The time has come for this viking to go home. After a wonderful and adventurous year+ in Dublin and Ireland, it is time to go home.
I have made some wonderful friends here, coming from various countries. I certainly hope to see them soon again.
In my ways, Ireland has become an important part of my life for me. However, the most important and what Ireland will always mean to me is, independence. I have grown a lot personally by living in Ireland over the last year. I have become more sure of myself and can handle so much more now, I believe. I know now that I can handle things on my own, and everything will be fine.
And everything will be fine. I have no idea what comes next. For now, I’ll wait for my flight at Dublin airport and go home. We’ll see what happens next.
This concludes my blog and journey in Ireland. If you want to read more of my stuff and see what else I do, jump over to my website and see my projects at http://www.sofiemunkhasselbom.dk
So today it has been a year, since I arrived in this country and moved in at Phibsborough. A lot has happened since then, but I feel very ambiguity about this. When you say that it has been 1 year, it does not sound right. The time frame does not meet the experience in itself. When I think about how long ago I left Denmark to live here, it feels like so much more time has passed, more like a decade. However, when I think about how far away Denmark feels emotionally, as in being homesick and the like, it does not seem like a year at all.
I was back in Denmark in September and I have been a few times this last year, so that closes the emotional gap and technology has certainly helped. However, technology can only go so far and never closes the gap completely. Therefore, in that sense, Denmark does not feel so far away, but I do feel farther away, if that makes sense.
It has been a year of adventure and personal growth, I would say, but I am getting to a point where I need a new change and use the things I have learned here. Luckily, I will not have long to way, as I heading back to Denmark in less than 3 weeks time.
Two weeks ago I had some visitors, two great friends came and saw me in Dublin, and it was wonderful having a bit of home with me for a while in Ireland. We went to various things, but one very impressive things was the tour of the Wicklow mountains. It is unlike anything we have in Denmark, as it is a very flat country (I think only the Netherlands top us on that front), and here we saw mountains. We were not that far from Dublin city and there were mountains?!
I am so glad I got to go and especially share it with friends. The nature of Ireland is really something in its own right. There is something very calming about it in a way. I cannot explain it. I see it also like how Denmark could have looked like. For some reason it makes me less homesick.
Beside our trip to Wicklow mountains, we got to visit two other places, I had wanted to visit for a while, but not alone. It felt it would not have been the same; and I believe I was right. Guinness storehouse and Jameson distillery. It was really interesting and the tasting of course, only made the whole thing better. Drinking Guinness before lunch and without the biggest breakfast, resulted in me being a little tipsy and having a bit of a hangover, while we were eating lunch. I find it somewhat poetic that my first “day-time-drunk” (but really tipsy) experience happened in Ireland.
I spend most of the day trying to figure out what to take a picture of and felt so silly that when after work I went shopping and saw pumpkins on sale. Halloween, of course!
Usually, back home I would have seen more stuff on sale for Halloween and more advertising for costumes at this point. Quite frankly, I would probably see Christmas sales by now. Here in Ireland there is not as much focus on it and I am happy for that change. I think we start way too early for selling out Halloween stuff and Christmas too in Denmark. This is much more to my liking.
I have never done much about Halloween; I watch scary movies on the day and once I had a costume on for work (that was quite funny serving customers like that). Other than that (and the occasional party) I do not do much on this day. It would be fun to perhaps find a party this year and see an Irish Halloween, it is not every day you get to do that, when you do not usually live in Ireland.
If that happens I will let you know how it went. Night for now!
This is my local Spar in Rathmines and from the outside it looks a bit lige a Danish version would, but it is a different story once inside. It is much more high-end than in Denmark. In Denmark this is counted as budget low-end store, which does not really carry any special products or brand. Whereas in Dublin they can have a real cafe as part of the store and have ready-made food to eat on the go. It is much more compact and only has a kiosk and not a check-out part where you can queue up.
When I lived in Phibsborough, I had a Tesco, which is so much more similar to a Danish Spar or supermarket in general. There was nothing closer, but in Rathmines I also have a Aldi, Lidl, Dunnes, Centra and a Tesco, so much more variant. The other stores looks the same as I know them in other countries, but Spar was and sometimes still is, a surprise. I see it more as a kiosk than a market, as it reminds me of a gas station of train station kiosk.
I bike past this place everyday to and from work and I always find it to be full of laughter, more than most place, especially on Fridays. I always make me smile and I really should try and go in there on time. However, it is usually quite crowed like in the picture, so I figure that I rather not.
It is places like this that makes Dublin more alive than Copenhagen, London, Berlin or Paris. No matter the time of year, people will spill into the street from the pub. Apart of the pub is out in front of the door and out in public place. In most other cities I have been people are confined to the inside of the pubs, bars, clubs and discos and only go out to get air or smoke (or they are queuing to get in). They are not out in the street, laughing the night away.
Given that these are pubs that we are talking about, the mood tend to be elevated and high spirited, hence there are more laughter. This only adds to the liveliness of Dublin as a city and I am going to miss that, when I go back to Denmark. It is a shame we do not have more of this in Copenhagen.
Milk in your tea!
I find this truly disgusting!
I am sorry if I offend anyone by saying this, but I do. Milk is not suppose to go in tea. You can use honey or sugar, not milk. This isn’t coffee, cacao or cereal. Tea and milk are two fluids that are not suppose to be mixed together. It is like you are thinning milk or something and then it just tastes odd and frankly of nothing.
Whenever I see anyone thinking milk with tea, I find myself baffled and questioning this person’s mind, because I am always intrigued when I meet people
that are mad different than myself. Also, I cannot help to winkle my nose when a waiter or someone else ask how I take my tea “Sugar or milk?”. I think to myself, “Don’t you dare put milk in my tea, or you are staring down at a hissy fit!”
Who ever got the idea for this? Next thing you know, people will be pouring their milk before the cereal? 😉
It was a long day today and I could not find any inspiration, so I took a closer look at my own two feet. Getting to this country, almost a year ago, I felt very much in uncharted territory and constantly just trying to find some safe footing. In a very real sense I had for some time felt unbalanced and on shaky ground (as if walking around with two left feet). However, that significantly changed when I moved to Ireland. I learned how to stand on my own two opposite feet and how to take care of things all alone.
So looking at my feet, opposite of each other, holding me up and have gotten me this far, in spite of it, actually because of it; makes me just the tiniest bit of pride. It is affirming to know that I can count on myself to handle things on my own.
However, as I said it was a long day today, so I will end here and see you tomorrow with a new photo.
The view outside my window tonight. This might not be the best picture, but I was a little late out, so this is what you get (deal with it). I have a view of the back gardens and back roads; it is much more quiet than at the front, where you have the busy road of Rathmines Road. However, when opening the window you can hear the slightly distance sound of the local pub, so you know you are in the city.
We do have a back gaden, but it is not used by anyone, which I think is a shame. I see great potential for garden parties with grilling and barbecue. Also, just nice to go outside. Unfortunately, it is not kept and just filled with bushes and some garbage. With the building being shined up, I do hope they clear that out too. It would be great if we could hang our cloths to dry out there, but oh well….
I must say that I prefer this view to the one I had in Phibsborough, which was just a few roof tops and not high enough that you could not see far enough out. Here, I mostly see the neighbors and people walking along the back roads. Also, one stray cat, which sits on the opposite wall and just waits for something and then leaves by going east. Occasionally, it will be meowing for quite a while, sometimes by our garden door, until one of my downstairs neighbors will call out to it, to make it go away.
Otherwise there is not much action going on there, which you need occasionally need, so all is good.
You don’t have to walk far to get a sign from anywhere in Dublin, much like any other capital city in the world. However, the busses are more used in this matter than in Denmark I find, but that might just be because of the size of the busses. On aveage the Dublin busses are double the size.
This was especially evident and to my benefit during last Christmas when I saw Mads Mikkelsen on the side of every bus advertising Carlsberg. It gave me a sense of home and Denmark did not feel so far away.
When taking the bus every day I cannot help but snigger (still) when I see the bus lane mark on the road, because in Gaelic it is just the road scream “LANA!” (spelled “Lána bus”) at me! I can still hear Archer in my mind’s ear shouting at me for attention.
The picture above is from just outside my door, so I am met with Lana everyday and it does make the start of the day a bit better, even in this rainy weather. I just to prefer taking the train (in general) but in Dublin, if it is between taking the train and sitting on top and in front in the bus, I will always choose the bus.
As every official sign in Ireland is printed/labelled twice, once in English and once in Gaelic, I often find myself paying just a tiny bit more attention to these signs, than I would in Denmark, because of curiosity. I do wonder how to pronounce the Gaelic version and I am reminded and find it fascinating that this country does have two official languages.