Going Native

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.
– James A. Michener

Standing on Grafton Street, eating ice-cream in the rain, on a June day that had barely peaked at 15 degrees celsius, I realised the transformation was complete. Regardless of what nationality was printed on my passport, at that moment I was as Irish as the rest.

When I first moved to Ireland, I balked at various things the locals did. (Go out without a coat and scarf on when it is less than 20 degrees? Hah!) But ever so slowly, little changes started to happen; some of which I could sense creeping up, while others leapt up on me out of nowhere.

My newly adopted Irishisms:
  • I use words like “grand”, “craic”, “your one” and “your man”
  • I start my phone calls with “Hi, how are you?” and am taken aback if somebody actually responds to the question
  • Sneaky aspirates worm their way into words where they don’t belong
  • I consider any day where it doesn’t rain from morning until night to be a good day
  • I rarely hug anyone hello anymore and am confused when someone tries to kiss me on the cheek
  • I pronounce the letter ‘r’ as “or” if I want an Irish person to understand me
  • A pint of cider has become my easy drink of choice (replacing Martini and lemonade)
  • Speaking of lemonade, I now know to specify whether I want red or white whenever I order it
  • I ignore anything that walks around in a tracksuit

I see these changes as a good thing and they make me wonder what new traits I’ll pick while I’m on the road. Stay tuned for more tales of going native!

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