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"?