In a time when restrictions were limited, Student Ambassador Farjana Salahuddin, from Qatar with Bangladeshi origin looked to outsource her experience of Ireland in her latest blog. She speaks of the beauty of Ireland through the eyes of friends she’s met along the way.

Having arrived in Dublin for my second semester (after a remote first semester) and being in self-quarantine, I spend a lot of time looking at the beautiful view of the playground and watching the people having a good time or simply going about their lives. Luckily, Dublin has welcomed me with sunshine almost every day since I arrived – I guess I packed a bit of the sun from the Middle East with me!   

As I wait for my self-quarantine to end and watch Dublin through my window, my friends here have shown me the beauty of this Emerald Isle through their lens. 

Dublin City (photo: David Mullaney via Canva)

The beauty of the Emerald Isle 

The beauty of a place certainly lies in its people. They say Irish people will always stop to help you if you ask them. I have certainly felt that warmth from my remote friends. Not only are the Irish warm and helpful, but almost every Dubliner would say ‘thank you’ when getting off the bus and some may even wave to the driver to say goodbye. A simple smile and expression of gratitude can really make a person’s day and help them get through the daily grind. When people are seen to have a beautiful heart on a regular day, the warmth and kindness is ought to heighten more at Christmastime. Friends of mine praised “the nice lady serving free Christmas lunch outside the Trinity College Dublin Dining Hall on a food truck.” Sipping on some hot chocolate after Christmas lunch certainly made their day away from family.  

Although people are an integral part of any place, a city always has various ubiquitous things that enhance its personality. They may be right in front of our eyes or hidden in some alley, but they are also key to the life of the city. When you come to Dublin, have a look at the doors –  it was said that “Irish people have the most beautiful doors!”. The spectrum of colourful doors is ought to welcome you with a happy heart. While walking down the streets of Dublin, you pass these beautiful and colourful doors to find a cosy cafe having the most delicious coffee, because “coffee in Ireland is the tastiest!” The aroma of the freshly brewed and warm sip of speciality coffee must be the best way to tackle the weather in Dublin.

Colourful doors of Dublin (photo: Alisa Ryabova)

(photo: Alisa Ryabova)

Talking about Dublin goes hand in hand with talking about its unpredictable weather and surprisingly, the city’s seagulls. A friend said; “A day out in Ireland sometimes looks like leaving the house in a t-shirt and shorts but coming home soaked to the skin with the sudden drastic change in weather!” This indeed is a city with unpredictable weather and “fascinating seagulls”, who are “basically in charge of the city”. She has “never seen this level of seagull-related chaos”.  They’ve even started attending Zoom lectures — their screams are picked up by people’s microphones”. And she wonders if they’ll ever learn to use the “raise hand” button! Indeed, they are fascinating creatures who also have a reputation of snatching people’s Big Macs and pizza slices. But here in Ireland, it’s all “grand”! 

“The word ‘grand’ is thrown around a lot. It’s like a catch-all for expressing your mood when someone asks, ‘How are you?’ or ‘Is that alright?’ Irish people will say literally everything is grand. Their leg could be falling off, and they’d say ‘Ah, it’s grand’”. 

I thank my friends Adam, Aisling, Alisa, Angie, Pragya, Stephen and Zoe for the beautiful insights into this Emerald Isle. While I count the days to end my self-quarantine period, I look at the beautiful view from my window and can tell you that “All is grand in Ireland!”.

Farjana is pursuing a Masters Degree in Interactive Digital Media at Trinity College Dublin.