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An American in Ireland blog « An American in Ireland

Entries tagged with “An American in Ireland blog”.


birds

In a few short days, I’ll be meeting my best friend from back home in New York City for a long weekend. It’s been over six years since we’ve had time by ourselves face-to-face, mainly due to this hectic day-to-day thing called life and the literal ocean that sits between us.

As an expat, you learn to live without your family and friends as that’s just part of the deal. When I was preparing to move from Los Angeles to Ireland five years ago, all of my friends promised they’d visit. “Finally we have a reason to go to Ireland!” they’d say, earnestly. Five years later, only one (the aforementioned best friend) has actually followed through.

I’m not bitter about the lack of visitors. Let’s face it: it’s a huge ask, especially for my friends back home who get about 10 paid vacation days a year. Throw in kids, the expense of overseas travel and the not-so-amazing weather around here and you can’t blame them for spending their precious holidays in other locales. If the tables were turned, I’d probably do the same.

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Family photo, Erly March 1953, (1)

(L-R: My grandfather (Ojiisan), Aunt Kyoko, Aunt Hiroko, grandmother (Obaachan), Uncle Eichi, my mother, who is the baby of the family, and Aunt Yoko)

My uncle has always been a dreamlike figure to me, someone who I know only through stories my mother told me. He was gone long before I was born, but that fact has never affected my fascination with him and his story.

He was born in the late 1920s in Osaka, Japan, an intolerant era for people born with any sort of visible disability. Because he had club hands and a limp when he walked, it begs to wonder if he ever had a chance at a normal life in a time where ignorance often led to discrimination. My mother told me about how when Eichi needed help finding something in a shop, some clerks would simply ignore him and pretend he wasn’t there.

Some would ask him directly what his mother had done to be given such an imperfect son. I always imagine those hurtful words being spoken with particular emphasis, considering he was the first and only son in the family – a position that, under normal circumstances, would have been acknowledged and even celebrated many times throughout his life.

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photo

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Ireland has been good to me. Not only in the love-life department (see last post, lol) but in many other regards as well. My job at a digital creative agency here in Dublin is going very well, and thanks in part to my food blogging I’m working with some significant food and beverage clients.

And it’s not just me. I look around at my fellow food blogger friends in Ireland and am amazed at how far everyone has come since we first came together at the inaugural meeting of Irish food bloggers about two-and-a-half years ago. Though there were a few bloggers who’d been doing it for a while, many were just starting out – including moi.

In a country that’s still trying to claw its way out of a recession, these food bloggers have created opportunities with a lot of hard work, determination and a belief that Irish food is important…and has a story that needs to be told.

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Donal, who was one of the first food bloggers in Ireland, is an incredible success story with multiple cookbooks to his name and two successful television series. He recently announced he’ll be a judge on the BAFTA-nominated Junior Masterchef, making the leap from Irish television to being on telly sets all over the UK and much of Western Europe. I have no doubt that he’ll conquer America next!

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secretary_monkey_on_the_phone Dear Eircom,

I just wanted to write you a note to say “thanks” for the joy that is dealing with your customer service reps – a delight that I had the pleasure of experiencing for a whole two hours this morning. Of course by “delight” I actually mean an excruciating, dying-a-slow-death type pain that’s about as pleasurable as sliding down a razor blade into a pool of salty lemon juice.

I rang because I need phone service and broadband, which I assumed would be a simple enough request considering you are a phone and Internet company. But as they say, assume just makes an ass of u and me and never has this little nugget of wisdom been more true! I first spoke with a woman named Esther, who went over the offers with me. She said I could get broadband and a landline that covered my needs for €41.99 per month for the first six months and then €46.70 per month afterward. She also mentioned there would be a €29.99 connection fee for broadband, which I thought was rather excessive and that it would take at least 10 business days to connect both the phone and broadband lines and that they’d have to send someone out.

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