in the layout compared to the Hyatt. That shows how this city can be simple and not complex in some ways.