The not so great things about being home.

I’ve been home for about 6 weeks after being away for 6 years. While there are many great things about being back, there are also plenty of downsides.

1. People never let you forget that you left. No matter what, people always throw it back at you that you went away, especially if you have an opinion on something. I’m getting so sick of hearing “well while you were away we did it like this…..” or “in 6 years we’ve done……” It gets very tiring listening to it all the time and you almost have a time limit on how long you live in Ireland before your opinion counts.  I didn’t abandon anyone. Sorry for trying to further myself, I’ll just sit over here and write my blog.

2. You have to make friends all over again. Most of my old friends are either living in another country or have gotten married and are starting families. You think it’d be easier to come home and start over but it was actually easier moving to Korea and making new friends.

3. Sometimes you just can’t see the logic in Ireland’s way of thinking. Living abroad changes how you see things and the sometimes insular nature of the way of thinking in Ireland is indescribable.

4. There’s no positivity or leadership. Ireland has lost it’s positivity. There are a lot of problems, like every country, but there are no solutions or leadership coming through. It’s utterly depressing and you see it on every level from local to national.

I would love to hear what other returning expats have to say. In the meantime, I’ll return to studying. Catch me on Twitter @Iamshaunabrowne

Messages in presses and other features of Irish houses

Being home has made me laugh. It’s the small things that we say that make me realise how brilliantly unique Irish houses are. Here are some of the features and phrases that you’ll only find in Ireland;

  1. The Immersion; Irish people are completely OBSESSED with the immersion. The way they go on about it, you’d swear it was pivotal to the house standing. So what is the immersion? It’s what makes the water hot for showers. You switch it on before the shower and off again afterwards. If you don’t turn it off, watch out! You will be plagued, harassed and when you’re 80, you’ll be reminded about that time you didn’t turn off the immersion. Des Bishop does a great sketch on the immersion in one of his shows,¬†

My mum and dad have solar panels on their house because they heat the shower without needed to turn on the immersion in the summer. It’s like the perfect solution to everything! (if only we had more sunshine)

The famous immersion!


2. The press: A few weeks ago in Korea, my friend asked me where I kept the bread and I replied “oh it’s in that press over there” She looked at me like I was speaking another language and I realized that no one else uses the word press! What is a press?

These are presses…………


Where you store your food and stuff are presses.

3. Messages: I’m not sure if this is unique to my house or every house in Ireland. Messages are what you buy when you go to town to do the shopping. This is a weekly event so it includes food and maybe clothes and so on. When you come home from town you bring the messages in out of the car and then proceed to “put the messages in the press”

4. Hotpress: Now that you know what a press is, you should learn what a hotpress is. The hotpress is the small room where you keep your boiler. That room is naturally hot and so we keep our sheets, clothes or anything else that needs to be “aired” in there.

The hotpress in our house.


That’s all I can think of for now. Leave comments if you can remember anything else!