Coming into Dublin I did not know much, but over the past couple months I have learned a lot from the locals. When we first got here, people on the street would walk with us to where it was we were asking them was. One main group of people that have been the most help to me in understanding the culture or finding new places to go around here are the taxi drivers. Every time we hop in a cab I find myself in the front seat and asking the driver a couple questions about good places to go. Not only will the driver reply in great detail on why each place is so significant. While we drive the driver can obviously tell by the conversation that we are simply dumb tourists with no idea of the culture or history of Ireland, instead of laughing to themselves, the taxi drivers will engage us in a conversation and give us brief history.We don’t always receive a history lesson, sometimes we find ourselves talking about stores with great deals or even weird experiences the driver has had over the years. It has come to the point where I feel as if I am no longer paying for a cab, but I am paying for a citizens tour of Dublin. Before I left I was told that coming back into America I would experience a larger culture shock than I received when I got to Dublin, and I figured that was okay and I was simply falling back into the norm. After experiencing the kindness of the people here, I cant imagine ever enjoying a cab ride back in the states again.
Matt Cahill is studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland, with the Foundation for International Education (FIE).