Friendly Folks

“They say that no matter how rich you are, happiness is something you cannot buy.” – Ireland is known for its friendly locals, and this blog by Student Ambassador Sonya San proves that this outgoing attitude can benefit us all!

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on

Coming from a multiracial country, I was prepared and open to face new cultures and people in a foreign place like Ireland. Moreover, I have come across people saying that Irish folks are generally very friendly and helpful. Now, let me tell you a few incidents to see if this is true.

There was once where I had this sudden craving for McDonald’s ice cream but when I got there they were closed. Despite the disappointment, I was ready to turn around and take the long walk home with no ice cream. However, a young lady saw me and offered to take me through the drive through, in hopes that the drive through was still open. I was embarrassed at first as all I wanted was an ice cream and it definitely was not worth her trouble. The young lady expressed that she could totally understand the frustration when one couldn’t satisfy their cravings and said that she didn’t mind helping me at all. Even though we didn’t managed to get what I wanted in the end, the fact that such a kind hearted soul was willing to help me meant way more than having that ice cream.

Another scenario happened when it was nearing Christmas. I went to do my usual grocery shopping and at the parking lot, there was this lady who was loading her groceries into her car boot. I was surprised by her when she said: “Hello, Merry Christmas!”. For some reason, I felt this tingling feeling within me and not long after I found myself grinning from ear to ear. It seemed to be very common here in Ireland for a stranger to give you a warm greeting or ask you how you are doing. This happened even when I was paying at the cashier. After that encounter in the parking lot, I decided to continue spreading such joy and spirit by wishing others “Merry Christmas” too when I was on the way home. It is undeniable that it felt a little awkward at first, but soon I realised that seeing the smile on their faces brings me great happiness inside.

They say that no matter how rich you are, happiness is something you cannot buy. Wishing a stranger or giving a friendly smile to someone might seem to be a small act, but the warmth it brings to others is priceless. Since it does not cost us anything, I say why don’t we show someone an act of kindness and keep spreading positive vibes to those around us? Besides, you never know when you will make someone’s day!

Here is a quote that resonates with me:

“Better to be the one who smiled than the one who didn’t smile back.”

— Mari Gayatri Stein


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