Dia duit! Conas atá tú?
After having been here in Ireland for over a year you learn a lot. Like they take any day that seems a little special and make it into a holiday so they can go out and drink. I've never been in a country with this many bank holidays. There really is a bar at every single corner and they have no problem bringing their kids around alcohol.
It is a catholic country and they tend to get married pretty early. Early compared to Norway, that is. In Norway it's more of a choice than a tradition. There are a also many churches here. Not quite as many as there are bars, but I think they are faithful to their religion to make up for how much they drink and swear (I hope they have a sense of humor, then again I'm leaving the country so there's not much they can do if they get offended). They also have their own language, not that many speak it. It sounds like english, but with words you can't understand. It's trippy when they start speaking it because I keep thinking I'm losing my mind and suddenly don't understand english anymore.
Food wise they just seem to make a lot of stew. I'm not quite sure what it's made of and I can never decide if I like it or not. It just tastes good and bad at the same time. I've also been served warm sweet desert. That's certainly something I've never had before. They get payed very little and pay a lot in taxes yet the food is really expensive. I'm never quite sure how they manage to make things work.
They are much more open minded here than in Norway. In Norway it's very important for people to be normal and be accepted socially. Here in Ireland you can see girls with red hair or blue hair and that's just totally normal. You see all kinds of styles fashion wise and you can be a total weirdo and people will still think you're 'sound' and 'class'. They just wanna have a good 'craic'(pronounced crack, means fun). Their colour is green and their drink is Guinness. All bars play U2 all the time even though they always complain about it and they all hate Bono.
They have something called Debs which is like prom where they dress up and go to a booked venue to party and stay out all night to dance and drink. The girls usually buys expensive ball gowns and get their hair and makeup done and the boys wear a tux. We were invited over to a family a few days ago to see their daughter, Karen, go off to her debs. She looked absolutely stunning.
Karen with her debs date and cake.
It was really nice, she looked so classy and beautiful. Ken's taken these beautiful photos, as usual he was the photographer and he did a perfect job.
When it comes to the horses they have a thousand different horse sports. Unlike Norway where we mostly have jumping and dressage Ireland has things like hunting with dogs, eventing, racing, cross country and so on. They have things I've never even heard of and these are major serious sports where in Norway they would be small fun hobbies. When I went to Dublin Horse Show this year I was excited for the dressage as usual, but to my disappointment there were none which is shocking to me. Jumping was the dominating sport in the Horse Show. Eventing is a big sport too where you compete in jumping, dressage and cross country using the same horse. Mandy showed me yesterday that they have an national ploughing championship too. You can read the article here. Wonder how they judge that, haha!
At the horse show I met Irish Cian O'Connor, the olympic bronze medalist and got his autograph! Here's the proof and a picture of him. I had to put that in there to brag!
Another cute Irish thing is the Claddagh ring. Here's mine:
This too was a gift from Ken, I'm very spoiled. The Claddagh ring came from Galway and it's meant to show love and friendship the motto is "let love and friendship reign". You can wear it three different ways. If you wear it on the right hand with the heart facing outward like towards your nail it means your heart is free and you're single. If you wear it on the right hand with the heart facing you it means you are 'spoken for', you're in a relationship. If you wear it on the left hand heart facing towards you it means you're married.
The origin of the ring is unclear, but the myth goes that this guy called Richard Joyes was kidnapped by an Algerian and sold to slavery. He was sold to a wealthy goldsmith who trained him to be a goldsmith too, he was really great at it and was noticed by his master. King William III had just taken over the throne and sent out people to Algeria to free the slaves. When the master heard that Richard had to be released he offered him his daughters hand in hope that he'd stay with them. Richard declined and went back to Galway to begin his new life as an independent jeweler. His most famous creation was the Claddagh ring.
To end this blog I would say I would definitely recommend to go to Ireland. It's always fun and the people are lovely. I've had a wonderful time after I moved here with Ken. The nature is beautiful. I've been living in Dublin and I absolutely love the city, it's great for shopping and there are buskers(street musicians) on every corner. I've been to Cork and Belfast as well and especially Belfast is really great place to go. It's going to be sad to leave soon and I'll be looking forward to come back.