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Cinnamon patrol

Mr and Mrs Lili Wedding


Postcard from Dublin (#1)

Indeed there was trouble finding #26 and indeed we were taken in, saved really, by our new friends who live a few doors down. At their apartment I had my first Guinness (on Irish soil) and we enjoyed their hospitality very much, only retiring early in the morning. And this on a day which had started early in central Athens – eating spinach and potato pies in Syntagma, near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Being an immigrant is a new experience for me and looking at a new city which you have chosen to live in, rather than visit, is both an exciting and scary prospect.

Marlborough St, which is on the north side (the less good side) of the Liffey, looked fairly forlorn at 10pm last night - not the buzzing inner-city location I was hoping for. Our saviors partly took pity on us because they believed it foolish to be wondering around in the dark with all our suitcases – we could be robbed they said - that didn’t impress me either. So imagine my delight when I drew the curtains this morning and looked out on a sunny day, a pleasant volume of people wandering past, a fruit stall right opposite, and a van delivering Polish baked goods to a shop!

This positive vibes continued on our small excursions today. Marlborough St is only a few minutes walk to several large shopping streets. We crossed the Liffey, skirted around Trinity College. We had Starbucks. We bought new prepay SIM cards. The inner city was much more impressive than I had imagined. Dublin has a population similar to Auckland so I was expecting something on a similar size, but it is much more sprawling and full of churches, impressive civil buildings and plenty of shopping, including many of the stores I didn’t think had made it here.

A couple of streets back is a cheap supermarket (Auckland multi-culturalism has prepared me well. The Lidl is not dissimilar to the Mt Albert Pak’n’Save; just smaller, a bit crappier, and with some of the Asians, Indians and Somalis swapped out for Eastern Europeans) and heaps of fruit and vegetable stalls, but more importantly, some Asian supermarkets and restaurants. In fact there seems to be quite a few Asians here which I take as a very positive endorsement. They are discerning, and they bring their cuisine with them and for that I am always grateful.

Cost wise, the nominal price of things is very similar here to NZ (by which I mean a grande caramel macchiato is about $NZ4.50 and €4.50). With $NZ1.00 buying about €0.50 that means everything is roughly twice as expensive for us while we are not working. The exception might be rent which in nominal terms is significantly higher than in Auckland. So I figure the main way to profit (financially) from being here is to save as much as possible and send it back home to the mortgage. Of course, there are other types of profit to be had too.

It’s 8pm now. The sun’s going down. The laundry is on. The Simpsons is on. I’m wondering what to have for dinner… so life goes on really.

The view from our window.

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Anonymous Bill Says:

Loving how one of your first pictures includes an advert for a Sinn Fein commemoration of the Easter Rising... Glad to hear you made it safely!


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