Janus Fabricius Nielsen

I’m about to say some good stuff and some bad stuff about my 3 months of living here in Ireland, and stay as far away from the Euros as I can.  
What I would like to brag about though, is the amount of Irish slang words I’ve learned here. They will occur intermittently.

Ireland is grand! I’ve not felt so welcome since I last visited my grandparents. I would have thought you were the happiest people in the world, if it weren’t for the statistics (and a comment from a classmate: “It’s a mask. We are all dead on the inside”).

What a positive intro to this. Had to be, since the complaining is about to start.

Firstly, I’ll moan about school. Hopefully not in a premature way. Secondly, I’ll give you my opinion of the Gardaí, and lastly, tell you why I love you guys so much. My hope is that you will forget everything between the beginning and the ending. Remember, don’t take what I say as the general opinion of every foreigner.

OK, School first. My mom asked me how I was doing the other day. As opposed to now answering, I told her, that I learn nothing, but the people are great. I have yet to find a more truthful description.

I do a total sum of nine hours of scheduled school work per week. That wouldn’t bother me, if we actually had some inspiring lectures or got some amazing journalism done. The opposite is the case – sorry (do lecturers read this?). It also bothers me on your behalf, since you pay fees and I don’t.


It seems that schoolwork here is a very individual matter. No one works in groups, when it really matters. As a person from Denmark, I can’t wrap my mind around that. We work in groups, learn how to amplify everyones strengths, and get the best possible result with what little skill we have.  Tell me of a job, where no one else but yourself is involved, and you never have to interact with people. An anti-colleague job with zero human interaction. It doesn’t exist. Especially not in journalism. Please, let college fit reality.

Another thing: why are so many classes spread across the schedule in small portions of 5 points each? The philosophy seems to be: “Do a written assignment and collect 5 points. Do that until you have enough points to do it again next semester”. Here is a thought; what if we did something memorable every semester? What if we put 2 or 3 courses together, and did that class really well. Maybe spend 10 or 15 points on that. Imagine one big project, where you learn from your mistakes, but still have an output in the end, depending on the adventure you went on. Would you have learned more or less than doing 3 courses half-assed 12 hours before deadline day? And this would be of interest to the school (probably the only thing that is): It’s cheaper!

The gardaí here makes me wonder how Ireland doesn’t have the equivalent of N.W.A. If you do, please, let me know.That would be hilarious!

I’ve had one experience with the guards so far, and it was a very disappointing one to say the least. My girlfriend and two of my friends visited me in October. We went for pints and chips in a pub. A real sesh. Around 1, my two friends stumble outside for a rollie (most of my Irish slang has to do with eating, drinking or smoking). A fight then breaks out in the street, as it so often does when alcohol, youth, and idiots are in the same location.

Me and my girlfriend have the best seat in the place, right by the window. We start laughing when the first couple of punches are thrown. Usually fight stops, when one of the bouncers stop it. There were three of them there that night. But they did fokkin’ nuttin’. More and more people, boys and girls, join the fight. At some point we see our friends step in, waving their hands in front of people’s faces. After a lot of ripped shirts, bloody noses, broken glass and around 10-15 minutes, the fight stops. About 10 minutes after that, the gardaí show up. There are 6 of them. They get out of their cars, and stand in a circle. Again, doing nothing.

A girl with blood and tears running down her face point at a guy with blood on his white polo. We all saw him deck her right in the face and throw her into a cab. Not into the cab, as sending her home, but into the cab as into the outside of the door. The only reaction this man of justice had to that was “go home”. Many, who saw or took part in the fight, tried to yank these guards from their circle, but the most anyone got was: “go home, we will investigate”. We decided it was pointless (and my friend was about to get himself arrested, trying to tell one of these honorable men what happened). As we walked to the next pub, my friend asked me: “Does Garda mean that they are the real police?”
“Well, I thought so”

Enough with that.
Now to what really matters. It’s you. The proud people in the Republic of Ireland. What an absolute pleasure meeting you. I came here, got dumped into a random class full of people, who spoke so many varieties of English, that was so lovely on the ear and so incredibly filled with slang and accent, that I could only communicate with one person at a time – and I loved it.

It must have been my first week, and I found myself in a pub with five people who knew each other, but not me. They asked me to come along anyway, and I couldn’t have wished for a better welcome. I thought I had to try really hard to get something that would resemble a social life, but it was almost too easy. To everyone I have met here – thank you for that.
I have also assimilated to your drinking-culture. We shared our love for beer before I came here, but what we didn’t share, was the amount of beer we loved. We do now. I woke up a random Tuesday, and could not understand why everything annoyed me. I hated the bus driver for driving and the lift for being on floor 4, when I was on the 1st. You all know that kind of day. After ruling out nicotine, endorphins, dopamine and caffeine as the need, I found the cure in the form of exactly three pints from the Swan. What a discovery.

 

Ireland, thank you for being you. Don’t change.

 

See yous in Russia!

Categories: Features

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