Well hello from Ireland! I’m still waiting for my internet connection but I’m gonna start writing at home and then put it online elsewhere.
The last hours in Germany were kind of hectic and my stomach was a little upset from getting up at 2:30am. I get that sometimes but the fact that there’s an evil stomach virus going around in Europe didn’t add to my happiness. Thankfully my stomach was fine later in the day but I did feel pretty sick in the morning. My Mom drove me to the airport in Hanover and as I attempt to check in at the e-ticket counter the screen tells me “Your flight has been annulled”. Boy was I happy! Because it meant that I got to fly Lufthansa via Frankfurt and got free refreshments and even a tiny bread roll whereas on SAS I’d have had to pay for even water. All that and I only got into Dublin an hour later than scheduled.
The flights were lovely, I got to see the pre-dawn sky over Germany and there almost no clouds on my way to Ireland so I had a great view of the coast and the mountains.
Once landed, I hauled my bags to a taxi and picked up my apartment keys from a colleague.
The apartment itself is alright I guess. I have a pretty nice room with a big window and my own bathroom. The latter was super disgusting as I got there. You’d figure it’d be somewhat clean when you move to a new apartment but there was tons of hair on the floor and in the shower – and I’m not talking just head hair! Gross!! The kitchen was also something else. I felt so grossed out when I entered it. All the dishes were dirty and in and around the sink and 4 pots were on the stove with left over food. Yuk! Carpet totally dirty and the garbage filled to the rim. Kind of reminded me of my one Roommate in Charlotte… 😉
Speaking of roommates, when I got here on Saturday morning, my one roommate, Tony, quickly said hello to me and then vanished under the shower. I figured he’d come and talk to me and explain how things work after he was done but he just strutted out of the apartment right away. Oh-kay. And that’s all I saw of him until Tuesday night. On Sunday I came home and there was a girl there, my other roommate Elena. They are both flight attendants for Ryan Air and so live a pretty busy life. I was told that I’d be the only one for a while but these two have yet to move out but there new place is not vacant yet.
So of course Saturday after unpacking I went to Aldi, which is about 10 minutes away from here, and got some cleaning supplies to disinfect my bath. Unfortunately I also wiped the kitchen counters while I waited for my water to boil. You know how you should never clean after other people? Yeah, remember that my readers because I carried out the trash in Charlotte once when it wasn’t my turn but I couldn’t stand it anymore and I got a huge cut on my leg from something sharp in the trash bag. Well, this time as I was wiping off the counters, there was a piece of glass laying there and of course I cut myself in the finger. Very painful!! Of course that added to my aggravation towards those flatmates.
Then last night, Elena had a pilot friend over and they were chatting away in Spanish. Ruuuude! I was like, ok, point taken and I went back to my room. Later on though I was having dinner in the kitchen and they came back with another friend of hers, some Dutch pilot. So finally they were talking English and we hung out for a bit and it was pretty nice I have to say. We’re actually planning on going out together next week. Yay! I also talked with Tony a bit today after work when he was finally not at work and he seems much nicer now, too, that the kitchen is cleaner. Just the smoking and leaving t-shirts on the sofa all the time is still annoying. Cross your fingers that they move soon! 😉
Otherwise, the apartment is alright. There are some things here of course that I’ve never seen before like a pre-paid electricity device. You basically buy cards from the office and then put them in this meter. So far so good but the 5€ cards don’t even last 24 hours, the meter is fixed to the wall more than 2 meters high and I cannot reach it without a chair, and finally, when the money runs out, the thing starts beeping and doesn’t stop until you’ve inserted a new card that you hopefully remembered to purchase. Annoying!!!!
Another peculiar thing is the water faucet on my sink. There is a faucet for cold water and one for warm water so you’re screwed if you want a combination of both. Well, warm water is an issue for itself actually. The standard is to have no warm water available. If you want to have some you have to start a two hour heat boost and then you can define for how long the water should stay heated. Annoying! Needless to say I was very happy when I had warm water this morning to take a shower. 🙂
So much about the apartment. Oh I should have enough space to put an air mattress in there for when y’all want to visit.
Like I wrote, Saturday I went to Aldi to get some basic shopping done. Let me tell you, Ireland is soooo expensive! Even the shopping carts want more money here. Instead of using 1€ as a refund thingy, they use 2€. No use for my shopping cart chip here then. Prices at Aldi are about as high as they are for brand products at Extra in Germany I’d say. Or maybe like brand groceries in the US but only if you take in account the exchange rate. And that’s Aldi products!
After unpacking and cleaning and resting I got up again and walked to a shopping center about 20 minutes away from here. I was told that there was a store that sold cheap towels etc. And they were cheap! I found Penney’s and got some towels and bath mats as well as a double pack of hats seeing that I had left mine in Germany and the temperatures were pretty low. I got more groceries and things at Tesco and then walked back home again after checking out where the office was.
Sunday I had planned on going to the city center but there was so much fog around that I didn’t feel like it and instead walked to another shopping center to find more essential things. I got a mobile phone and some more groceries as well as some towel hooks and shower shelf with suction cups. Unfortunately, I forgot that those don’t stick on mini tiles and so now I’m hoping that they stick to the shower doors even though I use those and to the bathroom door that’s kind of made of wood but not really ;-).
Getting a new base of groceries always takes a bit of time for me but after having been to Aldi again on Tuesday, I now feel like I have some food here. 🙂
Back home from the shopping center I actually took the bus so I’m very proud of me that I got to where I needed to get ;). There are no announcements on the bus and not half the stops are listed on the plan at the busstops that actually have a plan and schedule. Nope, not all them have that, some just have a “bus” sign and that’s it.
Oh yeah, signs, very funny, they have all signs here bilingual in English and Gaelic even though only 5% even still know how to speak Gaelic.
Traffic is another thing. I always have to concentrate really hard when I want to cross the street. No quick left-right-left but a very conscious right-left-right and maybe again before crossing the roads. I am getting better at it but turning lanes still get me and also exit and entry ramps.
On Monday I started work and so far all my colleagues seem really lovely. I already have things to do and a project to work on so that sounds much better than my last internship. We bring our lunch and then eat together and on Monday I went for a walk with two of my colleagues afterwards and got to see a bit more of the area. I live close to the airport so as in most cities it’s not the nicest area. It’s not yet the ghetto but it comes close to Ghettowood (nickname for my apartment complex in Charlotte) again. There’s also lots of trash laying around by the sidewalks and those are in bad shape, too. My apartment complex is very tidy (well except for my kitchen ;-)) and fenced in with a gate so I do feel save. Luckily I also walk to work and back in daylight.
Well, so so far I’ve been ok. Nothing special has happened yet. I don’t know any people to hang out with yet but I hope my new roommates will be really nice and also like hanging out with me. I want to get out and see the city center this weekend hopefully. I might even have to go on Thursday to pick up a network cable – no electronics stores in the shopping centers I were….
Pictures shall be on flickr once I have internet access at my place – and enough electricity to run my computer there ;-).