How is Ireland? Shamrock. Leprechaun. Guinness.
OK, I'm a little surprised to still be getting questions like this. Belfast is in Northern Ireland, which is a different country from the Republic of Ireland (for those who are more recent followers of my blog, I will direct you here for a more in-depth explanation).
Asking someone in Northern Ireland about living in Ireland is like asking a Canadian how they like being from the States. Same land mass, different countries. There is still significant Irish culture here - street signs in Nationalist neighborhoods are written in both English and Irish, and you'll likely see Irish tricolour flags flying in these areas... but since I work for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), my placements are in largely Unionist areas. In that case, the question might be more appropriate as, "How is Northern Ireland? Union Flag. Cuppa Tea. Bonfires..."
After all that, the answer, of course, would be that it's great craic (translate). I'm really enjoying the opportunity to be here, to spend time with the people I've met here, and to take weekend trips to places like the Giant's Causeway or Blarney castle.
Have you picked up any local habits or sayings?
Things I've caught myself saying (in total seriousness), and was completely surprised to hear come out of my mouth:
- I haven't a baldy (or a baldy notion). - I have no idea.
- Ach, she's a wee dote. Give us a nurse. - Your baby is adorable. Let me hold her.
- He completely does my head in, he's mustard. - He drives me crazy, he's stubborn.
- Dead on - all right
- He's always taking the mick out of her - He is playfully making fun of her.
- I haven't seen him in donkeys - it has been a long time.
I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones I can think of for now.
Well, it depends on what you consider "home"... I'll fly into the States on 7th August, and spend a few weeks at my childhood home in Orlando. I will then head back to my adopted home of Louisville - timeline is still TBD, but I'd like to be in O-town for my baby brother's birthday on 18th August and in Cincinnati for my niece's on 23rd August... so that's the general idea.
What will you do when you get home?
Yes, I am looking for jobs. Not-so-officially, since I'm still about 3 months away from being back in Louisville, but more like considering what the next year has in store. I may head back to the corporate realm as an administrative assistant (which I've done for the past 12 years), head back to school, or embark on some other adventure that is a combination of the above. Time will tell.