The Creative Life

12 Things to know if you're moving to Cork
(or simply want to know how life there looks like)

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Even if you’ve visited numerous countries around the world, each new place you go to is bound to have a few surprises in store for you, and Ireland is no exception. A few unique...quirks, let’s call them, which you encounter in everyday living and which you’ll find astonishing or bizarre, and which together form a one-of-its-kind impression and create a foreign culture you need to get used to if you want to feel at home there.
Sometimes it might not be easy. When the differences between your culture and the culture of the country in which you are trying to settle in are clearly huge, it is somehow easier to accept them, because you expect them. But more often than not these differences are not that big. Actually, you do not notice them right at the beginning, so you tend to expect everything will be like at home – after all, why should Ireland differ so much from Poland? But it does. With time these differences keep multiplying at an alarming pace, one inconvenience follows another and before you realize you end up in the state of permanent frustration. And this is definitely not a good beginning for your living in a new country...
As mentioned before, one way to deal with this problem is to be aware of these differences and thus be prepared to deal with them. However, there are few publications which focus on these aspects of a given country. The best way would be to talk to a countryman of yours who’s already been living there for some time, but this option is rarely available. And here this article comes into play.
For those of you who’ve decided to move to Ireland – and especially Cork – here are a few first-hand hints and advice about what to expect on the beautiful Green Island.
Rule No1: Everything seems smaller (exception: see rule no2)
Honestly, this seems to be the case with everything, and it’s definitely one of the first things you’ll notice after coming here. Business offices, houses, shops, beds, kitchens, bath tubs, gardens, streets – everything. But on the other hand, it’s all here, only in a smaller version, and the cities do look prettier, tidier and less hectic.
Rule No 2: Everything MIGHT be smaller, except for one thing – food portions
Well, these are huge – a salad, a sandwich, pork chops or a steak – they only come in huge sizes. Definitely, the idea of comfort food has taken root here.
Rule No 3: There are no digits WHATSOEVER in the ADDRESSES.
Coming to think of it, more often than not there are even no street names. Such a thing as a postal code does not exist here. Worse, except for the city centre, there are often no street names – only the names of estates. Finding a given place in these circumstances is, for a foreigner, rather challenging. On the other hand, the addresses are easy to remember and the difficulty of locating a given place is only a problem at the beginning, especially if you’re looking for a place to live.
Rule No 4: Bus routes are determined only by their first and last stop.
Basically, you know only when the bus departs from one place and arrives (in theory) to the other – everything else is a riddle. But again, once you’ve solved it, you’re fine, and solving it is not that difficult, although it requires lots of patience.
Rule No 5: Do not be misled by  towns’ and areas’ names.
If something sounds like a town name, it might as well be an area of the city. To name just a few examples, Bishopstown and Blackpool are just Cork city areas, while Blackrock is indeed another town.
  Rule No.6  Weather is THE topic.
In majority of countries weather is considered to be a safe small talk topic, and often is treated like the last resort – the subject you turn to where there’s really nothing else to talk about. Well, not in Cork. Be prepared to discuss weather all the time at any time: morning, afternoon and evening. Nothing is given so much attention like a nasty shower in the morning or a sunny spell on Sunday.
Rule No.7 “Not too bad” is the right answer
Like in many other English-language countries, you usually greet others not only with a brief “hi”, but you follow it with a fast-spoken “how’re you”. Well, in US the answer to this is always an over-enthusiastic “great!!!” – God forbid others would find out something is not great for you. In England, you’ll hear a much-reserved “fine”. In Cork, the most common expression you’ll here is “not too bad”, which is surprisingly refreshing.
  Rule No.8 The weather changes more often then a woman’s mood.
You wake up in the morning and it’s lashing rain; two hours later it might be sunny. The weather goes from one extreme to the other within short periods of time, so never, absolutely NEVER leave house without an umbrella AND a waterproof jacket – a day completely without rain is a rarity and most often than not it’s accompanied by strong wind, which renders the umbrellas completely useless anyway…
Rule No.9 “Like” is ubiquitous at the end of a sentence
If you’re talking to a native from the area of Cork, be prepared to hear “-like” used at the     end of every second sentence, e.g.: “I went there yesterday-like”, “he is fat-like”, “we could go there-like”, “I’ve done it-like” etc. Not that it really influences the meaning, no, it’s just there.
Rule No.10 EVERYONE is…Nice and helpful
Well, this is definitely good news. It’s the real thing. The bus drivers will often stop wherever you want, and they will take their time to explain to you how to get somewhere, without a trace of irritation. Colleagues at work will give you a lift when you need it, people on the street will gladly answer your questions and – now’s the revelation – even clerks are helpful!
Rule No.11 It’s a beautiful and mystical country
The Green Island IS beautiful. Lushly and abundantly green, with its rolling hills, forbidding mountain ranges, picturesque towns, shimmering lakes, high cliffs and breathtaking sea-coast views, this is a place of rare and wild beauty. Looking at the dense fog rolling out of the hills, you understand how and why the druidic tales were born…

Rule No.12 Basic vocabulary for those moving to Cork
1. You don’t say “it’s great” when you like something a lot and/or agree with it, you need to say “it’s grand”,
2. If you’re used to automatically saying “that’s nice”, then get un-used to it. Here everything is “lovely”
3. It’s not “wonderful” around here, it’s “brilliant”,
4. Forget the expression “thanks a lot,” switch to “thanks a million,”
5. In expressions like “have cop-on”, “cop-on” means common sense.
So, this sums it up… 12 things which I’ve described from my own experience, sharing my thoughts and impressions with all of you. I sincerely hope that the above advice will make settling in Cork at least a bit easier for you, and if it does, the aim of this article has been accomplished. So good luck…