Today was a pretty typical day; a good day, but nothing too remarkable. I woke around 8, made my coffee, sat down to my computer and did some work, had breakfast, went to yoga, met up with a few of my students, went to the market, and came home to hang out some laundry.
Sitting amongst our drying clothes in the last bit of afternoon sun to hit our patio, I realized there are so many bits of Irish life that no one discusses on travel blogs. It is definitely not all Guinness, green countryside, and cups of tea (although it mostly is). Here are four less-than-glamourous aspects of Dublin life:
Laundry I’m going to be very American here, but laundry in Ireland is such an ordeal. It has to be pre-planned and is weather-dependent. We turn on the washing machine after midnight when electric is cheapest. So when I forget to put in a load before bed, I have to wait the entire next day to wash those clothes. And the washing machines here are just so darn small! In addition to that, our house has no dryer or radiators. Drying racks and sunshine are my best friends. Definitely not looking forward to winter time when drying outside is nearly impossible.
Weather It’s obvious, but Irish weather cannot be ignored. It won’t even let you try! Even though we have not had an extremely warm summer (high 60s F/ 20C), I have appreciated the amount of sun and non grey/rainy days the past few months. That said, the nights are chilly and it is only going to get worse until April or May of next year. I am bracing myself for the long, cold, dark, damp winter.
Transportation I do love public transit and really wish towns (besides large cities) in the US had better systems in place. Dublin has an extensive bus system, two tram lines, and commuter rails. However, the buses are not always reliable, and still have to fight the crazy city center traffic. Everything shuts down by midnight, so if you find yourself out til 1am, you pretty much have not other option than to walk or taxi it home. Also, public transit in Dublin is not cheap, and you must pay for every little stage in your journey. There are no flat bus fares here!
Prices Dublin is expensive! You know there is a problem when you have friends from London visiting and THEY complain about the prices. The rental market is soaring. Landlords are loving it; us tenants, not so much. Restaurant and pubs in city center are pricey. Admission to events, concerts, festivals really adds up. The only thing I have found to be cheaper in Ireland than in the US is my phone plan (and that’s only because I purchased my iPhone in and got it unlocked in the US)!
Despite my complaining, I do love this country and my life in Dublin. Although sometimes I have to purposefully remind myself of that! Honestly, a sunny day in Dublin is better than almost anywhere else. And I guess that’s what has kept me coming back. Oh and I suppose my Irish husband 🙂