The Little Things from Ireland: Traffic Signals, Candy, Euros and Accents

With only a little under three more weeks left of my semester abroad here in Ireland, I am beginning to think about all the things I am going to miss when I finally head back stateside. Some of the things that I will miss the most about Ireland are the quirky qualities about Dublin that make it so different from home. While my family was here visiting last week, my brother asked me what I would bring back from Ireland if I had the chance, and that got me thinking…

First of all, I will miss the sound that the pedestrian walk signals make on the streets of Dublin. When the signal changes from “Don’t Walk” to “Walk,” there is an excellent sound to go with it. It is difficult to describe, but it sounds something like a laser sound effect crossed with the sound of light sabers clashing, or just like something straight out of a 1980s video game. If you doubt me, just search “Dublin traffic light sound” on YouTube and tons of results come up. The sound is there to alert blind people when they can cross, and there are also poles on either side of the road with buttons that vibrate to alert those who are blind and deaf. I never look at the signal anymore, I just wait for the sound. This new habit will probably cause problems for me when I get back home where there are no more sound effects. I will probably end up standing on Maryland street corners forever and never knowing when to cross.

Secondly, I will miss the abundance of Cadbury chocolate. I have had a good time trying all of Europe’s unfamiliar candy bars over the course of this semester. Cadbury Caramello and Crunchie bars are two of my favorites, and they are definitely hard to come by in the States which is a real shame. My love for Hershey’s chocolate products will probably be renewed after having been away from them for a whole semester, but I will absolutely miss seeing Cadbury on convenience store shelves everywhere.

Thirdly, I will miss using Euro currency. With Euros, all the notes are different sizes and colors and the coins are very easily identifiable. There are both one and two Euro coins, so most purchases of products for less than 10 Euros are usually paid for entirely in change. The lowest denomination of paper money in Euros is the five Euro note. As an American used to using one and five dollar bills for small purchases, it was strange getting used to making larger purchases in change. However, after four months, I have come to prefer using change instead of paper money.

Among other things, I will miss being able to hear Irish accents every day, along with all the other accents that I have the privilege of hearing every day all over this city. And, I will miss the mild weather that they have here year round once I have to start dealing with the horrible humidity that comes with summer in Maryland. I definitely feel like I am ready to go home, since there are many things that I have missed about being back in the States, but a part of me will undoubtedly be sad to leave this wonderful country.


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