Both Germany and Ireland are Western countries, both are part of the EU. So you would think their cultures should be more or less the same, right? But that’s not quite the case: in some aspects, their habits and lifestyles are completely different from each other. Here are 7 things that I have learnt while living in Ireland.
1️⃣ Inefficiency can be fun
Planning your life minute by minute puts you under stress. I learned that sometimes you just have to leave it, don’t dwell on planning, and still everything will go the right way. It can be nice not to be bound to appointments and not to plan your social life as if it was work. Many Irish people perfected this way of living: It’s courtesy to be that bit later. Being on time would be inconvenient. For a well planned German like me that’s a very relaxing and refreshing lifestyle.
2️⃣ It could be worse
My mother always used to be very angry when she dropped or broke something or when something didn’t go the way she planned it. In Ireland, I learned that there’s no need to be upset or sad when things don’t go the way you wanted them. Why not just leave it, get over it and do better next time? It has happened anyway and cannot be changed. Being positive instead of angry and upset is better for your nerves, your mindset and your body.
3️⃣ Have some craic
No, I didn’t get addicted to drugs in Ireland. Craic (pronounced „crack“) is the Irish word for fun/banter/entertainment/good times („Last night was good craic“, „She is great craic when she has some pints“), but can also mean gossip/news („What’s the craic?“, „Any craic?“). It’s a word that describes the Irish lifestyle very well: Have some craic, take it easy and always have some gossip up your sleeve for a little small talk.
4️⃣ How to small talk
In Ireland it is considered rude not to do some talking with people when you are at work, in your friend’s parents‘ house, a bus stop in the countryside, a taxi or any other situation where silence just feels uncomfortable (even at 5 in the morning when I really want to catch some more sleep on my way to the airport Irish taxi drivers are always up for a little chat). So I learned how to talk about stuff such as the weather, traffic, job, cultural differences, beer and how shit politicians are. Even at 5 in the morning.
5️⃣ The benefits of clubs closing at 3
If you go to a club in Munich, they normally open around 11/12 and the party doesn’t really take off until 1. The problem is: You normally stay out quite late, too. Clubs don’t really close until 6 in the morning, sometimes even 8 or 10. So that makes it really hard to enjoy your student party life and still go to college or work the next day. Clubs in Dublin have the perfect solution to that. They open earlier, the craic starts around 11/12 and they normally close around 3 (side note: there are some exceptions like Coopers or Everleigh which are open until 4/5).
6️⃣ Living costs are much higher in Ireland
I always thought, Munich was very expensive. And indeed, according to statistics Munich is the most expensive German city to live in, with an average monthly rent of €16,05 per square metre. That’s still nothing compared to Dublin though: If you want to live in the Irish capital you have to pay €21 per square metre (according to this report). The reason for that is that there are not many big cities in Ireland, and Dublin is the biggest of them with the the most universities, companies and therefore job opportunities. So basically everyone wants to live there. And that makes rents and housing prices so expensive.
7️⃣ The importance of space and multiple urban centres
In Ireland, especially Dublin, there is just not enough affordable space for everyone. That’s why an overwhelming amount of people are homeless. Many of these people are young people, my age. It really got me thinking what benefits we have in Germany and how great it is to have space for everyone. Even when Germany took in hundreds of thousands of refugees, they didnt’t have to sleep on the streets. Special tents were built up, school gyms were used – no one had to sleep outside in the cold. So seeing all these homeless people, sleeping in the rain and the wind, is a really sad and shocking experience.
Anything you would like to add to this list? Leave a comment!