You know you are an au pair in Ireland if …

Some of you may know that from 2011 to 2012, I have spent a gap year in Ireland.  During this time, which was packed with exciting adventures and new experiences, I wrote a little list of things that I learned/experienced/noticed while working as an au pair for a wonderful host family. I hope you enjoy reading this.

Maybe you will only understand some of the points if you are or were an au pair in Ireland.

(I cannot take full credit for this list as many other au pairs have contributed to it when it was posted within a facebook group!) Please feel free to contribute to this list as well. Simply leave a comment :).

You know you are an au pair in Ireland if…

… you greet everyone with ‘hiya’

… you have started a love/hate relationship with tea

… you couldn’t agree more that the Irish are extremely friendly and welcoming

… you missed a bus not because you were too late but because you didn’t know that you have to wave wildly at the bus driver to stop

… you know that Irish bus timetables are not reliable – instead you are mostly grateful, when there are any busses running at all

… you’ve missed a bus not because you were too late, but because the bus was too early

… you know people called Moloney, O’Sullivan, O’Donavan, Murphy and know that they are not ALWAYS related to each other

… you think you’ve just heard someone speaking Irish, but it turns out it was English

… you absolutely love when an Irish man says „cheers“

… you know that in Ireland children eat ‚treats‘ all day long

… you’ve tried Bulmers, Murphys and/or Guinness

… you find that Lemsip actually really helps

… you’ve bought something in a charity shop

…you find that potatoes are served daily and with kind of every meal…

…you can’t cook the ‚tatoes‘ right. The Irish got their special way to prepare them.

…you know what ‚Ribena‘ is

…you always say ‚thanks and goodbye‘ to the bus driver

…you get a heart attack when you see the price of food and beauty products

…you see cows everywhere you go

…you find that there are more cows than sheep in general

…you know that ‚roosters‘ are potatoes

…the children usually get what they want, even if it’s the third chocolate bar just before lunch/dinner

…everything is ‚grand‘ or else: ’not too bad‘

…you LOVE Penneys and Forever 21

…the landscape is so stunning and beautiful that it´s sometimes hard to focus on the children

…you know that not all the Irish are red-heads (stereotype!)

…you hear ‚Galway Girl‘ and ‚Ring of Fire‘ nearly every time you go out… and you still love it!

…you can go into the same pub every f****** night of the week and it’s never boring!

…you can’t spell people’s names, because OWEN is Eoin and EVA is Aoife

…you always take your umbrella AND your sunglasses with you

…you chat with people wherever you go and most of the times the chat starts with a comment about the weather

…you know all the differences between every kind of sugar and flour that exists

…you say ’no bother‘ or ’no worries‘ instead of ‚you’re welcome‘

…you are not surprised anymore if the children just eat a plain piece of butter or if they lick it of the toast

…you know that the butter in Ireland is usually salted

… you have accepted that clubs are closing at 2am and don´t find it shocking anymore when the light is suddenly turned on and you’re ‚politely‘ guided out with a „Folks, enough now – go home – have a safe trip home“

… you eat these sticky sweets like toffee-chocolate-cake or marshmallow-rice-crispy-butter-squares

…the kids get treats nearly on every occasion – whether it’s for behaving nicely in the supermarket or doing what they’ve been told to do

…’toast‘ is called bread (what?)

…you miss brown bread

…you really think you will visit a TOWN, although the so called city has a population of not even 3.000

…you find yourself spending money nearly everywhere you go

…you have tried thousands of different recipes for scones, as they are offered to you almost everywhere you are

…you find it completely normal when a car is passing you with its windows open and you start chatting with the driver

…you use the word ‚filthy‘ rather than ‚dirty‘

…you know longer bother about the streets and don’t get frightened anymore, when a car is coming extremely close to yours

…your host parents have furniture from Argos and mugs and things from Dunnes Store