After travelling from Germany to Ireland, I landed myself an internship right here in RTÉ and for the next few weeks, I will try to give you some insights to your home country through the eyes of a tourist.
Travelling through Ireland has always been right on top of my bucket list. The beautiful landscape covered in silky grass, a thousand different shades of green, the endless spots of ostensibly pristine nature – not a single person in sight. Ireland and I – we were supposed to fall in love...
So, on the 2nd of March, I arrived in Dublin airport where I grabbed my luggage and got ready for an adventure.
Sitting in the back of the taxi, on the way to my temporary home, I gazed out of the window while the taxi driver told me all kinds of amazing things about the places we passed – I didn't think it was possible but I got even more excited.
The night had already fallen by the time I arrived and I was greeted by a landlord, who told me that I was going to have ‘a lovely time in Dublin’ about twenty times over in her sugary sweet, high pitched, voice.
I began to settle into my enchanting accommodation and soon it was ‘time to hit the streets and check out the area’ I thought to myself. Not in a car of course, because I’m neither insane nor brave enough to drive on the other side of the road. In Dublin, I’m a pedestrian and what a pedestrian I am.
Merrion Road was the first big road to cross for me. And I’m not going to lie... I was standing at the side of the road for a solid seven minutes, as numerous people passed me by without a care in the world - jaywalking like crazy.
Just in case you have no idea why this was freaking me out, you should know that we don't jaywalk in Germany. At least not during the day, when the streets are busy and kids that may copy your behaviour are around. We might be guilty of jaywalking at night time when the streets are quieter but nothing like you Irish.
As I was staring around with a shocked look on my face, shaking my head in disbelief, that legendary Journey song popped up in my mind – ‘Just a small town girl...’.
Yes, a small town girl from Germany... not even able to cross a road in Ireland’s capital, that’s what I am.
After telling myself "Now! – Do it! – Now!" several times in a row and copping out every single time I stepped on it and just ran - trusting that I wouldn't lose my life on my first day in Dublin. I knew that I’d have to accept that I’ve got to do this if I want to get anywhere in the city during my stay.
And guess what? I got used to it pretty quickly. I might not be a full-blown Dubliner just yet, but I am crossing those streets and I haven't been injured yet.
What got damaged most were my feet. Ireland's public transport, or lack thereof, runs on some odd times so eventually, I decided I could just walk almost everywhere. Every day.
During the first couple of weeks, there were blisters all over my feet. But even I couldn’t deny the humour in that as I was changing those useless bandages.
The thing is... I didn’t really care about all that. The most wonderful thing about being somewhere new is that you’ll find beauty in everything. Those big green leaved trees, the colourful flowery shrubbery and those dog paw imprints on the footpath – I fall in love with them over and over again day by day.
And I developed some darn impressive skills over here. I’ve pretty much become the queen of sidestepping. Every time those hordes of kids on their scooters, joggers, runners and those of you who suddenly stop walking to stare at your phones - you've got nothing on me. Evasive manoeuvre on point!
I love Dublin, it’s people and its look. It’s stunningly beautiful, it gets the adrenaline flowing and my legs... they are getting stronger and stronger...