When I came here 13 years ago I found Ireland to be very uncivilised - your access to goods and services was shockingly poor and prices were shocking for a Pole like me. It's changing now, more things can be done online but still I miss big shops with a huge variety of things like furniture. I found a lot of houses looked almost identical on the inside - tiles, furniture and styles - that is something we don't get, we love doing up our houses, even if it means retiling the whole thing every 5 years so no wonder diy markets are aplenty back home.
Most of my friends who stayed back home are doing fine, if you get a job with decent salary you've no reason to emigrate.
I find in continental Europe we tend to be more by the book than here - probably due to the fact our law does not let us get away with many things, especially when it comes to debts - electricity and water get cut off if you don't pay, homes get repossessed and debt collectors will take your sofa and social payments, there's no escaping it
We drive cars older than here, a lot of petrol cars converted to LPG because it's cheaper and we do seem grim and serious, but that's just the way we look, we're fun really