‘That building over there, that’s the national post office.’
‘It’s quite impressive’
‘Yeah, see those bullet holes in the side’
‘That was our lot wasn’t it?’
Welcome to Dublin! There’s nothing like a knowledgeable local to show you round….
I do have a bit of a complex about being English here, but my first few days have reassured me that it’s probably all in my head. Dublin being quite a tourist centre, I guess that shouldn’t really surprise me, but I certainly expect to get a hard time over my nationality at some stage while I’m over here. (I know a few of my Korean friends read this and probably have no idea what I’m talking about: think of Ireland as Korea and the UK as Japan, extend the time frame a little bit and you have the basic idea… )
Our new apartment is in the North side of Dublin, a mere spitting distance from the River Liffey and sandwiched neatly between the Jameson Distillery and the Guinness Factory. I could equally say it’s next to Smithfield Square or between Phoenix Park and O’Connell Street, but it only takes a few days in Ireland to realize alcohol is probably the best measure of location over here, both in terms of life and geography.
Dublin is smaller than I expected, and I’ve already had the chance to wonder round Dublin Castle, Temple Bar and many of the scenes from ‘Once’ (great movie). Temple Bar has a ‘resident’ street Comedian who sings the odd extremely short song (‘Thing I like about London’ is a particularly quick fire hit… ) and rips it out of anyone who happens to walk past. Extremely entertaining, though I think more people stop because they don’t want to walk past him than because he’s funny.
Friday night was Halloween night, and it’s a far bigger deal in Ireland than it ever has been in England. Walking around the streets on the Friday afternoon there seemed to be as many people in costume as not. We headed for a house party, where I met a whole load of Helena’s friends and then I got my first taste of Dublin nightlife: a couple of hours in a lively basement club. I’m sure there’s a lot more of that to come, but early signs look promising.
I’ve landed on my feet here to some extent. I still have a long way to go to even start making an impact on the writing scene here, but my experiences in Seoul have landed me a part time position at Berlitz (the same company I worked for in Seoul), so starting Wednesday I’ll have my first experience teaching Europeans (my first student is a German). I’m going to the office tomorrow to meet the manager, so I’ll know more about it then, but I’m really pleased to have something straight away. In this economy it could have been a real problem.
Being my first post from Ireland, practicalities are necessary. Here they are:
My new cell phone number in Ireland: +353-879-106-212. (Literally the only people outside of Korea ever to use my Korean number were my parents. More effort this time please, people! I’m closer so there’s no excuse!)
My address in Dublin:
226 the Schooners,
I should also take this chance to give an open invite to Ireland for anyone who’s still reading, unless of course you’re a total stranger who’s just stumbled onto this site. That’d be kind of weird. We have a comfortable looking couch and a great location, walking distance from pretty much anything. Until I’m a little more financially secure I can’t promise to get the beers in, but Dublin’s reputation precedes it, and it’s very close to most of you, so no excuse! I’d appreciate it if you did warn me first though, especially as I have a mere 15kg of stuff with me, so any spare luggage space would be extremely helpful.
It’s been a long time coming; it’s good to finally be here!