When it comes to the things she misses most about home, for Swetha Krishnan from India, it’s definitely dosas, but there are other items, too, that she really wishes she’d brought with her when she moved to Ireland to study at University College Dublin (UCD).
“There is nothing that is in India that’s not there in Ireland!” they said. But just so you know, it was not completely true; you of course don’t get dosa batter in Ireland (I miss my dosas the most!)
Don’t worry though, for I have compiled a list of the things that I wish I knew to get from home so that you can learn from my mistakes (or not!) and experience.
Weather O’ weather
When Ireland’s weather was described as constant rain, I didn’t believe it would be that bad, but boy, was I wrong. It rains here almost every week, and after the daylight savings is over, you may notice that it becomes dark at around 4 or 5 in the evening. Make sure to get your rainwear from home, since it may rain on the day you arrive (Yeah! I was one of the lucky ones who got caught in a heavy spell when I arrived). In case you’re arriving during winter I suggest getting a thick coat since it tends to get windy and cold.
Get ’em shoes!!
Now I was one of those who thought “I’m going to Ireland so they must have better shoes and cheaper ones than home where it’s summer 361 days and we only wear slippers!” I was proven wrong when I noticed that the branded shoe (the only one I did get from home) was much cheaper than the ones here and we have a lot more variety at home too. Also note that this applies to people who need those “big brands”, but if you’re all about just getting shoes to survive then it’s better to get them here (I have to admit the quality and durability is much better than India). Also don’t forget to purchase rain boots once you land in Ireland; it’s a lifesaver on those wet weather days, which are almost every day!
Masala Spice Masalas
Spices are to India as Guinness is to the Irish. You may find few common spices here but prepare your heart and pocket for the insane prices, which is why I was glad I got my spices from home (thank you, grandma!). Also, if you are a South Indian, most of the spices we want won’t be here so get enough stock from home for our biryani and chutney.
The Indian plugs aren’t compatible with sockets in Ireland, so make sure you get a Europe-compatible travel adaptor from home (I didn’t get mine and had to be without a working phone or laptop for a day since I forgot to buy one in the airport). Most of the electricals, phones and appliances are much more expensive here than in India, and while you may get a microwave, toaster and kettle in the houses you rent, do not expect hair dryers, straighteners, mixers etc., so make sure you get those essentials packed.
While it may seem like a good plan to pack a fair amount of clothes, I would advise that you do not pack a lot, especially winter wear that is going to take up a lot of space in your luggage. It is better to pack just a week’s worth of clothes and purchase the rest here. In case you are all about the healthy life and need training clothes, then get them from home, where there is more variety and it’s much cheaper. Otherwise, clothes, especially winter clothes (obviously!), are better purchased in Ireland.
In Ireland or any country you move to, it’s important to remember that it is all about the experience you create so I hope this small information can help you settle in more easily!
These are some of the things I wish I had got from home before I came here, I am in no way implying that it’s the same for everyone since it’s limited to my personal experience, but I hope you find it helpful.