Existential questions…

After so many years living here, there are still some puzzling questions about the Irish way of life going through my mind now and again. Not important ones, like trying to understand the ins and outs of the Irish tax system, but rather small cultural differences that I still don’t have an answer for (and Wikipedia neither in some cases).

Here’s a list of mind-boggling enigmas that maybe some of you could help me with…

Why are pillows square in France but rectangular in Ireland?

Seriously, I can’t even bring pillowcases back from France because they don’t fit! I know it’s not the end of the world, but don’t you think that’s a little weird? Where does it come from and who decided on the standard shape of a pillow?

Why do French people put sugar cubes in their coffee but Irish people use granulated sugar?

I heard granulated sugar comes from the Victorian times, but I still can’t explain why the French use sugar cubes… To be honest, I think cubes are less messy. No risk of leftover instant coffee stuck in the middle of the sugar bag (tea drinkers will understand!)

Why do French people drink UHT milk but Irish people drink fresh milk?

I guess it has to do with the milkman culture in Ireland, but this is one thing I prefer about this country. Milk is a lot tastier here than in France (unless you buy your milk straight from the farmer of course).

Why are there shutters on all French houses but only blinds on Irish ones?

To this day, I still wonder why there are no shutters on Irish houses. And don’t tell me about black out blinds. Sure they are useful, but nothing can replace a full shutter that plunges your bedroom into complete darkness…Especially in summer when it’s bright until 11pm! Maybe I should open a shutter business…

Why are there strings on French tea bags but not on Irish ones?

Another great Irish mystery…Don’t you think the tea bag would be easier to handle with a string instead of trying to rescue it from the bottom of your cup with a spoon?

So yeah, I’m probably thinking way too much and asking myself too many questions, but isn’t it mad to think that even though Ireland and France are so close, there are so many little things we do differently?


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