Picking up Habits as an Expat
Contributing Author: Sixtina Alwardt
The longer you live in a place, the more you start picking up habits around you. This can be certain behaviors or dialects. Sixtina lived in Ireland for 4 years, and picking up habits became natural - here are the 7 habits she picked up as an expat.
Picking up Habits
In Irish pubs you usually order a pint (almost half a litre) or half pint of beer/cider. You would never ask for a small or large beer. “Pint” is the local term you need to use when ordering a drink. No matter where I go now, I am used to ask for a pint and some people look at me very confused.
Dodging a Person
As people in Ireland drive on the left side, the pedestrians logically also get out of your way to their left, not right, as I was used to. It took a while before I understood that. But now, whenever I’m visiting Germany, I automatically dodge a person to the left. This can lead to very funny situations sometimes!
Wearing Summer Clothes in Winter
If you come to Ireland, you should not be surprised when seeing people walking around in shorts, shirts or flip flops when it is around 10 degrees outside. When other people start freezing, the Irish just start feeling comfortable.
This Irish habit is one that I seemed to have taken over. Somehow, my body has a different relationship to colder temperatures now. Whenever I do it in Germany, I get a lesson from my mother, or people think I am strange.
Putting milk in my tea
I remember when I worked with British people before and they put milk and sugar in their black tea. Damn, this was weird for me and I always made a comment about it.
Little did I know that I take over this Irish habit just a few years later. I absolutely love black tea with milk and sugar now. Not every day, but for waking up it is excellent and super delicious. You should try it before judging.
Shopping on Sundays
After living 4 years in Ireland, I totally got used to shopping on Sundays. While in Germany you will hardly find any open shops (unless maybe bigger cities), most shops in Ireland are open on Sundays as well. Good for the people who want to go shopping, bad for the ones who have to work, as in Germany it is a resting day for everyone.
Rain is no Excuse
One thing I learned in Ireland is that rain is no excuse to not go out and meet you friends. The right clothes are actually the key. Put on some Wellies, a rain coat, and you are good to go.
Saying thank you to the bus driver
One great Irish habit I picked up over the years is saying thank you to bus drivers. It is such a small and easy gesture, but really has a positive impact. We should all appreciate the work of each other more.
Alright, that are all the Irish habits I picked up after living in Cork for 4 years. Are there any habits you developed in the place where you live?