Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Our author, drinking morning coffee, contemplating the day's activities...

Tuesday Morning, 10:40am. One of my packages still hasn't come, and I can't seem to find the mailing receipt, which means that if it doesn't come, I'm screwed. I'm really annoyed at myself, and I don't even want to look at which box it is. I really hope it isn't the one with my wacom tablet, because that will be a bit of money to replace. I hope it isn't any of them, but it's got to be one, of course.

Yesterday we had to go to immigration so I could register. Mark wanted to leave first thing in the morning, but I really wanted to stick around and see if my package came in the post. It didn't, and so we got a late start. Because of the holiday, the Department hadn't been open since before Christmas, so it was a madhouse when we walked in. I asked the person at the front where to go, and he told me to get a ticket at window 15. It was sort of crazy in there, and I was sort of myopic when I walked in the room, that I immediately thought, “What luck! Window 15 seems like the only one with no line!” So I walked up and got my ticket. But as we walked away, we realized that we had just inadvertently cut about 50 people in line. So with still about two hours wait by our estimation (there was 167 people ahead of me), we sheepishly left in search of internet and food. We went to one of Mark's favorite vegetarian restaurants, Govinda's

But then when we got back, we discovered that there would still be about three hours' wait until my number was called! So we left again, but got a little nervous after a couple of hours. Here are some photos I took while we were out and about:

The River Liffey

Mermaid Sea Horses on Mark's favorite bridge

It turns out there was no need to hurry back – we still waited a couple more hours in the Immigration Department, and I started to get really nervous that the office would close before my number would be called. But finally I did get called, and everything went smoothly – I got my immigration ID free of charge, and it entitles me to work for the next five years. After that, I'm not sure what I've got to do.

By the time all that was done, we were pretty grumpy, so we stopped into a middle eastern market for a couple of food items for the kitchen (mostly spices), and headed for home. I was feeling very sad, to be honest, that another day had passed and I didn't accomplish all the things I wanted to accomplish. It's hard because I have this gigantic to-do list and yet limited resources, and of course I want to do everything at once. But, you know, I can't get a job without being a legal resident, so there's that. Although the kitchen came furnished with plates and silverware and pans, we can't cook decent meals without going out and spending some time and money getting food and other things like cutting boards, spices, oils, condiments, etc – things you have in your pantry that you don't think about until your pantry is literally bare! I still have a list of about 20 items that I need to buy, but we've made some very nice meals yet.

Today I'm going to go out by myself while Mark works on schoolwork here at home. He has been wonderful about going around with me, setting up the house, and all of that, but he has two papers to complete by the end of the month and he needs to get cracking. Though as I am typing this, he is assembling my bike. I am trying to maintain a very positive attitude, but I have to admit that each day to do hit a wall of frustration, not knowing where I'm going, where things are, what stores have what, what buses go where, not being able to call up any number of people and say, “What are you doing? Let's get lunch / dinner / drinks / karaoke or whatever.” And so that's hard. I know it will be lonely for a while, and knowing that makes it a little harder, actually. I think about how just days ago I was with all my friends laughing and carrying on, and sometimes I think, “Oh shit.” But I know that I will have new friends here, and that my old friends will always be there, and we'll keep in touch (much better once I have internet at home), and life just has to go this way. And as for family, I still can't even think about it without breaking into tears. I hope that gets much, much easier. And I hope my sister is working on her vacation to London as we speak so I can meet her there. ;)

There's a new IKEA in Dublin, but it isn't clear to me how to get there. I could go to the bus info center and ask how to get there, but I'm wary of carrying the things I actually want to get there. So instead I may just try to shop around some other stores for something to hold my clothes today. If I find something, great, and if I don't, then I'll have managed to get a look around the city on my own. The weather here is consistently cold, not so far from how it is at home, but much more consistent, so we don't get those freaky 60 degree days out of the blue. It's in the high 30s to low 40s pretty much every day. It has not rained during the day since I've been here, but it's mostly overcast every day.

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