My first language is Spanish. Growing up in Miami, it was commonplace to hear people speaking Spanish, but then I moved to Central Florida, and English became the norm. Every once in a while, I’d hear Spanish speakers around the local Bodega, Puerto Rican restaurant, Dominican hair salon, Cuban neighbors, but mainly I heard it at home.
Moving to NYC at 17, I heard many more languages, but English still took a foothold in daily conversation. Now, I live in Dublin, a city so multicultural I hear at LEAST 4 different spoken languages a day. Walking into a Tesco, I hear students speaking Portuguese, riding the Luas I hear Irish, turning a street corner I hear French, and going up the stairs, I hear Thai. Hearing conversations, I don’t linguistically understand makes me nostalgic for cultures I am not yet familiar with.
Amongst my roommates and I, we speak 5 languages altogether. English, Spanish, Persian, Polish, and Russian. As someone who has been attempting to learn Russian for a few years, I call this kismet. Although my student accommodation is so vastly international, my course at TUD is primarily comprised of Irish students. I’ve been graciously blessed to experience what makes Dublin so unique, its mix of Irish people from different corners of Ireland and a vast number of international students from all over the world.
There’s an unspoken kindness that lingers in the air, and that is why even though I’ve been here little over 2 months, I feel at home. I feel at home in the societies I’ve joined, in the classrooms I contribute to, in the sports clubs and events I attend. One of my favorite events so far has been the Go-Karting competition I entered as part of TUD’s Karting Club. I came to the event alone, wet from the rain, and unsure of what to expect.
Would I be welcomed?
Did I have enough driving experience for this?
As I geared up for the first race with a karting suit, helmet, and gloves, I started chatting with the few other girls there. By the end of the race, we were exchanging numbers, pics of the day, and making plans to hang out again. I left the Go-Karting competition with many friends, dry, and excited for the next event! On top of that, I had a flight to Scotland right after the event and the nicest lad drove me from the competition to Dublin (an hour away!) so I wouldn’t miss my flight. There are no words to express how grateful I was for this knight in shining armor and new friend.
I’ve moved around quite a bit over the past 6 years, and have never assimilated to any city or culture faster. Regardless of your language, origin, or accent (They love my American Accent!), everyone I’ve spoken to is so incredibly open to sharing their opinions, inviting you to the local pub, and adding you to a group chat. The city, the people, the vibe, they make it easy as long as you’re willing and open to trying new things. I really do love it here, and I can’t wait to see what adventures the next few months holds.