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Top ten things you need to know before visiting Ireland

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Tip: If someone says “Do you want a bit of craic tonight,” they don’t mean they can hook you up with drugs. They mean th

Here are the top ten most important things you need to know before your vacation to Ireland.

1. Hailing a cab (taxi) with your hand or a whistle is not acceptable. It will be considered rude and you will have no chance of getting a spin to your destination. Ask the locals for a taxi company suggestion and call ahead.

2. When someone says “Do you want a bit of craic tonight,” they don’t mean they can hook you up with some drugs and get you high. They mean they can find you somewhere to go to have some real Irish fun (no drugs involved).

3. Irish people don’t appreciate non-natives trying to take off their Irish accent. You may come off sounding like fools,  Leprechauns and the pretense irritates natives.

4. On the subject of Leprechauns, they really don’t exist! No really, they don’t. Please don’t arrive in Ireland expecting to follow the rainbow (of which there are plenty) to find your pot of gold (of which there are none – you may have had a chance before but now with the recession your pot our of luck). You will be bitterly disappointed!

5. Drinking Guinness is a nice tradition but make sure your stomach is up for the challenge. It’s not very nice to go to the local country pub and spend an hour occupying the one and only toilet because you have a dose of the scutters (as we say back home).

6. You only need to flush the toilet once. Unlike the U.S. the toilets in Ireland are ultra modern and just need a tiny push of the handle to carry all your waste away.

7. Telling locals you are Irish irritates the s**t out of them. Try a different approach if you want a more welcoming family hails from such and such. Then they will be more willing to help you trace your roots or offer you a cup of tea.

8. Speaking of tea, tea is the coffee of Ireland. If you enter someone’s house it’s very offensive to turn down a cup of good Irish tea. Say yes and if you are offered a sandwich (pronounced in Kerry as sangwhich) then gladly accept or you won’t be asked back again.

9. Do not be shocked or offended at the use of colorful language. Irish people are great storytellers and often use foul words to be descriptive. Hint: if they are smiling while using profanities it’s all in good jest. If their eyebrows are frowned and their lips curled, it may be a good time to get out of there.

10. Irish people have their own concept of time. They don’t adhere to schedules too well and are never on time. Advise: if it’s in your schedule to meet someone for lunch at 1:00 p.m. suggest meeting at 12:30 p.m. and you should be okay.

Originally published in 2009.

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