Three Irish quirks you have to deal with

Three Irish quirks you have to deal with

Now that I’ve been living for nearly 10 months in Ireland I can say, that there are some things which seem rather complicated. Or is it just my German mind… 

Here’s three Irish quirks you have to deal with, when living in Ireland.

1. Appointments, even official ones, are apparently just meant for some sort of direction and shouldn’t be taken too seriously…

For example, be prepared to drag your laptop across the city to have it repaired and upon arrival you’re told that Martyn, who’s dealing with the Macs, is off today!

Me: ‘He told me to come now.’ 

Shrugging of shoulders and a simple: ‘He’s not in.’ Is all I get. 

Do I really need to tell you, that this didn’t just happen once but three times…

With my iPhone I have to arrange an appointment online. The battery needs changing. This is a different shop by the way. I bring it in and am told I could be waiting for up to 3 days to get it back! Really? Two hours later I walk by, hoping I might be extremely lucky. You never know. I get it back, but not because it’s done. The technician is not in the next day and after that is the weekend… They advise me to bring it back in on Monday. 

I do as I’ve been told and dare to inquire, when I will have my iPhone back. Whether it’s gonna be faster now. The guy behind the desk doesn’t know. It still could take three days. I’ll get an email. Great. I think there’s no point in sticking around, since I probably won’t get my iPhone back until later this week. I take the bus back home. My car is in the garage.

When I’m finally in Knocknacarra again, I check my email and to my utter astonishment there’s a notice from the shop telling me, my iPhone is ready for collection. It in fact has been already done, while I was still in the city. 2-3 days all of a sudden shrunk down to just 30 min…

Five minutes later I am sitting back in the bus to the city again. I love Irish appointments…

Three Irish quirks you have to deal with

2. Some things don’t really make sense, or do they? 

In my mind I was just simply going to the bank and tell them, that I wanted to open an account! No!!!!!! It’s far more complicated. Without a prove of address you can go back home again. Since, Neil is the main tenant, all the utility bills are in his name and because I don’t have an Irish bank account I can’t show any bank statements either. Very funny.

Only one bank, the Bank of Ireland, makes an exception telling me, that I could show them a German bank statement with my Irish address on it. Lucky me, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to finally claim my cheque, payable to a bank account, by Aer Lingus for about 450 € as a reimbursement for messing up my last flight. Did I tell you it takes 4-6 weeks until the money is in my account? Apparently they have to send the cheque to England to have it recollected or something…

Don’t get me started with the PPS number, which you need for everything over here. Like applying for a medical card or for importing your car etc. They sent me away again, needing prove why I needed the bloody thing in the first place! Really? 

And as it goes for importing my car, I’ll have to pay three times more road tax, than I did in England. The car insurance is of course more expensive as well. I feel so motivated now to have my VW-Golf immediately registered here in Ireland. What am I waiting for…

Another thing I never understood was how my Austrian friend had to jump through all sorts of hoops to land a job as a psychiatric nurse here in Ireland. It took her months and cost her quite a bit of money too. I still well remember her latest exasperated accounts of why she couldn’t start, because of this, that and the other. She probably could fill a whole book with her odyssey, but that’s her story to tell. I just can’t help but wonder whether the Irish don’t want to have qualified personal in their country. 

Another thing, that doesn’t really make sense to me… 

3. Meeting people for a cup of coffee is not a simple undertaking and it might never happen, unless you bump into each other

When I just had arrived in Galway, I was very keen on connecting with people, especially from the theatre scene I was hoping to get a foot into the door with. I soon realised it isn’t that easy.

It’s not like: ‘Let’s meet for a cup of coffee. When is a good time for you?’

No, it’s more like a vague idea of wanting to meet for a coffee sometime in the nebulous future. After that there are numerous emails or texts back and forth and if you’re really lucky, the other person might eventually, after having rearranged the meeting for about three times, agree to have a coffee with you coming Tuesday. Now, you only pray, that they don’t cancel on you again. An Irish friend tells me, that people in general rearrange things, like rehearsals for example, and that it’s never straight forward. I definitely can see that.

How people are able to do things or create a show this way, is a bit beyond my comprehension to be honest. 

The three Irish quirks you have to deal with make one thing very clear though: 

‘If you can’t chill and want to make things happen on your own accord, you better leave immediately, because you’ll be only and permanently frustrated. If you on the other hand can’t be bothered too much yourself and decide to forget about everything with a pint of Guinness and a bit of live music, you’re definitely in the right place.’ 

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