Friday, July 30, 2010

Ireland Day 23 - Lazy

I should just leave this entry blank to demonstrate how little I did today, but that's not my style. I like to talk/type too much.

You know who is great? Florence + The Machine. She has a song on the Eclipse soundtrack that I really like. I hadn't heard of her before then. My first week or so here in Ireland I was at a place eating dinner and they happened to be playing her album. Go forward a week and I'm in the car with Dave and she's on the radio. "She's class" he says. So I finally download her album. A great purchase. Rabbit Heart (raise it up) may be my favorite, other than her Heavy In Your Arms single from Eclipse.

This would be a good space to rattle off some of the information I've been saving up. I'm keeping a list of vocabulary differences and general observations. They're fun to spot and I want to remember them. This is by no means a complete list, just the ones that I've heard/spotted and actually remembered to write down. Here goes! I'm listing these as what I would say and then what they would say:

yell - roar
honk - blare
santa's workshop - santa's grotto
walk around/meander - potter around
bus - coach
bachelorette - hen
bachelor - stag
band aid - plasters
for rent - for let
prom - debs
loading zone - set down area
pacifier - soother
pudding - dessert
open hours - trading times
speed bumps - ramps
liquor store - off license

Here are some general things that I've noted. Cultural differences?

Customer service - When walking into a store, employees don't say hi, ask how you're doing or if you need any help. When you leave they don't say thank you or goodbye. There is no hovering when you're trying to shop, that part is nice. No one is mean and the purchase exchange is pleasant enough, but no one is nicer than they need to be.

Crazy buses - The buses frequently yield to traffic (as opposed to traffic yielding to the buses), and pedestrians don't flinch or even notice when the buses drive up on the curbs in the alley way and they're suddenly a foot away from someone walking.

Shops - They don't open on time. 10 am? Maybe 10:15. Y'know, whenever. Being early is seen as strange. You can count on the buses to arrive, but they'll always be late.

Bars - People will dance and make out but very infrequently does it actually lead to people going home together. It's a very different scene over here.

Tipping - Doesn't happen. It makes me feel super cheap. Tipping bar tenders or waiters is essentially unheard of. There's very little respect for them, apparently? Tipping them is seen as being foolish with your money. If you frequent a pub and have become a regular, you can then occasionally "buy one for the staff" by not taking your change after buying your last pint.

Internet - It isn't all that big here. Most places don't have it and popular spots don't have free wifi.

Phones - Not nearly as many fancy phones or iPhones as I expected. Most people have non-flip/or slide phones with minimal screens. I've seen hardly any QWERTY phones.

Escalators - No one walks on them, they all ride ever so slowly. It makes me crazy.

Ringtones - I'm going to estimate that 9 out of 10 people here have the same ringtone and text sound. It's really obnoxious. Everyone seems to have a Nokia phone as well.

Hats - Women wear fancy hats and headpieces here for special occasions.

So that's what I've observed/heard/remembered so far! Hopefully it's interesting to people other than me.

Everything was going very well today. I woke up at 11, chatted with Jacki until about 1, then sat in bed in my jammies editing photos and poking around on the internet. I finally got dressed and decided to go into town to pick up my camera around 5pm. I wander outside to catch the 5:15 bus. I wait and wait. No bus. They've been off lately because of all the Race traffic, so I thought I'd wait around, it may just be very late. 5:45 inches closer and closer, so I stick around to catch that. No dice. 6:10, 5 minutes shy of a full HOUR, the bus rolls up. I was incredibly irritated, what a damn waste of time.

Dramatic street! Dun dun dunnnn

Grouchy and hungry, I get off the bus and buy fries from McDonald's. They were good but too expensive. While I was eating them and walking, a group of guys passed me and one said, "Hey, McDonald's!" Not sure what that was all about. I grabbed my camera from Geraldine and Owen's place, then went back to the bus stop. A riveting trip into town if I do say so. I walk up in time to catch the 6:45 . Except there is no 6:45. So I wait and wait next to a guy that smells like pee, alcohol and cigarettes. It was awesome.

When the bus rolled up shortly after 7:15 it was packed so I stood right next to the driver. I could see my reflection in his mirror and my face was quite stony. Not a good trip.

I made it back home with my camera though, that's what matters. I took a photo of the clouds and the street. That's all I'll be doing. Too lazy to do anything more. Plus I'd like to get crackin' on the photos from the Cliffs so I can share my (photo) experience with everyone :)

Tonight I had a huge amount of pasta for dinner and a piece of butter toast. Steve was having dinner at the same time, so we chatted a bit at the dinner table. He was on his phone for part of the time and he was speaking Irish. It was fun sitting there eating and listening to him talk. I caught a few words this time, I can't remember how to spell them though -_- I need more discipline. Ta siad, I want to say.

Just a reminder that I will NOT have a blog up tomorrow! I know so many people will be very disappointed ;D I'm going to be in Dublin and without internet! I'll be posting a photo tomorrow morning before I leave and then I'll have a great double blog to share Sunday night after I get back home. Rugby match! I'll just be thinking of Friends the whole time 8B hurhurr It's going to be a bus ride this time, not a train. I wish it were a train. I enjoyed that! Oh well, new experiences!

I only have one post today from my day:

5:14 pm: walking: Lazy day, just now leaving the house. Time to pick up my camera!

Sad, right?



Kirstin said...

In Europe no one tips because the servers actually get paid enough to live on via their salary, instead of living on tips like they do in the States...crazy concept, huh?!
Can you tell I was once a disgruntled server? LOL
So the prices of items are always rounded up and priced higher than need be to pay the staff, and plus in many European countries and cultures, leaving money on a table or giving someone serving you extra is considered rude. Not sure why on that one...

MJ said...

It has been so deeply ingrained into me that I have to tip for almost everything that when I eat somewhere and give them the money and leave I feel like I've just done something horrible! haha

Cass said...

"and is a hum kinda like a scruddle?"

red ross!!!

can't wait to hear about your rugby trip!

10 minutes here are there, whatever. a freaking hour? that's lame.

"when you frequent a pub" sheesh, moe. listen to you! :)

Melanie Rowe said...

Don't feel cheap, Miranda. Kirsten is correct. Would you tip someone who helped you in a retail store? Same idea. Sounds like they're about 10 years behind with their cell phone technology LOL

MJ said...

Cass that's what I said when I decided I'd be going! xD (the hum/scruddle thing)

I know that's just how it is here, it's still mentally challenging to not tip!

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