A mate of mine, who recently moved to Ireland, has sent me a list of some things in Ireland, that we, as South Africans, may find strange. I have reproduced it below, with his kind permission.
1. On radio/TV at present the Irish are requesting that people buy a goat this Xmas instead of presents for family. It costs €150 (R1500) a head. “What for?” you may ask. So that they can be delivered live to Africa. When they send money it is stolen, but livestock is not. The African evidently respects a mans goat.
2. The Midleton main street has been closed off for two days so they can put up Xmas lights with the utmost safety. Stuff business in the area , and never mind the traffic mess. Midleton is similar to Knysna, and all traffic uses the main street to pass through. Just close it for two days!!
3. The traffic Garda (Police) stated that there has been 24000 arrests for drunken driving in Ireland in the last year.They have given a warning, that although you might have had a heavy night out and used a cab, you must make sure that you are under the limit on the way to work the next day. They have arrested more people on the way to work who are over the limit in the last year than previous years.
4. It is just impossible to get a rump steak in Ireland. Sirloin is the order of the day. The average price for a sirloin is between €25 (R250) and €30(R300) and it weighs between 8 and 10 ounces. That is 240g and 300g. The rump steak is cut up for Irish stew.
5. You can not buy Brandy in Ireland. There is cognac and it costs €28 (R280) a bottle. If you import cognac, there is no duty payable, as it is classed as a food additive. Now tell me why no one has thought of bringing Klippies here. At R50 a bottle say you could make a pile of bucks. I am sure the Polish would love it as the Vodka is also at about €22 to €30 a 700ml bottle.
6. Two young guys at a 21st birthday party are in a coma after taking too much coke. The coke they consumed had not been cut up and was in its pure form.They just took too much. Some dumb Nigerian in Wexford has to please explain.
7. If you go to Trablogin (a water amusement park) you can not take your camera inside. The law states that you may not photograph young children in swimming costumes as their pictures end up on the Internet. Ask me, I was asked to leave. The law states that no photos of children in swimwear are to be taken in public places.
8. The Irish are the most polite drivers I have ever come across. You never wait to enter traffic. Amazing.
9. The dole in Ireland is €185 (R1850) per week.
10. When the shops have a sale it is a proper sale. We bought a leg of lamb for €6.47 per kilo. The price was €14 per kilo to start with. Now that is a sale.
11. The most popular item of clothing is the reflector jacket. All workers are required to use one no matter what type of work you do. All people who walk use one. I even saw a dog with one on.
12. All Irish sheep have a colour on their bums. The farmers spray paint them with their own colour to identify his stock if they are lost.
13. Jameson whiskey costs €25 a bottle in Midleton. They make it here and then send it to Dublin by road to be bottled.I have no idea why. It is cheaper to buy it in P.E.
I can vouch for most of the above, but found Ireland to be a clean, friendly, but somewhat expensive country during my visit in October.