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.
- 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!