07 September 2011


I am, at this very moment, in downtown Dublin. Aston Quay, to be specific. I have registered for my orientation tomorrow at 11 o'clock here in the BUNAC office, whose free internet I am using. After the orientation I will register with the immigration Bureau and begin my job- and flat-hunt.

So far my experience of Ireland has been awesome--minus one thing. Daddy convinced me not to take a regular suitcase, just two backpacks--a hiking backpack and his rucksack, and I added a stuff sack to the top of the hiking backpack because I had just a little more stuff to put in. Since I am going to stay here for a YEAR, after all. Total amount of stuff I have brought: 72 lbs. Now, it is very low maintenance to bring less than you weigh in stuff to live somewhere for a year, BUT... the most I should be carrying on my back for any length of time is only about 40 lbs, not freakin' 70. Since I have no wheels, I had to carry it all... on the bus, down the street... my neck and shoulders hate me now. The stuff is now (somewhat) safely stowed at my hostel, which I can check in to at 14:00 (it's 11:00 now), but man it was hard to haul up here.

And I had help. I asked a gentle old man directions to Aston Quay and he walked there with me, warning me about pickpockets and charlatans and telling me about cheap places to buy food and telling me that there were cheaper hostels I could've picked than the one I did. He was really sweet and nice and when we were halfway to my hostel he insisted he take my 30 lb backpack and he seriously carried it all the way to the hostel for me, and left a lot of parting advice. He's gonna be playing Irish music on Grafton Street today and tomorrow, so I'm going to look for him again and try to find him and say hello. And maybe get more advice--it was hard to hear him in the street with his accent and quiet voice so I only got like half of what he said.

I saw some little wheely grocery carry things for €10 on the way down here. idk if I can remember where to find them but at least my stuff sack and a slightly-unpacked rucksack would fit in one. I'll have to remember to buy one after my week in the hostel is over and I move to a new one (if I need to), or when I finally move to a flat somewhere.

...This keyboard is interesting. The quotation marks are above the 2 key and the @ is where the " would be on an American keyboard. And the return key is a little bit sideways to the # key so I hit # instead of enter a lot. Plus £ and € are actually on the keyboard and not in some "special character" box you have to jump thru hoops to access.

I am quite nervous because I would like to be employed within a month max, but my skills are very limited and I am monolingual. I think the whole world is having a bit of a jobs crisis. And I've never written a cover letter before.

We'll see, I s'pose...



  1. Yay! You are going to have an amazing time over there. How cool that your trip started with a very nice person helping you out. Too bad about the backpacks, but the little "wheely thingie" should be helpful - and worth the money. And best of luck with the job hunting.

  2. Hey kiddo,

    I saw your comment on facebook and replied there too. I hate suitcases because your hands are not free and you have to drag them over all obstacles like steps and curbs and stuff -- I always had an easier time when I used a rucksack. I guess you should not take advice from an Army guy with strong shoulders!

    Buy yourself a good suitcase and I'll pay for it!

    Congrats on your first adventure, Love, Dad

  3. May another old man offer some suggestions? (I visited Dublin on business twice 15 years ago.)

    Grafton Street is a wonderful place to visit, but the locals (and visitors not on an expense account) shop at Henry Street. From Aston Quay take O'Connell Street north across the river, then three blocks to The Spire. Turn left. That's Henry Street. When I was there the further you went up Henry the cheaper the stores became.

    Panhandlers (I suppose they're called beggars there) aren't always what they seem. Walking to the office one morning near St. Stephen's Green I gave two pounds to an old lady sitting on a stoop with a waif at her feet. Walking back that afternoon, I saw a very nice Mercedes pull up, and the old lady and waif climbed inside and drove away.

    If a local says "it's good crack," it means "it's good fun," not an endorsement of illicit drugs. (I heard it said about a rock concert, so it could have gone either way. A co-worker had to clarify it for me.)

    You think the computer keyboards are interesting? Wait until you have to call a phone number like "1-800-THE-CARD." They don't always put letters on phone keys like we do here in the States.

    House numbers don't work they way they do here either. I never did figure out the reasoning behind them. The numbers on the street where my office was (Pembroke Lane) seemed to start at 1, marched up one side of the street increasing all the way for three blocks, then did a U-turn across the street and increased back toward the intersection where it started. So #1 and #38 (the first and last numbers on the street) were across from each other.

    It's a different world, but I'd love to see it again. I think you'll enjoy your stay.