In Ireland, there are a lot of things you have to be familiar with before scheduling a vacation here. But no worries, you can easily adapt to their lifestyle.
For example, if you have to travel to many different locations in a day, it is best to rent a small car not only because it is more inexpensive than a van, it will fit more in narrow roads and small parking spaces that are prevalent across the country.
Another thing is that you don’t have to tip the waiters here because they earn a minimum wage that is better than in any part of the world. Then again, don’t be mad if waiters hover over you as you make the payment. They don’t bring the ‘check’ because it seems that Europeans don’t like it when their credit card is taken away to be swiped at the cashier.
If you’re staying at a charming bed and breakfast cottage, get used to line drying your laundry. This is a common practice especially around summer time when the sun is still out until 10:30 PM.
Now, on to some serious stuff because you might want to keep some of these information handy while having a conversation with the locals.
Art and Drama
When faced with a crisis, people are likely to reassess the things that really matter. As Ireland underwent financial crisis, its citizens turned to the strengths that they still had and their attention was focused on their culture, which could help them struggle through these difficult times. Michael D. Higgins, an intellectual and a poet, was selected as the president of Ireland in 2011, instead of a businessman. Although he has limited power, the move to elect him as the president was to imply that there are other things besides money that the Irish value. Although funding for art was cut just like it was cut for the public services, the country has many spaces which have been used for plays and galleries. In these times of difficulty, the Irish are turning to artists for inspiration and hope. Among the few industries that are growing is film and small scale theatre companies are breaking out everywhere. With its rich acting and technical talent, and affordability, the country has become a precious location for producers to shoot their shows and films in. You are likely to come across actors from the Game of Thrones, which is largely filmed in the north.
Located in Belfast in Northern Ireland is the museum that is dedicated to the story of Titanic, a great ship that sank on its first cruise in 1912. The sinking of Titanic became an international scandal and one the world’s greatest stories. The city, which constructed the giant Titanic, started a development that was aimed at returning life to the dock. And the Titanic Belfast is at the centre of the project. The building contains series of galleries, and rooms for private functions. With numerous bars, restaurants, cultural spaces, and hotels planned for the area, it is hoped that the city will be able to transform itself into a place that will become a must for people to visit.
The small and fragile island of Ireland has undergone the Greek tragedy, and so have the Greeks, incidentally. The economy of Ireland grew in double digits over the years, which added to its vanity and pride. However, the past few years have brought with it a financial crisis on an international scale that resulted in floods of bad debt. If you learn about Ireland from the media, you will feel fear and pity for this small island, which is so full of cheer.
The financial sovereignty that Ireland worked hard to attain – with sacrifice and blood when rebelling against Britain – was lost as a result of the economic bailout by the IMF and the European Union. It is truly valuable to every Irish citizen but unfortunately, they are having to emigrate from their small cheerful island in search of better work. Many of its talented citizens are being forced to bid farewell to their homeland, which can no longer help them achieve their ambitions and hopes.
Although the ongoing situation is familiar in all parts of the world, in Ireland it is much scarier and deeper. The prices of properties have almost halved, the unemployment level has tripled, public services have been severed as the government cut down budgets, and the great recession has become the topic of discussion in the pubs that are hubs of social life and merriment. Although some commentators suggest that a recovery is in sight, it will take years before Ireland can regain its financial strength and stand on its feet.
Although the end was in tears, the period of ten years that saw rapid expansion and growth completely transformed the face of this small island forever. Symbolic of all things Irish, the paw print can be found everywhere, whether it is a great highway or a building of the modern world. Ireland is the country with the highest level of usage of mobile phones in Europe. However, the simple and lively Ireland that we knew of is gone and will never return. Along with it has gone the images of colleens with red hair who led donkeys laden with turf to thatched cottages.
Although the financial situation of Ireland is grim and dark, the assets that were never on the market and that no amount of money could buy, continue to prosper. The breathtakingly spectacular and ancient landscape of Ireland still remains and drama, passion and history exists in every wall of the ruined castles and in every old poem. The things that money cannot buy are what keep this little country alive.
Despite being the capital of the island, Dublin does not have anything that can be considered a city market. On the other hand, Cork, which is considered the other capital city, has an elegant and merry market in the Victorian-style. The Dublin Food Co-op, located in the Newmarket Square, is established in an old warehouse that was left empty as a result of the great recession.
The Co-op, with its simplicity, has become the zeitgeist of Dublin, and is better than any other market. It provides organic food on every Saturday, and a Sunday market for children’s things and vintage furniture. It is fun, democratic, and humble; above all, it is real, unlike other supermarkets that shine with glitz and glam.
Cheese makers, farmers, craftspeople, and bakers have all joined hands to create something wonderful in the shape of the Co-op. The market holds a small café that serves delicacies such as fresh and fluffy blueberry pancakes that will please your taste-buds.
A visit to the Co-op will let you see Ireland at its best, while dealing with a crisis that has engulfed their nation.