Tonight I had cod and chips and drinks at a pub called The Gasworks, which is right near my apartment development (also called The Gasworks). Sitting around the table were a girl from Singapore, a girl from Germany, a Russian/American ahem, a guy from Japan, and a girl from South Africa. We talked about our respective countries and customs, our experiences at work in our home countries, and of course about Ireland. I basked in this wonderfulness and drank it all in, along with my Guinness.
Going on a short-term assignment I expected to befriend and spend time with Dubliners. I now realize that it makes sense that I would spend time with others in the same situation as myself - visitors not knowing anyone, staying for the short term (in most cases), and wanting to explore everything in the city and the country and the continent. My Irish coworkers are extremely friendly and nice, but they have their own errands, concerns, friends, families, plans, etc. Meanwhile, the girl from Singapore has never been to Europe and wants to go to Amsterdam. Oh really? Are you intested in seeing the Van Gogh Museum. Yes? Oh really? When are we flying over?
I am extremely looking forward to building friendships with people from all over the world. Learning about the Japanese, who work 20 hours a day during tax busy season. Learning about South Africa and why people decide to leave. Learning about weddings in Singapore. Learning about card games in Germany. Truly amazing.