This blog is no longer being updated. Our adventures continue back in the US, here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Part of the System

I've got two and half weeks under my belt now at Automsoft and am starting to feel like I belong. The people I work with are very kind, and honest too.. They do not hesitate to tell me how 'American' I am, whenever I say or do something that is, shall we say, an American stereotype. Mostly they are in awe over what a bubbly person I am. Always commenting on how I tell people to 'have a great day' or spin things in a positive way. It's really quite funny! The differences become so much more evident between the cultures when you're the odd one out. My boss was shocked when I told him that I love my in-laws. He thinks Americans throw the word 'love' around too much. He asked too, if I call my mother-in-law 'mom,' which I do. he was shocked over that as well! Thinks it's disrespectful to my own mother. I told him my mother is not afraid of another taking her position - she knows the way I love her :-)
Here are a few slang terms I've come to know...

Dear - expensive
Jumper - sweatshirt or sweater
Vest - undershirt
Waistcoat - vest
Pants - underwear (this one always gets me! Learning to use the word trousers more frequently)
Diary - planner or schedule
Call - to visit
Ring - to phone
Sweet - candy
Gaff - house or apartment
Your man/woman - When speaking of a certain man/woman
Bird - girl
Bollocks - crap (like, 'that's crap!')
Defo - Definitely
Craic (pronounced 'crack') - Good times

So that's just a few of them. It's been fun learning about the culture. I'm doing my best to assimilate while still holding on to what makes me, me.

Justin's friend Daniel, from Germany, has invited us over to his gaff (see, I can be Irish!) for Christmas drinks tonight. Should be fun. Hopefully we meet a few nice people. I've been scouring the internet for Christmas activities to take advantage of in Dublin and have found a few fun ideas. I'll do my best to keep you all posted.

That's all for now, friends.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lady of Leisure

Typical Dublin day today. Cloudy and a bit misty, holding steady at 50* F... This is the sort of weather we'll have for the next 5 months or so. I actually don't mind it! I can wear my wool coat and gloves and feel perfectly comfortable walking around from place to place! Speaking of walking place to place... boy do my feet feel it! I'm guessing I walk a minimum of 3-4 miles per day, and not typically in tennis shoes. Granted, I'm not wearing heels if I know I'll be walking around, the shoes I wear aren't exactly marshmallows. I'm developing a protruding bone on the heel of my right foot that hurts quite a bit! Does anyone have any idea what this is?

I have two weeks until I start working so until then, I am living a guilt free life of leisure, and loving every minute of it! Usually I'll wake up with Justin and have breakfast with him, then just laze around and read for a while while he goes off to the archives. I've just finished Bram Stoker's Dracula, and am now reading The Historian neither of which I could/can put down! So, I'll read for a half hour or so, then write out a few thank you notes from the wedding. My latest project has been printing out wedding pictures from the DVD our photographer sent us and putting them into an album. The photographer will be making us an album as well, but we wanted to make one of our own too. I printed out three of our favorites in 8x10 sepia. They are hanging in the living room side by side and look so pretty!

Our latest exciting news is that we will be having our first visitors at our house at the end of December!! Laura and Nick have purchased their plane tickets and will be here from Dec. 29 through Jan. 7 (7th? Is that right, Laura?) We're already putting together lists of things we want to do with them so they'll go home with a love for dear dirty Dublin :-) (and the rest of Ireland too).

I hope all is well with all of my dear friends and family. Know that you are thought of often, and loved much!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Well, I did it! After submitting my resume online, and two interviews, I am the newest employee at Automsoft in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4! I will be the marketing executive and assistant to the CEO for this automation company (google 'automation' to learn what it is). The job will involve reviewing current publication pieces and updating them to a current standard, lots of territory research for expansion, and on the assistant to CEO portion of the job, I'll be keeping the boss' schedule in order and things like that. There will be no delivering coffee or shining shoes! Haha. They made it clear that my primary role was to be in the marketing aspect.

That being said, everything is falling into place. We are starting to feel like this is home, which is a fantastic feeling!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Two extremes: Yesterday=crap; Today=marvelous!

Yesterday was a completely atrocious day! Justin and I woke up at 6 am to bus into the city and wait in line with the masses at the immigration office to register with the Garda. We Shivered in line for 2 hours before we got to the front to be given tickets, numbers 261 & 262. We were told to come back arount 1pm. Not wanting to go far, we found a nice spot to have breakfast and warm up (which, come to think of it, was actually the one bright point in the day!) we wandered back to the office to see what number they were on... still very low. More wandering around... more checking to see the number... this went on, with our patience wearing thin, for hours. In the midst of this, we stumbled upon the big student protest in the streets. Everyone's talking about recession here and so Trinity is going to start having the students pay to go to college (EU citizens as non-EU nationals pay hefty fees already). That's right. If you're a citizen of the EU you can go to University for free. So all these students are whining about having to pay 800 euro a YEAR. Cry me a river! Finally at 4pm we were getting close to our numbers. Ended up getting out of the smelly place at 5pm. Both of us very tired and grumpy. Over 10 hours and 300 euro. Thankfully, Justin made dinner when we got home, finished off a bottle of wine... and things were starting to look a bit better :-)
I didn't mention that after registration with the garda we stopped off at the lab, Justin to do some grading, and I, to apply for more jobs. I applied for a job as a marketing executive for an international company called Automsoft that is less than half a mile from where we live. Low and behold, this morning I get a call asking if I'm available for an interview next week! The job pays well, and would set us up rather nicely! Say a little prayer that this works out for me! On top of that, our internet was delivered today. We don't have a desktop computer yet, but will use Justin's laptop for the time being.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A job on the horizen?

Belfast yesterday was great fun. It was about a 2 and a half hour drive to The North. Neasa and I walked around the city a bit first and had a nice lunch in a cute little cafe. It was nice to hear a bit of the history behind the city as well (Neasa knows loads about it!) About 10-15 years ago not many wanted to venture there because of the political turmoil. The county, and those surrounding it, were not very well off at all. But you wouldn't know it, being there yesterday! Lots of people were out and about, there are plenty of shops and gorgeous buildings, save the Europa Hotel, which was apparently bombed several times because of it's high status, now it looks like a modern 20 story building. Quite sad.
After a quick view of the city we ventured off to find Ikea, which was no easy feat! Belfast has horrible signage, and that, coupled with two women who have no clue where they're going, is not a good combination! We got turned around a couple of times, but did manage to find our holy grail :-) I tell you what... Ikea is quite an experience!! You walk in the entrance to go upstairs to the showrooms, grab a pencil and order sheet provided, and peruse about at your leisure. When you see something you'd like to buy, write down the number. When you're finished shopping in the showrooms, just head downstairs to the warehouse to find, already packaged and ready to go, what you'd written on your pad. Easy!
Like I said before, I'd been online to see what was available, so I had an idea of what I was looking for. I came home with a great sofa cover (to cover the hideous one that came with our flat) a wonderful black desk, wine glasses, an end table, and a few nice storage containers. Success!
When I returned home Justin and I immediately started to assemble everything - it's like Christmas! That's when I realized that I had grabbed the wrong end table box :-( boo! Since we won't likely be going back to Belfast anytime soon, we'll just have to sell it online. Oh well!
Lately I've been hounding the Irish job database websites and have found a few I'm really interested in. One is a position with RTE as a Public Relations Assistant for the Performance Groups, the other is a Marketing Assistant position at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. I've applied to both and am waiting on calls! Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Love and miss you all very much...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Feeling Settled

I had a couple of rough days this week. Missing my friends and of course the family. It's so hard not to call my girls, whether it be to chatter mindlessly, or vent about whatever life's dramas bring on a particular day. I have moments when I'm just plain lonely. I expected that though, and work through the moments by reading or taking a walk... usually they pass and give way to something to look forward to.
Thursday evening was a really great night with my friend, Ciara (Currently my only girlfriend in Dublin). We had an old fashioned girls' night of shopping (I caved and bought 1 thing, on sale of course!) And then went out to a yummy dinner at Wagamamas by St. Stephen's Green. It was very much needed, and cheered me right up!
This Monday I'll be taking a trip to Belfast with our friend Kieran's mom, Neasa. We're going to Ikea :) I've already gone to the website and know exactly what I'll be looking for for the flat! It will be great fun, and I'm really looking forward to getting to know Neasa a bit better, she's a really lovely person.
Earlier in the week I went into the PPS office to apply for a PPS number (similar to a US social security number). I'm actually, as a non-EU citizen, not supposed to be able to get one, but heard from a few people that they sometimes give them out anyway. Sure enough, the woman helping me filled out the paperwork and my number should be in the mail! This should make it a bit easier to get a job!
Today, frustrated with my hair, I went to get my hair cut again (always a sure way to lift the spirits!) Turned out very cute and trendy!! Lots of layers, sweeping bangs, and still a bit longer in the front! Got the seal of approval from Justin too!
I'll do my best to update the blog every few days, as I just realized I actually have a few readers! What fun! Off to wander around Grafton Street and maybe feed the ducks in the park...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Runaround

It seems since the beginning of the week I've been getting the runaround from all Irish personnel I ask for help or information about working here as an American. I've been to The Department of Justice, where the man at reception told me that I should go to the Foreign Registration Office (on the other side of town) Went there and realized that Justin and I are planning on registering with the Guard sometime before the 22nd. (completely different thing altogether). Then I tried to go to the US Embassy, only to find out they are only open on Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri from 8:30-11:30am. (Going back tomorrow morn.) Today I went to The Dept of Enterprise, Trade and Employment where they informed me that there was no one in the building that I could speak to, only a number I could call or a website I could refer to. REALLY? I didn't think of checking your bloody website. Come on people, how stupid to I look?? Also keep in mind that these offices are spread out all over the city!
Tomorrow morning Justin will go with me to The US Embassy, and probably from there back to the Office of Foreign Affairs. Check out this website to read about the new agreement that was signed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Michael Martin: Visa deal with US Government. It seems like our only hope at this point!! The only other option would be for me to enroll in a course so that I would be able to work 20 hours or less per week.... and that option would be more to give me something to do than make money. Keep your fingers crossed for us!
Saturday we are off to the French Riviera for our honeymoon!! We are so excited to relax a little and take a break from this huge whirlwind that we have been swirling in since before the wedding!

Monday, September 29, 2008


Taking a pit stop in an internet cafe at the moment because I've been roaming the city looking for an office I'm convinced does not exist. I'm trying to get more information on a holiday visa, which I originally thought was a 3 month work visa. Apperently you can obtain one for up to 2 years. We'll see.

Today is my first solo day in the city! Justin went into the college this morning and I got up and attepted to go for a run. My run was cut short because it was raining and I couldn't find the park I was looking for. . . I know, what a surprise!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Safe and sound

Justin and I arrived in Dublin Monday morning at 8:00 am to a bright, brisk day - perfect for jumping into the search for our new home and begining the endless string of errand running. We didn't even bother with the bus into the city because we had so much luggage; went straight for a van taxi instead. We arrived at our hotel in the City Center and didn't expect to check in until that afternoon but were fortunate to put our things into a room that had just been cleaned, ours for the next four days, while we search for a place to live!

After calling a few property owners about veiwings we were our way to finding home. First up: A flat on Blackhorse Avenue. We got a taxi to the area, as it was a little outside the city, and asked the driver what his opinion of the area was... to which he replied "Ahh... it's a bit dodgy in spots, to be honest..." Great. We coninued on regardless and set out to see the veiwing through. Turns out the taxi driver was right on with his opinion. The place was dirty and gross and most definitely in a rough neighborhood, although the apartment did boast it's own "private lane" which to me looking more like a scary back ally! Needless to say, that landlord got a big fat "no" from us!

Not feeling too defeated, we trudged on to our next meeting is Ballsbridge (D4), which is quite well know for being a very safe, nice part of town - we were very optimistic! We found the place to be within a gorgeous Georgian building with a bright blue door. We walked into the building and were still impressed with the very nice entryway. As we opened the door to apartment number 9 we held our breath, hoping for the best... and it was love at first sight. Although it's very small, it's exactly what we had in mind. It's bright, quiet and clean and has loads of potential. After asking a few questions we made our decision to take it, right then and there.

That said, yesterday and today we've been setting up house. It's 9:00 now and I'm really tired from a long day's work! Justin and I are relaxing at his friend, Kieran's house. Well, actually they are playing a football video game and I'm using the internet :-)

I have a feeling that this is going to be a fantastic couple of years!