“Is she being sarcastic or is it just me?” is the question I asked the table members as the serves in multiple restaurants asked the us “Are you Happy” and then commented “good, you are all happy”. At first I thought the servers were being rude or sarcastic, even having to ask others at the table to repeat what the server had just said. In the urban neighborhood that I am from, if a server were to ask “are you happy” they were usually being sarcastic and rude. However, the complete opposite to my urban interpretation the servers in Ireland just wanted to make sure the table was all set and actually happy with the service at the moment as they consistently checked into the table. This is only one of the many ways the Ireland community was different than my community. The communities in Ireland were welcoming and friendly, making one feel at home.
The Ireland communities have a sense of togetherness within the towns and the villages. In the ecovillage, everyone knew each other, acted like a family and were all so welcoming of others. Not just the owner of the hostel, but the farmers, community members and even the children in which would on their own introduced themselves to outsiders. One of the ecovillage little girls asked me about the sports I play and why I was visiting Ireland. I was surprised as being raised in the United States I was taught to not speak to any strangers and most children today are extremely shy when strangers approach. Not only were people friendly and approachable in the ecovillage but even in towns like Westport, where in the morning every person that passed by said good morning and or stopped for a short conversation.
As Americans, we really stood out at the pubs and I realized it even more as one Irish man said” why are you all on your phones” and that is when I turned around and looked at our study abroad group and every person was on their phone on some kind of social media. But when looking at the other side of the pub not one Irish person was on their phone or even had it near them, unless in their pockets of course. Every Irish person was either talking to someone next to them or just dancing with another person to the live music playing.However, there are those people like in every country who are the bad of the bunch. While in a Westport Pub another student’s money was stolen. She did not realize it until she was trying to enter the nightclub and could not pay the entrance fee because all her euros were gone. Even though there was the one person at the pub who acted in an unfriendly manner by stealing a visitor’s money, there were employees and other people at the nightclub who reminded us with their acts that it was just that one person from the pub not the whole bunch.