If I had to use one word to describe Ireland, that's the word I'd use.
Ireland is a relatively small island nation, but that's not what I mean.
As I begin living out my life here day to day, I've started to notice things, and speaking in general, things here are small. Maybe not even small, compared to US equivalents, but more often than not, they're at least smaller.
My new home here is very nice, modern and comfortable. But big? No way. In fact, the basement in my SC home is bigger than this entire town-home but costs nearly twice the amount in US dollars to rent than my mortgage.
Take another example: cars. Almost no one has an SUV or a four door sedan. I've seen maybe two pick-up trucks while I've been here. A few more in the van category but the majority are small two-door hatchbacks, and I do mean small. It's no mystery why, either. The roads are narrow and the price of gasoline is sky high. It's not a bad thing, it's just an economic fact of life.
Homes are small, stores are small, computer screens are small. Household appliances are all smaller; in fact clothes washers are usually small combination washer-dryers (which don't work very well, everyone freely admits). Kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms and all their fixtures are small. Maybe that's why Europeans are generally thinner, they wouldn't be able to fit in their showers otherwise.
Now keep in mind that these are observations, not complaints nor criticisms. Like I said, things here are smaller in general mostly because of economic reality. I'm living in a big city, and big cities are expensive. Energy, raw materials, and space are all scarce resources.
But there's more than just economics. More importantly there is a general sense of 'this is all that I need'. Yeah, we'd all like to have the big bag of potato chips, but wouldn't this small bag suit you just fine? Speaking of, here you can buy a big bag of potato chips but it's just a big bag containing several smaller bags, perfectly portioned out for you.
Frankly, I think there are some good lessons to be learned about making do with what you need and not what you can have. I think there's something American about the idea of bigger is better. We tend to equate wealth and prosperity to the size of one's house, car, boat, property, etc. Food especially is that way for me unfortunately. Make mine a grande meal, thanks.
So small is the way it's going to be for a while, and personally I think this is going to be good for me.
In other news. . .
Today is Saturday and I spent a good portion of the day cleaning and organizing all the stuff I had been putting off. Got a lot of things put away, cleaned, and speaking of small washing machines . . . I can tell this thing is going to be a source of contention. It's not even a matter of its size, I just can't figure out how it works! I've read the manual five times, I promise, but the thing doesn't seem to do what it says it's supposed to be doing. I wonder if it's broken? It certainly seems like it.
It was a really nice day out today so I went for a long walk around the neighborhood. I also did some grocery shopping. And in another sign my bachelorhood is reaching new lows, I bought some of these:
Yes, canned hot dogs. So sue me.
I also got the privilege of lugging them home on foot. I realize the next big to-do is secure some transportation, and soon.
Oh, yeah, and epilogue on my communication woes. My phone's data is up and running again, and I've figured out how to turn it into a mobile hot spot so updating my blog is a lot easier now! I was even able to listen to Conference, which I was really glad I was able to do.
Anyway, that's the day. Thanks for reading!