For most of my life I have been dreaming of living in a foreign country, to experience a different culture. Some of you may think that Ireland as an English speaking country is not exactly foreign, but it truly is.
I began to get rid of lots of "stuff" before packing for my life change. I sold all my furniture and my car and left with my DSLR, my computer and other electronics, and one carryon for clothes. I like the feel of freedom that getting rid of all those things gives me.
I spent the last night in the states with my friend Mona (we had an impromptu tea party with Grace and Divya (and, of course, the ever sweet Prisha). I stayed up far too late, but slept quite well on the bed provided. In the morning over coffee and toast, we talked about all the things I was hoping to accomplish once I got here, not the least of which was to announce that I was here indefinitely when asked by the immigration officer at Dublin airport.
My friend Jerome drove me to the airport where I began this adventure. It was a long day with a 5 hour layover in Boston, but finally I was on my way across the Atlantic. I was fortunate to get a friendly, interesting seat mate, an orthopedic surgeon who practiced at one time in Alpena; small world.
When we arrived at the customs checkpoint, I had rather a dour gentleman who didn't look at all pleased when I said I planned to stay indefinitely and was hoping to get a residency permit. He grilled me about what I knew about this idea and I was happy to be able to tell him my monthly income, my desire to purchase personal health care and my plans to check in with the Garda to get my permit. He gave me some important information regarding the order in which things have to take place - apartment so I have an address, bank account, health insurance, proof of income, and finally the 300 euros to the local Garda for my permit to remain. He took my photo against a metric height chart on the wall and gave me two months to reside here while I tried to satisfy the necessary steps.
I had the most friendly bus driver on the way to Wexford, who had lots of encouragement and information for me. Though I was falling asleep on the bus, I was able to take in the beautiful scenery on the way south from Dublin. The Wicklow mountains were spectacular and the sea views were quite pleasant. Since I'd been walking all around the town with the little yellow man from google maps, I was able to find my B&B with no trouble. The only thing the little man was unable to get through to me was that the walk was uphill all the way. My combined baggage weight was at least 50 pounds so I had a good workout on my way to St. George Guesthouse.
My room was not ready when I arrived and all I wanted to do was sleep, but I was served a lovely full Irish breakfast which included beans, grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, hash browns, 2 rashers of bacon and two sausages and an egg. There was also a lovely pot of tea with assorted toasted bread and jams. In no time at all I was in my pjs and sleeping deeply.
Upon awakening, I cleaned up and headed out. I walked down the shopping area which extends for quite a long way between here and the harbor, parallel to the harbor. I bought a pair of sunglasses (don't know where mine ended up, but I was able to get a very serviceable pair for 2 euros). I then went to Vodaphone and topped up the phone I bought two years ago when I was here. So while I am apartment hunting I can call agents to set up viewing appointments. No luck today, but am hoping to get around tomorrow as the weekend is approaching and I will have to find other things to occupy my time over those two days - not to worry, I will spend much time exploring this lovely town.
I am still quite sleepy and am waiting to FaceTime Payton when she is done getting ready for dance class. I'll then FaceTime Adam's household and then have an early night. I will try to post each day to keep you up to date on this grand adventure. If you have any advice or have experience with this kind of move and have anything to offer I thank you in advance.
Tata for now.....