A bit of advice, Irish mammies, and more.

Well, it’s been three months and I’m still walking everywhere.  Luckily I do have some access to a ride in a pinch though.  Work is still hard to find here without transport.  I would highly recommend that anyone planning on exchanging a licence from another country to just bite the bullet and take the classes and test.  When the government says 3 months, it will take at LEAST that long.  I still have no sign of it and NDLS could only escalate the claim.  I wanted to avoid the 600+ Euro bill and test waiting period, but now I’m down 3 months of work.  

It is true that the Irish are very helpful and friendly once they get to know you a bit.  They kinda claim you a bit I think once you start using the phrases (unbeknownst to yourself) and the town/entire county spreads word of your presence (also unbeknownst to you.). It seems even 5 year olds here will go and tell their family who they saw you with!  

I do love the work ethic and mindset here in some ways, though it’s a double sided coin.  If there was one phrase I’d associate with Ireland it would be: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”. I see incredible opportunities here, room for improvement…BUT…getting people to jump on board or accept these things is a whole different thing.  Dishes in restaurants, chimney caps, products available…the list is huge, but I am starting to see why all the Italian guys came here with amazing food, yet decided to open chippers.  It can be good in certain ways…you can get away with the minimum, you know what works and exactly how to do something, on the other hand, you are just adding to an already dilute market.  I have some ideas on how to break through in certain areas, but unlike other continents, Europe, especially Ireland, is comfortable in it’s old ways.  Plumbing, building, service industry, all of it.  The bigger areas, the larger cities are different, but there really aren’t any large cities in Ireland.  This is one of the things I also love about this country though.  Go to New York City, London, Dubai, Bejing, Berlin…you’ll find anything, you’ll find unique, odd, offensive, whatever… but Dublin, the largest city in Ireland is just a more diverse and larger, more pretentious version of Ireland in general… I love it.  I can see how a native born Irish citizen could feel at home anywhere in the country.

If you go to another state in the US, most if the time it will feel almost like another country.  The lifestyle, attitudes, beliefs, vary so much from place to place.  I’d say the only things that vary much here are accents and phrases and they vary much more than anywhere else! 

Irish mammies are really quite something else.  Mothers everywhere will feed you to some extent, they will tell you to keep warm, or give similar advice, but nowhere else will they fuss over you the way they do here.  

They worry if you’re eating enough and assume you have the bubonic plague if you miss a meal.  

They know for fact that if you go out without a jacket at almost any time if year other than July and August that you’ll catch African sleeping sickness or some other illness (even though it’s pretty much proven a myth)

They will notice any slight yawn or reduction in alertness, discomfort, pain, anything.  

They will worry for you in just about any way imaginable and do what they can to help, and if they are not your mother, sometimes they will act through proxy so as not to seem overwhelming until they can sneak in and become overwhelming.  No amount of experience, knowledge, or capability will grant you knowledge greater than theirs either, so the American “ma I’m fine” doesn’t work.

All in all, things are OK, as long as this local job comes though, or something else comes up, I’ll be OK.  I wish health and safety / the government didn’t put so many road blocks up though.  If there weren’t so many different qualifications and BULLSHIT courses needed, the unemployment rate would reduce greatly!  I think I know how to wear a hard hat and lift with my legs…it’s so frustrating to be confronted with so many frivolous and unnecessary obstacles.  I came to this country to create jobs, but instead of taking a couple people off their welfare system over the next couple years, I’ll be working, saving, and trying to figure out how to fit the health and safety requirements to hire people…if I even try, it’s almost seeming not to be worth it.

Even a local council member joked with me about the ineffectiveness of the government…not really confidence building I know…

Until next time!

Nighthawks at the Diner

Nighthawks at the Diner

Every time I move away from somewhere, I realize certain things I miss, and find ways to adapt.  There are so many great things about Ireland I enjoy.  If I was having better luck at finding local work, I would be able to enjoy them more.  The local pubs always have good trad sessions going, and I have always LOVED trad music.  Even if I just have one pint, and get a cab home, it’s more than €10 Euro. I don’t think there are many times I just have one to be honest. The other thing I love doing here is just going for a drive (Americans…don’t call it a ride here!) And taking photos, or just enjoying the countryside (which is the whole country.). 

Unfortunately, I’m still waiting on my licence 3 months later, and it will probably end up being restricted to automatics (impossible to find in this country) whereas in America and Canada we don’t have separate licenses. My advice would be to just go through the test process instead of exchange.  

Finding work here locally is very tough as a local, let alone a foreigner who doesn’t have even an E.U. citizenship.  I just got two job offers though, so hopefully after the second interviews they will be solid.  

I’ve been listening to one of my favorite albums: “Nighthawks at the Diner” by Tom Waits lately.  I used to get up at the crack of noon, or later, and work all night at my studio and before that, a bar or music venue.  Playing music into the wee hours and watching the late night characters over a corned beef on rye and coffee and pie at 3am.  The jazz and blues clubs got to know me well, and whereas the local pubs here are more if a social atmosphere…the jazz clubs and some bars in the u.s. are more geared to letting people disappear and blend into the darkness.  A calm, dark corner was always available after a long day or night, the diner was always a few blocks away open to serve day old pie and mud coffee 24 hours a day.  It’s probably better to be here now as I need a bit more structure these days, a change.  All of the things I miss are great, but nothing I can’t live without and it makes them all the more special for when I go visit home, or any of the other places I’ve lived, as a tourist or visitor.  

Although I would love to introduce a late night business here, something different, it wouldn’t fly.  It seems the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Is more of a religion here.   There are only a certain type out all hours here, with a complete lack of other late night jobs and businesses… there is no further demand.  The same goes with the food.  There’s a certain take on every cuisine, and new or unknown things don’t do entirely well.  Perhaps I’ll check out the cities and do further research, but living in Dublin is completely out of the question considering living and rent expenses vs a pay rate that isn’t much different than the rest of the country.

I’ll have to roam Cork and Kilkenny soon to check out the life there since they are near enough.  I’m looking forward to getting citizenship here so traveling and doing business within the EU will be easier then.  

I’m going to RE-ignite a project I started in America…going to pubs and recording stories and conversations of everyday folk…stay tuned. Good luck!