Since I’ve arrived in Ireland, I’ve met some of my new coworkers, walked pretty much the expanse of Dublin, and had four pints of beer and two ciders (yum). I think I’m doing alright so far! This has not been totally smooth sailing, but so far, not too bad.
Here’s a summary of what’s happened so far:
Immigration - I arrived in Dublin fully aware that my work permit had a slight issue: the date listed is July 7th, not June. I was under the impression that this would be fine because a) we have requested a correction and it’s in progress; b) Americans do not need a visa to enter Ireland on holiday; and c) I was told it would be fine. Unfortunately, the Garda at Immigration did not think it was fine - cue images of me looking back at the large line while the officer shuffles through paperwork trying to decide if this redhead really should be allowed into Ireland a whole month before her work permit is set to become active.
The officer called the HR rep I had been working with for my new position who assured him he had been in touch with the DJEI (Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation) and my work permit would be corrected soon. The officer ended the call, gave several reasons why he shouldn’t let me in, took my photo, and stamped my passport. He sternly told me that I need to go to the Garda office in Dublin by the beginning of September and pay a hefty fee to get “registered” as a foreign national in Ireland, and I was on my way. I was worried about the fee and registration, but later I was informed I would have to do this regardless of what happened during my immigration visit, so I’m not really sure why the man made such a huge statement about it.
Hotel room not ready - Okay, this is not really a big deal, but not being able to check into the hotel room right away always sucks. When you get of a long plane ride, you really just want to lay down and let your spine decompress for at least, like, 2 minutes. Instead I did the opposite and walked around Dublin with my backpack for 6 hours. Not ideal, but at least it was an amazingly sunny day (more on this with #4).
Cell Phone - This one is really just my fault. I had made a note to remember to pay off my remaining balance on my AT&T phone (since AT&T now forces you to do a payment plan for phones that I really don’t like, but that’s a different story). I needed to do this so that my phone would be unlocked and allow another carrier’s SIM card to work, but in the midst of the goodbyes and packing, I forgot. Worse, I didn’t remember this step until after I walked 30 minutes to a Irish mobile provider store, stood in line for another 20 minutes, and the representative asked me “Is this phone unlocked?” Me: “UGH. NO. Sorry, bye!”
Thankfully, by this time, Geoff was waking up for work, so I found the nearest Starbucks, connected to the free WiFi, and gave him a call over Google Hangouts. He submitted all the payments and unlock request which allowed me to get a phone the following day. (Thank you, Geoff!!)
Sunburn - Yes, really. Ireland has been having unbelievably nice weather for the last week.The locals are quick to remind me how unbelievable it is: “Don’t get used to this.” and “I can count on two hands the number of times in my lifetime the weather has been like this.” I am fully aware of the rarity, but I think everyone in Dublin is enjoying the wonderful weather. I stopped and got some sunscreen, so hopefully I’ll be less red for the remainder of the beautiful weather.
Okay, I think that’s all for now. I’m going to go out and enjoy the festivities for June Bank Holiday Weekend. And the nearly 17 hours of daylight that we have in Dublin this time of year!