Entry #1: Old people dressed to the nines
The classic English Gentleman and English Lady are alive and well in Dublin. Here, even the white-haired men and women are expected to dress up in smart, fine-looking fashions. Some are in suits and ties, others sport bright red coats—the variety is endless. The most shocking fashion move I saw, though, was an old man wearing one of those Carhartt knit hats that are so popular with young people. Dang, he looked cool!
Entry #2: A genuine “ladies first” culture
The morning trains are brutal. You don’t get as sardine-packed as you do on the Japanese trains, but they’re definitely too crowded to get a seat. That’s when I saw a true gentleman. He gave up his seat to a young woman in her 20s, apologizing profusely as he did so. “I’m so sorry, my face was in my phone and I didn’t see you standing there!” he said. Not that all men are like that here, but the woman sure looked happy. Any men out there looking for a date, this is definitely the strategy to use! (No guarantee you’ll get away with it in Japan, though!) (lol)
Entry #3: Bighearted and easygoing
Since everyone here isn’t pulling overtime, the five o’clock evening rush is pretty intense. Once it’s over though, things get so deserted that you wonder where everyone ran off to! (lol) But it turns out (sadly?) that I’m Japanese through and through. Sometimes I just really want to get my work done, so I secretly put in some overtime. It’s dark when I head home, and I’m exhausted (OK it’s only 7 or 8 PM lol)—but it’s OK. The trains are empty and I get a seat every time! One day, though, there was apparently a soccer match or some other game in town, and I unfortunately ran into a group of drunk men. This sucks, I thought, as I boarded the train. They were loud and smelled like booze. I was so irritated. They even started engaging the men around them trying to get home—people they didn’t know at all. So annoying. It ended up with them jumping up and down belting out that song you always here at soccer games (what the heck is that song? lol). HEY! You think everyone on this train is some kind of soccer nut like you guys? I tried to communicate this with my death stare. In that moment, since nobody else apparently knew the words, the men started humming the next part of the song. The other passengers burst out laughing. I couldn’t help myself either. What the hell, I thought. It was a great lesson in letting go of the little things.
Entry #4: Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day in Japan has basically become a time for women to give chocolate to all the men they can think of hoping that someone will return the gesture on White Day (lol), but here, Valentine’s Day is a time for couples to show their appreciation and gratitude for one another—regardless of whether they’re male or female. You probably already know this, but it’s actually more typical for the men to give women presents than vice versa. So the streets are filled with men carrying bouquets or cakes as they head home to their sweethearts in the evening. It’s so adorable that you can’t help but smile. And so different from Valentine’s Day in Japan!
Unfortunately, you can’t just take and post pictures of strangers, so this has come off as a rather stark blog post. Instead, please enjoy some photos from my “What’s up with that, Ireland?” series (there’s more to come, so be sure to keep tuning in!)