Following on from their 21 rules for being Irish in Britain, Ronan Early and Robert Mulhern run through what they miss – and don’t miss – about Ireland.
1. People greeting each other with a nod over a handshake.
2. Folks you know driving by and tooting their horn at you instead of doing it because you have dawdled for .001 of a second at a green light.
3. Lifting one finger off the steering wheel as a salute when you see another driver.
4. Life being less rushed.
5. People working in the customer service industry who really do want to serve you and, get this, talk to you.
6. The extra half hour of light in the summer.
7. Bar staff capable of taking more than one order at a time.
8. Being able to talk your way around officialdom – chances are you know someone they know.
9. Water without lime scale, it makes for softer hair! Forgive me, but you notice these things when you are losing yours.
10. RTÉ TV, Eamon Dunphy, Johnny Giles, Bill O’Herlihy, The Sunday Game.
11. One for Londoners: Being able to get out of a city and into open countryside in less than an hour.
12. Not having to repeat yourself after inadvertently using slang or an Irish-ism. “Yerra it’llbegrandyaknowlike.”
13. Scenery: Surfing off West Kerry, in the shallows between the mountains and the deep blue sea. Where would you rather be?
14. Drinking up time means just that. You get a bit of time.
15. Being able to attend big GAA games easily.
16. Saying hello to people you don’t know.
17. The pubs – they’re just better, way better.
18. Decent chippers that use proper spuds. They’re Roosters aren’t they?
19. Having a car.
20. Reasonable rent.
21.Vincent Browne shredding some snivelling politician for your enjoyment every weeknight.
22. People using f**k like it’s a comma.
23. Newspaper front pages that don’t involve the royal family.
24. Mountains in your back garden.
1. Everyone knowing what you did last night.
2. The recession.
3. The feeling that nothing is happening (except the fear that everyone is talking about what you did last night).
4. The weather. Okay, we’re not in the South of France, but it does rain less here.
5. Taytos. It’s a crisp, much like Walkers.
6. Barry’s Tea. It’s a teabag, much like loads of others.
7. Irish women: a fairly head-melting bunch who have quite a high opinion of themselves that’s not always justified.
8. Irish men: Always prioritising ‘the lads’ over their partners. Not to mention the lack of fashion sense at times: white polo shirt/blue checked shirt tucked into belted jeans does not a stylish outfit make.
9. Bad public transport. Having to drive everywhere.
10. No decent parks in urban areas thanks to the greedy clowns who were allowed to build on every green space and by the coast.
11. Story bud! Youth in tracksuits – the uniform for those of a certain age, Dubs in particular.
12. The rise of the Irish Mommy and south Dubliners with American accents.
13. The cost of things – food and drink prices are off the charts.
14. Feeling obliged to go to Mass and the long walk there with no shoes over the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks. Sorry, that was my mother.