The Irish are nice. I would even say: they forgot how to be mean! In Ireland, Say farewell to daily incivilities, to this French aggressivity that we are regularly confronted with in France in public transportation or in stores. You’re looking for your way in Ireland? Somebody will always stop to take the time to explain it to you in detail. Are you looking for something in a supermarket? Either somebody will accompany you directly to the right shelf or will take the trouble to explain to you in which store you will find the item you’re looking for. Are you at the till? It is not uncommon for the cashier to exchange a few words with you, whether there is a line behind you or not. Do you observe people on public transport? The spontaneous reaction of the person who knows is being watched will be to look at you and smile! Or to make some small talk with you. Try it, you will see
In crowded situations (well I’m talking about a pre-covid world here), it easily happens that we bump into someone else without doing it on purpose, or even that we just have trouble to pass somebody. And there, a very interesting phenomenon takes place that I have observed on numerous occasions: in the event of involuntary physical contact, an Irish will automatically apologize; the “sorry” comes out almost unconsciously even if the Irish is not at fault. In the same situation,let’s face facts, the French has a natural tendency to pick on the other person “be careful! » or equivalent. This culture of sorry is actually very pleasant, because it becomes contagious; I’ve learned to do the same, and that makes everyday life, lines and fleeting social contacts much, much easier.
Moreover, the Irish are patient: I had trouble managing driving on the left at the beginning, the simple prospect of having to get into traffic, take a right or take a roundabout gave me cold sweat … But I quickly noticed something: in addition to being nice, the Irish are also patient. It is very rare for another car to honk at you (and if so, unless there is real and imminent danger, you can be pretty sure it is NOT an Irish). The corollary of this is that it can take a little time to start at the green light, the French would even say that the Irish have “a very low blood pressure”.. without going that far, I would say that in France, on average we get between 1 and 3 more cars through the crossing, per green light. Definitely true. That said, blocking the crossroads is not a national sport here in Ireland like in France, and we’re being constantly reminded of it by yellow road marking on the ground which prohibits blocking a crossroad but also which give access to the urban arteries when arriving from the small adjacent streets, especially when the light is red or there is a traffic jam: as a result, your level of cortisol drops, which may explain the slow start at the green light..