Ciara Kenny

The Irish Times forum by and for Irish citizens living overseas,

Have your say: have your preconceptions changed since you settled in your second home?

Did you have preconceptions about the country or city you now live in before you arrived? Were they right, or has your opinion of the place changed since you settled there? What has surprised you about the people or culture? We want to hear from you.

Hotter than hell? Donald Clarke says he would never live in a place where the sun 'strips the skin from your bones', but would he change his mind if he lived there? Photograph: Getty Images

Tue, Feb 12, 2013, 21:35


In a recent article asking why Australia has become such a desirable place to live for Irish people, Donald Clarke described its popularity as “baffling”.

“An examination of the nation’s soap operas does nothing to dispel suspicions that the cities come across like Basingstoke with worse weather. If the sun isn’t stripping the skin from your baking bones then typhoons are propelling Jeeps angrily across uninteresting thoroughfares,” he wrote.

“Recent films such as David Michôd’s excellent Animal Kingdom do, at least, suggest that there is more to Australian suburbia than endless barbecues and games of street cricket. Apparently, the cities also teem with drug-crazed psychopaths who will puncture your jugular for the price of a Vegemite sandwich.”

The thing is, Clarke has never been to Australia (which he openly admits in his column). This fact angered some readers living Down Under, who left comments saying his prejudices would be dispelled if he visited the place.

We’d like to know whether you had any preconceptions about the country or city you now live in before you arrived, and whether those views have changed (or stayed the same) since you moved there. What has surprised you about the people or culture? What were you right about? Let us know in the comments section below.

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