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Cinnamon patrol

Mr and Mrs Lili Wedding

 

Postcards from Dublin #3 - Dublin one interview at a time

After the non-event that was job-hunting in the week after Easter, this week has been nuts. It turns out the thing to do is to put your CV on Monster and make it searchable. Then your phone just starts ringing - you don't even need to look at job ads! Of course I didn't know that, so I also - shotgun style - applied for a bunch of jobs which only compounded things.

As well as less pleasant things like technical exams and dressing in a suit (quite a shock after 3+ months in jeans and shorts), I've been able to get a good look at the city.

Park West: Yesterday saw me at Park West which is a massive business park about 30 minutes west of the city centre. I caught a special Park West coach from the city centre (another story altogether). Apart from suburbia, the only thing of note was Phoenix Park. We only skirted around the boundary, but you could sense its imposing massiveness. Park West itself was what you'd expect a massive business park to be. I spent a good-humoured 20 minutes or so wandering up and down cookie-cutter streetlets trying to find my appointment. I don't remember much of the return journey as I was on my cellphone the entire time. I must have looked a right girlypants to my fellow coach passengers - funny guy with in a suit, pasty after an exam, selling himself non-stop on his cellphone. Foreigner to boot.

Fairview: Not an exciting desitnation in itself, but isn't life about the journey? My first trip on a Dublin Bus bus! The helpful contact at the company had told me to catch route 123 from O'Connell St. The thing about taking a bus in a strange place is the fear that you'll miss your stop or not even know where your stop is. It took me a while to reverse-engineer the bus route from the website and at 08:10 this morning, map in hand to track the bus along its course, I rolled up to O'Connell St (a 3 minute walk) and boarded the 123. The extensive Dublin Bus network seems very efficient. You need to know how much the fare is in advance - you put the money a machine (exact change only), and the ticket comes out. No need to talk to the driver. It's all quite fast. So fast in fact, that I turned up to my appointment 30 minutes early. Completely at ease on my return journey, I both boarded the bus and disembarked (at a stop closer to our apartment) while talking on my cellphone. Then I walked to the apartment, up two flights of stairs, and sat on a couch in the hall-way. Still talking on my cellphone.

Sandyford, well Stillorgan really: The moment I had been waiting for! Dublin has a light-rail system called the Luas. There are some issues with the network (it is in two sections which do not connect) but generally speaking it is excellent. Auckland NEEDS a light-rail system like this. It really is shabby that successive councils have completely failed in this respect - how great would it be to catch a light-rail train up Queen St and along K'Rd or Symonds St - possibly even to Newmarket. Interestingly, the Luas is the only public transport initiative in Europe not funded by the Government. It is privately owned and run, and it makes a profit. So I sped off on the Luas green line and was delivered safely at my destination about 20 minutes later. Clean as a whistle, fast as a speeding light-rail system. One of things I like about light rail is how it makes use of existing roads in the inner-city areas but has its own corridor (and can go faster) in less built up areas. I love the Luas. I am a Luas lover. I only hope to use it again soon. (My return trip was just a good BTW and on both occasions I only had to wait a few minutes for the train to arrive).

Christchurch (inner city): This I accomplished on foot. A 20-25 minute walk from our lodging. I walked west along the Liffey and crossed over on Grattan (hmm ... gratin....) Bridge, through Parliament Street to Lord Edward Street. Dublin Castle is here, along with Christchurch Cathedral, St Werburgs Church and City Hall. After my interview I ambled back home down cobblestoned streets (real cobblestones mind you, real old ones, not that I'm pointing figures at one, but you know who you are Nuffield St) and came out right at Govindas. Ahh Govindas. More warm vege curry, and the end of an extremely busy two days.

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