I’m quite certain that Ireland is my perfect country. I’ll have to go live there to make sure, but after my visit there were a number of things that I realized I am missing in my current location of Potsdam.
Color: Oh. My. Goodness. WHY do vast portions of Europe only wear black?! My wardrobe is far from neon colored, but still, there are many days where I feel bloody vibrant next to all the shades of black. And navy blue so dark it’s…black. And brown so dark it’s…black.
Sweatpants: The kids here won’t even come downstairs in their pajamas. Me? I’m roaming around in yoga pants. Until I feel guilted into getting dressed. And then there’s Dublin. Do you know how many pairs of sweatpants I saw?! I’ve never been so excited by public sweatpants in my life!
Beer: Apparently, I’m quite picky when it comes to beer. So far, there’s approximately two kinds of German beer I don’t dread drinking. Ireland? They are not kidding when they say the Guiness is better in the homeland. And also the Smithwicks. And really, who needs other choices when those too are such silky smooth perfection?
Biking: Honestly, Germany has too many rules. And I feel I break about nine of them every time I bike, usually out of ignorance. This leads to me feeling uncomfortable 100% of the time. From what I saw in Ireland — fewer rules. Better biking experience.
Crosswalks: This same mentality applies to the crosswalks. There’s a joke about how the Soviet’s didn’t need to put up the Berlin Wall — they could have just put up the crosswalk sign and everyone would have stayed put. You don’t walk without the walk sign in Potsdam. There’s no Chinese/English/Irish mentality to look both ways to make sure nothing is immediately impending your path and make a dash for it. Oh my goodness, I miss taking my life into my own hands and racing in front of a bus.
Mountains: I didn’t realize just how much I loved living in locations where I can see the mountains — ok, fine, large hills, whatever. In Beijing, I could see the Fragrant Hills on a blue sky day. Plzen has hills and mountains off in the distance. In Phoenix, well, there’s a slew of mountains to choose from. Dublin has the Wicklow Mountains. Potsdam has….a hill into my subdivision that I have to bike up. Woot. Woot.
Bilingual: For not having an official language, America sure is set on only teaching English until High School. Ridiculous. I am all for countries displaying multiple languages and keeping their traditional tongue from dying. Keep up the good work, Ireland!
Bus fare: An optional price? Love it. Apparently having a ridiculously confusing system does work towards the travelers advantage at times.
Tim Hortons: It’s not that I’m one of the die-hard Tim Horton’s or bust lovers, it’s that this restaurant holds so many memories. My best friend would pick me up for ELS church on Sunday mornings in high school — aka I’d sneak out of the dorm and gasp, get into a car! Then we’d hit up T’Orton’s for some bagels with cream cheese and be on our way. Oh, and they have awesome sandwiches. And coffee. And mmm.
And side note: Ireland has a rather large immigrant population from the States. I’m not the only one thinking along these lines. And I should definitely be joining the numbers.