Saturday, 31 January 2015

One year in Ireland, and finally I found time to post about it

Hi everyone!
For some years now, this blog has been to me like that magic artifact from Harry Potter where you can put random thoughts and check them latter or even show them to other people. After a couple of attempts to start new blogs in English and getting booooooored of them, I remembered how much I like this one: no specific topic, no "lets-try-to-use-this-to-get-a-job" linkedInky business. Simply putting my thoughts here for the fun of it.

So, since the last time I posted here, I started a business, got married and moved to Ireland (even brought the dogs, and everyone thinks that was crazy). So yeah, it's been a while. And today, after exactly one year in Dublin, I just felt that I had something to say. When you are moving away, everyone tells you that the first year is the hardest (hopefully they are right!), and even though looking for the cheapest porridge and having dinner out of the left overs from the customer's plates at the restaurant I worked in for some months wasn't my definition of easy; finding your place is actually one of the biggest challenges.

I cried watching Paddington
I didn't grow up with this character but it stole my heart a few months ago when I watched its movie at the cinema. For some reason, the story about a little Peruvian English-Speaking marmelade-loving bear moving to London to find a new home, felt familiar. One thing this movie thought me is that it's wise to always carry a little sandwich around (if you buy them out, the good ones are expensive and the cheap ones are lame).

But back to the busy year
Sometimes I think to myself that I'm a character in a sit-com and that people would laugh if this was on TV. So, if this year was a season from a show, here would be some of the most memorable episodes:

  • The one with the winter: This is where they arrived and it was raining for a month. The funniest scene was when we were looking to rent a place and the home viewings had a very hunger-gamey vibe.

  • Awfully fundraising: The first job episode. And first jobs are always awful, especially when it was semi-outdoors (and you read the name of the first episode) and the supervisor made barely enough but still acted like a mini Wolf of Wall Street. I lasted a week.
  • Wine and worries: No, I didn't became an alcoholic. I got a job as a waitress at a wine bar. At the beginning it was fun, but the worries came when the hours were few enough to need that cheap porridge I mentioned before, but so badly distributed that it wasn't unusual for me to start at 10 am and go back home at 12 pm or later (if I wanted that in my life, I had gone to Med School).
  • Dogs and summer: In case you are wondering, Irish law for bringing animals is one of the most strict in the world, and Venezuelan regulations to take pets out are a bureaucratic nightmare. So, managing to bring two dogs from Caracas to Dublin was extremely hard, but at the end of this episode it was summer, and the pack was together again. Happy days.
  • Breadcrumbs everywhere: Selling bread and pastries is 1% smiling and 99% sweeping breadcrumbs. In this episode you got to see the most absurd coffee requests (like that soy milk decaff latte extra hot with no foam) and cleaning, lots of cleaning (at least the place is spotless).
  • Letting it go: One of the things I'm oddly proud of were my days as Queen Elsa. At least pretending to be her at children parties. And yes, I had to sing "Let it Go" with a bunch of little girls dressed as Disney princesses who asked me where my family is (and more than once I accidentally said Winterfell instead of Rivendell, I mean Arandell... whatever). At least when they touched my hands they got surprised at how cold they were and thought I was for real (I'm just cold all the time).
  • No Gluten, no cry: At the beginning, when offered the chance to become a gluten free baker, I felt like I was being asked to play a stringless guitar. But after a lot of research and work, I managed to get it right and I actually like it (forces you to be very creative!). 
And just to finish for today, a little conversation I had once with a customer...
Man: Where are you from?
Me: I'm from Venezuela.
Man: Wow! You're so far from home.
Me: Home's here now.
"Close your eyes and tap your heels together three times. And think to yourself, 'There's no place like home..."