Monday, December 15, 2008

Where in America Are You From?

Matt and I have hit the one month mark! Can you believe it? How many of you thought we'd be home by now?! (For a minute there, I thought I'd be too!)

Lots of things have happened since my last blog. Last week my Dida (my mom's dad) passed away. It's been difficult being so far away from home and from my family, but the e-mails, pictures, and MSN and webcam chats really helped to make me feel like I was there through it all. Thanks to all of YOU for your messages and kind words too - it really means a lot.

Dida, you will be missed...xo

I finally had enough with my restaurant job and quit on Friday. It wasn't worth me being so miserable every day, and I couldn't be happier now that I've left. Plus, I'm not sure how many more times I could handle someone asking me "Where in America are you from?" or hearing "I know someone who went to Vancouver once." And don't even get me started on the "You know you're Canadian, when..." jokes! I got one paycheque out of it, which will help me along, but the job search begins again!

Matt and I did manage to get some temporary work for the weekend, handing out leaflets on the City Centre streets. We met up with a guy covered in gold bracelets, rings and chains, missing teeth, and a cigarette in his mouth. This oughta be good! He told us what to do and where to go, and then Matt asked how we're getting paid. The guy said we have to e-mail his boss in London and he'll arrange it. From that point on, we knew we wouldn't be seeing a cent. But we figured, what the heck, what else were we doing anyway?! We continued down the street to hand out leaflets in hopes that we'd eventually get paid. Well, that lasted about 5 minutes, when the Garda came and told us handing out leaflets is illegal according to Dublin litter laws and we had to stop. We talked to dude about the situation (which he, I'm sure, was fully aware of to begin with) and that we weren't comfortable continuing, and our stash of leaflets made their way to the recycling bin. That's two jobs I quit in two days. Now I have the reputation of being a serial quitter around here!

Matt had an interview last week...finally! It was a group interview for a stock-taking position, which he said was a joke. They gave them simple math tests, and one by one, people were eliminated from the interview if they didn't answer a certain number correctly. Matt, being the smarty pants that he is, survived elimination (sounds like Survivor!) and still has yet to hear back from them about a job. We're not worried about looking for work this week, as we're leaving for Berlin for a week on Friday anyway.

I went to the City Hall just across the street from us to take in a photography exhibition. The photographs depicted homeless, alcoholic, and drug addicted people of Dublin, and it was quite disturbing. It seems like there are lots of crazies on the streets around here, and a tonne of people rattling their cups with change. Matt says it's no different than being downtown Toronto and we're just not used to being around it, but I feel like it's worse here. We've been woken up at night to people fighting in the streets, I saw a couple yelling and throwing all their stuff into the middle of traffic, and yesterday a man laying on the ground bleeding and a girl screaming for help. It's pretty sad to see, you wonder how people get like that. To distract myself from the gruesome exhibition, I decided to take pictures of the beautiful building surrounding me!

City Hall

Don't you just LOVE that ceiling?!

Saturday night we were invited to Pete's house (the Kiwi fella who works at the hostel reception) to have dinner with his wife and brother-in-law. It felt good to be in a real place with real couches that you could just sprawl out on (and that we did!) We played games and listened to music, Pete played the guitar and we just had a good time hanging out. They made pie for dinner. Not dessert pie, but New Zealand pie with steak and cheese and mushrooms and onions, served with mashed potatoes. It was dee-lish! Pete is one of the nicest people I've met. He's even invited all of the longtermers at the hostel over to his little place for Christmas dinner, which we'll have to miss since we're in Berlin.

On Sunday, Matt and I woke up late (not unlike any other day around here, really) and decided to hit up The Museum of Decorative Arts and History. Now, you'd think I'd be all over this, but maaaan were we boooored! The only good part was the Eileen Gray exhibition - I didn't realize she was Irish. I got to see REAL Eileen Gray chrome side tables and other furniture, which was pretty cool.

Where's Wilder?
Matt standing outside of the museum, which used to be military housing

Last night we went to the "12 Days of Christmas" market in the Docklands. This only got me more excited for what's ahead in Berlin. We enjoyed some hot apple cider, falafels, and lentil soup, played some games and perused the shops. We avoided the sausages because I have a feeling we'll be consuming many of those in Germany!

I doubt that I'll be writing again before we leave for Germany, and I'm not sure what will happen once we get there. But if you don't hear from me for a while...



...from Dublin and Berlin!

The "12 Days of Christmas" market

Carousel at the Christmas market

Gogarty's Pub all decked out for the holidays

"Nollaig Shona Duit" - Happy Christmas to You

Henry Street lights

The Custom House

Merry Christmas from Heineken!


Anonymous said...

haha I can't believe you got in trouble by the police. Little felons.

Anonymous said...

Happy Christmas Alex & Matt!

With All Our Love,
Mom & Dad