A US resident appealed to Americans living in Ireland to offer some advice on the differences between the two countries. The Reddit Ireland user asked, "Can any expats talk about their experience relocating & what differences they first noticed?"
The responses were amusing, from ordering drinks to sarcasm and eating habits.
Straighfaced from New York wrote, "I'm here from New York. The biggest difference was in the conversational elements... I mean, being from New York everyone was always direct, said what they meant. If someone refused to just say what was on their mind it was a very frustrating thing. But here that's the norm, you're expected to just figure out what everyone means based on small social cues that everyone else here learns from birth."
Grania17 from Montana said: "Certain cultural things - ie Italia '90, The Den, Rodge and Podge, Zig and Zag, and Dustin the Turkey. To understand Italia '90 watch Reeling in the Years for that year. I didn't fully understand it until the old men started crying cause they were so happy and proud. It's a touching moment. Makes me tear up every time I see it."
Grania17 from Montana also said: "In America we separate our plates. Meat in one corner, potatoes in another and veg in another. In Ireland you just mix all that sh** up on the plate. Took me ages to start eating like that. Also you don't switch hands for utensils. Knife in right hand, fork in left...We always only had our knife when we were cutting, using the fork in our left hand to hold the meat in place that we were cutting. Once we finished cutting we would put the knife down and switch our fork to our right hand etc. Many Irish people have asked me why Americans do this."
RMC offered an explanation about some Irish habits: "Irish people sometimes play tricks on Americans, telling them nonsense stories about how leprechauns are real or something. Not using the same hands knife/fork seems like a completely insane mad thing that couldn't possibly be true to me…"
Another piece of advice from Grania17 on Irish wit, "Slagging. Still trying to get that. American sarcasm is different than sarcasm in Ireland. If someone likes and accepts you, you will get picked on a lot. Don't worry it's a good thing."
Langlie says: "The cars have the right of way, not the pedestrian. Not sure if this is an official thing or not, but god help you if you're in the crosswalk the second the light turns green. Even the double decker buses don't bother to break when they're taking a curve. It's terrifying."
Langlie also offered some explanations for Irish slang: "Digestives" are cookies (biscuits in Ireland) that go with tea. They are delicious. Fag = cigarette (I nearly had a heart attack the first time someone said "got a fag for me?") The whole "school," "high school," "college," thing is so confusing, I can't even translate. I've just taken to saying "I'm at University" and leaving it at that.”
Ejmcg advises "...sayings not to be taken literally: "I'll kill ya!" or "I'll pull your head off!", that just means someone's a little annoyed but views what you've done with a light sense of humour, unless you owe money to a drug dealer, then be afraid."
Eire1228 says: "Irish people don't like to be touched. Most Americans are very touchy feely. Puts Irish people right off. Unless there's drink involved. Then all body parts are up for grabs."
Do you agree with these users comments about living in Ireland?
Read the full Reddit Ireland conversation here.
Originally published in 2013.