Friday, October 26, 2012

Attention Getters

One of the reasons that we love to travel is to experience new and different things. Some things that we've noticed are noted below. First, although we experience southern hospitality daily, the people of Dublin are such gracious, friendly people! They have given directions-all correct-and many people have heard us talking about something on the street or bus and have volunteered helpful advice. We definitely give Dublin five stars for hospitality!

The bus system is wonderful and very well used. We have ridden many miles on the buses which stop right by our hotel. A friendly woman on the bus with us this morning advised us to go get all day passes,which saved us lots of money and having to dig for correct changes each ride.

I told Dr. V. That the hotel probably would not have washcloths because I have found that they are considered personal hygiene items in Europe-maybe in other places as well. We brought our own and sure enough, there were not any in the hotel room.  There was no bath soap either, which did surprise me.

Ireland takes its commitment to being green very seriously. One very pleasant surprise was that there is no smoking in public places in the entire country. There is lots of organic food sold and used. Stores use paper, not plastic bags. Cokes and other drinks in our hotel are in glass bottles and there are two wastebaskets in our room- one for items which can be recycled and one for those which cannot. Dr. V had seen this but I had not-our room key fits in a slot near the door and when you remove it to leave the room, it turns everything off-- not even the plugs work as I found out when I thought I was recharging the IPad!

Food is a bit different. Breakfast consists of the things we would consider usual, but also baked beans, grilled tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and different kinds of sausages, which are called bangers. I will have to admit that I have not tried the black pudding which is actually a sausage made with blood.  Soups are often puréed, even soups such as vegetable soup. French fries (chips) are served without catsup.

This is Dr. V's first experience in a country where drivers are on the left hand side of the road. You have to remember to look right. I nearly lost her a couple of times. Some crossings actually say "look right" or "look left" on the pavement.

Have you traveled internationally and if so, what cultural differences surprised, challenged, and/or enlightened you? What were your "attention-getters"?


Mary Helms said...

That "Look Right" sign is funny and obviously there for Americans. I have travlled to Europe several times and studied abroad while back in college. I love to go to new places- my motto is "when in Rome, do as the Romans". It is so fun to emerse yourself in the culture and you learn so much more that way- than being on some tour. One of the best cultural differences about Europe as a whole is the fact that they typically savor meal time as a time to relax, unwind and eat wonderful food (i looovvvee the food!). No rush-rush like here in the states.
Looks like y'all are having a great time!

Claire Langham said...

Hi Dr. Santoli and Dr. Vitulli!

It sounds like you both are having a wonderful time! Traveling to new places is always exciting, and it is very interesting to see the similarities and differences between the United States and other places. I enjoyed looking at the pictures you posted, and I am so glad the people in Dublin are friendly and show hospitality. What a great bonus!

I have recently experienced what it is like to travel to a new place. Over the summer, I visited St. John in the Virgin Islands. There were definitely cultural differences that surprised, challenged, and enlightened me.

First off, one of my "attention getters" was the very relaxed schedule in St. John. I'm so use to the hustle and bustle of the U.S. with constant, tight schedules and time constraints. The people in St. John are definitely on "island time," and it was so refreshing not to have to worry about being at a certain place at a certain time.

Secondly, they drive on the left side of the road in St. John, just like in Dublin. This was something we definitely had to adjust to. Having a rental car for a day was definitely an adventure to say the least! Thirdly, the food in St. John was wonderful. It was similar to that in the United States, but it was all very good.

I can't wait to continue reading about your adventures in Ireland, and I hope you all have the best time!

Best wishes,
Claire Langham

Susan Santoli said...

We also both to experience new things. We have more to add to the list. I was so hoping that I would hear someone say "gob smacked" and a TV announcer made my wish come true today. We also learned that people "hunker up" instead of down!

Claire, thanks for sharing your own experiences in St. John. Travel is such an education!

Miss Ashley said...

Hello Dr.V, and Dr. Santoli,
I think that it is great that you two got to travel to Ireland. I would love to go there just to experience the "weird" things that you have. Its funny how something so normal and routine to them are so foreign and strange to anyone not from Ireland.To answer your question, no I have not traveled internationally but Germany, Ireland, and Egypt are just some of the places I hope to travel to. Thank you so much for sharing this experience with us.

Lyndsie VanHorn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lyndsie VanHorn said...

My name is Lyndsie VanHorn I am a student at the University of South Alabama in EDM310. It is awesome that you get to travel to other parts of the world! I never would have thought about taking my own wash cloths some place. I love that the people in Dublin were so nice to you. I have heard horror stories about France. It sounds like you are having an amazing time!

The only experience I have had going out of the U.S. was my senior year of high school. I went on a cruise to Cozumel Mexico with my parents. My first attention getter was the water. It was so blue! I hadn't ever seen something so beautiful. The next one was how the tourist area was so clean, but when you go outside of it everything was filthy. Lastly, we took a taxi to a private beach for our "excursion." Their speed limit signs were in Kilometers rather than miles, and I felt like we were going a lot faster than the roads allow in the U.S.

Thank you for sharing this with us! Dublin is on my list of places to see.


Lana Brooks said...

In August I visited Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Austria was probably my favorite. It was so picturesque. The trees and grass were lush and green. The flowers were vibrant, cascading off nearly every windowsill. The waters were crystal clear. Simply. Gorgeous.

The people in these countries are also very "green." It was actually quite fun collecting plastic/glass bottles and taking them to the local market, redeeming them for the few cents they were worth. One trip we made almost 10 euro!

Something I found a bit aggravating was that you could not order water for free. More often than not, a .75L of beer was cheaper than a .50L of water. Now, it was kind of neat trying different beers (Austrians are especially proud of their brews) with our meals, but a lot of times my husband and I just wanted water. And it was just so hard trying to accept the fact that we had to pay for it.

I hope to visit Ireland one day though, and see some of the sites you've been to. As well as try some of their dishes! :)

Jessica said...

I have visited Spain, France, Portugal, Australia and Canada. Australia was my favorite country by far and they drove on the left side of the road. I enjoyed being able to experience Europe, as I studied abroad in Spain at Auburn to complete my Spanish minor, but after that trip, I felt like once I've seen one city in Europe, I've seen them all. I would still like to go back and see various other countries in Europe and I love to travel, but Europe isn't on my priority list.
Also, I remember having to buy a washcloth while in Australia because I was shocked that the the 5 star resorts we were staying in didn't provide them. It must be a European thing.

Frances Judd said...

I love the first picture. It looks like a winter paradise! I can imagine it looks beautiful decorated festively! I love hearing that some countries are finding it possible to go green by changing just a few things in their lifestyle. I lived in London for just seven months a few years ago, I can easily remember the "Look Right" signs because I had to beware of them all the time. I also loved the public transportation; although the Tube in London had it's rather sketchy moments.

Kiala Burnette said...

I absoluetly love these pictures! I find it very funny that the streets say, "Look Left." It's so great that the hotel's key turns off the power in the room. That's amazing. As far as visiting another country, I have never been outside of the country. I hope to travel to many places after I graduate college!