Pub Life and Culture Shock





Hello Friends!

My time here in Ireland is shortly coming to a close, though I do plan to return as soon as possible. It’s not a goodbye, but a ‘see you again’ that I plan to say as I board the plane in Dublin. One of the things that surprised me about being abroad was the differences in culture. That’s usually normal for traveling, but I wasn’t expecting so much since I was traveling to an English speaking country.

While living in the small town of Tully Cross, Galway, Ireland for four months, I got to know the two local pubs very well. Short for public house, these places serve more than just a fresh pint of your favorite brew, they serve you the most intimate interactions with the local culture. The atmosphere is one of overwhelming hospitality, one is not expected to buy anything to feel welcomed or included. Many days I would sit in the window seat of the pub and read or do homework, chatting with the locals as they came in to get their daily dose of the good stuff.

But it’s not always cheers and laughter in the pubs. As a foreigner, I am a popular conversation piece when in the pub, and sometimes this illicit unwanted attention. There is a different culture of personal space and boundaries in Ireland, so I would sometimes experience an unwanted kiss or friendly touch. It was nothing to cause concern for improper behavior, it was just something that took a good amount of time to adjust to. What helped me, was talking to people who have traveled out of their cultures before, and share ways to cope and set respectful boundaries for ourselves.

It is so beneficial to experience such a different culture, and to gain the skills of handling the shock of it. These skills will be applicable to many aspects of my future education, career, and personal life. I can confidently say that traveling abroad has given me such a wider global perspective, and recommend it to everyone who wishes to gain unmatched confidence in their self and ability to handle all sorts of unique situations.

First picture is my friends and I at Coyne’s Pub in Tully Cross. Second is us at Riot Pub in Dublin!

Until next time my friends,

Enjoy the company of those around you!