Well, it is coming up on the halfway point of being in the motherland (three days until the exact midpoint) and I have yet to find anything to really complain about. I think I have fallen in love with Dublin, and if I could I would choose to live here for a very long time (but I also love Pittsburgh!). Part of the reason I love it here so much is just the atmosphere that is around me. I have found that the Irish are super nice people and have yet to have a negative experience with anybody. Sure, there have bee some weird experiences, but there has yet to be one where I turned around and thought, “Wow, I hated that”. Unfortunately, that thought crosses my mind way too much in America, and I think we all could learn a thing or two from the Irish when it comes to being hospitable and nice. Work is still going great, as I have been fully integrated into the every day tasks of bookers in the music business. This field of work has been very interesting and exciting to me, as I never saw myself even possibly working in this type of field at any point in my life.
I have found that Ireland is quite a bit like America. When it comes to basic living standards, travel, food, and other such factors Dublin is just the same as America. Finding a difference can be hard when both places are so similar, but there is one major difference that I have found hard to deal with personally. This difference is that in Ireland people are much more willing to talk about sensitive stuff. This is a huge difference from America, as Americans often avoid talking about sensitive topics such as politics or race in a normal conversation. Now, I do not have much of a problem with this at all, it is just that I am not used to being able to freely voice my opinion on topics that are considered “sensitive” in America. The problem with these topics in America is that if you say just one inappropriate thing, you can set some people off. In Ireland, no one ever seems to get offended by anything, especially if you are talking about Americans. While I do find this comforting and pretty relieving with regards to the fact that I do not have to be as careful about the things I say, it is very weird to be able to speak so freely. I often times find that I am hesitant to talk about certain topics, not for fear of being judged but just due to the fact that I am not used to talking about them in the open. When I am in these conversations, I also notice that the Irish that I am talking to do not seem uncomfortable when asking questions about these topics and will often just say things that I am not expecting. Once again, I am not one to be offended by anything, but it is quite weird and sometimes even startling to hear some of the things the Irish have to say. I honestly believe that this can be (and will be) considered my “culture shock” just because of how different it is from American culture, and how weird it is for me to eventually get comfortable with. I truly do not believe that I will ever be comfortable with it purely because of how much of a problem it will become back in America if I start not caring about the things I say. The sensitivity meter is on the opposite spectrums between America and Ireland, and it is a factor in Irish culture that I do not think I will ever actually get used to.
Besides that, I have not found many differences in Americans and Irish, especially when it comes to interactions and day-to-day lives (that does not involve work). Outside of this, I have started to plan my trip to Northern Ireland and I should be going up north over one of the next three weekends. I am extremely excited for this trip and am counting down the days until I can finally take this trip. Now there I have only four weeks left here in Dublin, I need to remember to make the most out of every day, as I may never get the chance to experience this again. I cannot wait until I can update you all about more of my experiences later.