Now that I’ve survived them, they’re much easier to write about. But boy, what a rush of adrenaline I was riding those first two days we were living in Ireland. This trip was much more different than our first trip here, as this time I had a job, we had a place to live and our life here was just waiting for us to jump into it. And jump is exactly what we did.
The first thing we did after landing was to rent a car. Adam had used the 13 hours of travel time to adequately psych himself up to do two things: remember how to drive a stick shift and drive on the left side of the road. And he did both with aplomb. Of course, Google maps took us on a crazy route from the airport, leading us down a narrow road with only enough room for one car, on the side of a hill. It was quite the adventure but we made it to our new home safely. Adam only got honked at while in roundabouts, but in his defense, we’ve found out since then that even the Irish aren’t very good at navigating roundabouts.
We unloaded the car and checked out our new digs, which we rented without ever seeing. After looking around our new apartment, we made an inventory of what we needed to purchase. Our apartment came furnished but that didn’t include any bedding. So it was off to IKEA with a list and a limited amount of time to get all we needed.
WOW. We’ve been in a busy IKEA store before, but this one was fairly spectacular. It seemed that most of Dublin was at IKEA, leisurely shopping and taking their time with it. We picked up sheets, towels, pillows, duvets, hangers and a sweet cutting board. It took all the energy I had to keep Adam on track (he loves him some kitchen gadgets) and get us out of there in an hour. Three hundred euros later, we had most of what we needed to get to sleep that night.
From there, it was straight over to a friend of a friend in a neighborhood on the north side of Dublin. This friend of a friend was holding the stuff that we’d left behind on our first trip to Ireland back in October. At the time, we thought we would only be gone six weeks and so our stuff (a few backpacks, a small suitcase, our cable setup and Eli’s scooter) was safely stored away in a friend’s garage.
Then that friend got transferred to Berlin and he passed our stuff off to his friends, who quickly became our friends, mostly because they were doing us a solid favor. (Confused yet?) After the IKEA trip from hell, we headed to their house to get our stuff out of their attic. Turns out they’re lovely people, so when they offered us beers, we ended up hanging out for a few hours. By this time, it’s almost 8pm. I have to start my new job the next day. We’ve only landed in Ireland earlier that morning. AND I AM SO TIRED.
We got back to our new apartment in Greystones by 9pm and then we had to go about making the beds so that we could collapse in them. By this time, I’m running on fumes and barely keeping it together. I know I need to sleep, since again, I’m starting my new job the next day but my mind was racing and I wanted to unpack my suitcase fully. I finally got into bed around 10pm and set two alarms for the next day, anxious not to fuck up and oversleep.
Since we had the rental car, Adam gave me a ride into the office, which is located one village over in Bray. I showed up, was immediately overwhelmed by names and tried to remember what it’s like to work in an office with other adults. In my defense, it had been six months since I’d last done such things. I hit it off with my team and found out that my deskmate lives right around the corner in the same neighborhood. She kindly offered me a ride home, making my first day commute especially easy.
I also discovered the ways of the new office, including the fact that the test kitchen is always pushing out delicious food that is offered up to employees when photo shoots are over. Turns out that the sugar helped with the jet lag and although I was exhausted, my gratitude at having a job and landing in an awesome place helped me get through the first day at work.
We ordered pizza that first night, unpacked more of the suitcases and passed out, content in the knowledge that our new adventure was just getting started.