This blog is no longer being updated.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

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!