Friday, September 5, 2008

Another Photo-less Post

We're continuing our search for a flat for Elly here in Dublin. The first we saw was in a once magnificent Georgian townhouse in Monkstown. Twelve foot ceilings, gigantic windows and a stunning view of Dublin Bay. Unfortunately, the private bathroom was on a different level to the rest of the suite and she would only have access to it through a communal hallway. She said no.

Then we saw a small bedsit, in Ballsbridge, which stank of cigarettes, and she's allergic, so that one was out.

That was our bleary first day in Dublin.

The next day we saw another small bedsit, which wasn't too bad, this one in Dun Laoghaire. It was run by a family who owned the hardware store next door. I suggested to Elly that that might be a plus, as they'd probably be good about doing repairs, but she hemmed and hawed and we let it go.

Later in the day we saw a second bedsit in Ballsbridge, which wasn't bad, except rather than having a small kitchen, it had a minuscule kitchen. The stove doubled as a nightstand. She passed on that one too.

On the third day, Elly opted to increase her spending limit on rent and we went to see what looked to be a very nice one-bedroom flat in the far end of Blackrock. It wasn't near the train station, but it was on the bus line (the buses aren't as reliable here). We were suppose to meet the letting agent at 12:30 and she never showed up! She must have let the flat out after we'd talked to her the day before, and as we had no mobile phone, she couldn't contact us. Urgh!

Needless to say, we headed directly to Vodaphone and signed up for a pay-as-you-go phone (you don't need an address for that). We gave up on accommodation for the rest of the day and headed to the bank to set up a bank account.

I'll pause here and let you know that Nigel warned me before we left that Irish banking laws are extremely strict, having to do with money-laundering. I do believe I scoffed at him, assuring him that we weren't laundering money, so that stuff didn't apply to us. Oh, how wrong I was.

I'll spare you that wretched details, but it took a good chunk of the day, and a visit to two branches of the Bank of Ireland before a lovely women named Jackie took pity on us and allowed Elly to set up a bank account without having an Irish address. And no, we didn't shed tears to get our way, though I did mention to Jackie that we were "ignorant foreigners". Before we left her, she told Elly that "if you get into any trouble come and see me and I'll get you sorted". Elly then asked if that meant she'd bail her out of jail.

Thankfully, the Irish have a sense of humour.

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