Clare has spent the last nine months as an exchange student in Ireland.

Here are her thoughts as she finishes up her year in the Emerald Isle.

1. Lack of shoe polish. I went on three dates and on all three occasions the men, while well turned out, had failed to polish their shoes properly.

2. The lads. Most of  their conversation revolved around bar talk and football and how the they and the lads had great ‘craic’ here, there and everywhere. I might as well have been invisible.

The mammy. I felt I didn’t match up right away with one bloke when he asked if I liked to cook Irish dishes and let loose a string of them that his mammy prepared for him. Mine’s a McDonald’s I told him.

4. Thinking all Americans are stupid. A very common refrain, ’Dumb Yanks’ etc.

Well we only invented the computer, Apple, automobile, went to the moon - what did you Irish do lately again? Oh yeah another depression.

5. ‘Hilarious’ take off of  my American accent --not. If I sounded like a bad Nicole Kidman in ’Far and Away’ they sounded like JR from Dallas constipated for a month

6. Won’t buy me a pint. On three dates, only one lad offered to buy me a drink and only after I had stood the first round.

7. Chivalry? It means hold the door for his mates and then let me pass through after them - if he doesn’t let it swing closed first.

8. Think all Yanks are loaded - with money. Sure, I have a mansion back home and am a good catch for the money. Actually, mine is a tiny two bedroom share in Chicago.
9. Can’t understand why America won’t open their arms to the Irish. Er, its called immigration law and Ireland isn’t exactly opening its doors to foreigners either.

10. Think Irish Americans are not 'true’ Irish. IE if our ancestors were kicked out by Famine, bad government or economic futility we somehow are not Irish any more.

Cant wait to get back to the good old US of A!

Iht 600x300px with button2