So far the nightlife here has been great - there are always places to go and things to do. The live music scene is incredible and half the bars/pubs here seem to always be hosting some sort of live band. But unlike the states, these are no acoustic guitar duets. "Live Music" means an awesome band is playing for the night and it ranges from rock to folk to indie. There are also hundreds of nightclubs mixed in around the more laid back pubs and they offer DJ's and the more stereotypical nightclub scene. Maybe it's just because I've never lived in a city so I don't know what a city night scene is like, but there seems to be more here in Dublin than most cities in the US. It's probably because Dublin itself is a pretty small city so they have to cram everything together in a closed space; within a 5 minute walk you could literally hit 8 bars/pubs, 4 nightclubs, and a few restaurants. This makes going out "the craic" because we all have so many options! If one place is too crowded or too expensive, we can easily move on to the next place without losing much time.
The only thing I've found interesting is that a few times we've had trouble getting into some of the nightclubs because people didn't have ID's or weren't 21. If the drinking age is 18, why would the club age be 21? And for a country centered on beer and alcohol, they're really strict about not letting anyone in that's too drunk and kicking people out once they've had too much to drink. Last night the group I was with wasn't let into two nightclubs because some of us weren't 21 and they claimed one girl was too drunk even though she had only had 3 beers. Even though most of the people here go out of their way to be helpful and friendly (I've encountered multiple experiences where people were more than willing to help me find my way throughout the city), I sometimes feel there is a slight prejudice against us as Americans. The young adults of Ireland are fascinated with the fact that we come from the states and want to know everything about us and our life. But many of the older generation and especially people who are in business working with the public (bouncers, bus drivers, taxi drivers, small pub owners) seem to resent the fact that we are here. As a white woman living in America my whole life, it is very new and unnerving to feel unwelcome in a place that I will be living. I'm sure people will ease up on us once we all get into our routine and we are no longer novel tourists, but it is definitely an interesting feeling.
But why do people seem to always be hardest on the "new guy" and foreigners? Freshman, "newbies," interns, foreigners - people seem to have an automatic negative feeling toward them even though it is impossible to go through one's life not being new or visiting at some point. Everyone's been there, so why are people still so weird about it? I'm victim of it - as a high school and college student of course I've resented the incoming freshman just like everyone else. I've never had negative feelings towards foreigners but especially after being a long-term foreigner in this country, I will have new respect for the "new guy."