Tuesday, November 08, 2005

November 8, 2005


First - Thank you to my parents who sent us a package including one of Luke's guitars, our wedding album, some clothes and my Ottawa Senators jersey. GO SENS GO!

Second - Thank you to Leanne for being the first person that we received mail from. The Halloween card was GREAT - and yes, we do celebrate Halloween here ( but no, we don't trick or treat for beer :( ). People set off fireworks from the beginning of October and they are still going off. It's nuts - and fireworks are illegal here which means for each 'BANG WEE BANG BOOM ZEEM' there are guarda sirens. Crazy buggers. For adults it IS fun though because it is a long weekend and EVERYONE goes out to the pubs/bars/clubs - and half the people dress up.

So... you already know about our weekend... pretty darn fun. This week is a short work week (Thank God) so hopefully it will fly by and we'll be on our way to Letterkenny!

We still have no T.V. which means that we basically come home from work, make and eat dinner, play cards and stare at each other for a few hours. Not exactly exciting. We don't want to spend too much money out at the pubs (Duh!) so we're avoiding going out in the evening because we know we'll stop for 'just one' and that'll turn into 'just one more' and so on and so on... Luke gets paid on the 18th and I get paid on the 25th so we have to wait until then to get ourselves a T.V. and DVD player. It's going to be a long 23 days....


Letterkenny was FABULOUS! Joyce and Paddy picked us up at our place at 8pm on Friday and we were off! 3 hours later we were pulling into Jimmy and Maggie's driveway. We were an hour or so earlier than they expected but they had lovely cold beers and a great meal prepared. Maggie, Jimmy, Keiran and Rachel were all there and we were joined later by Mickey and Zack. We all chatted in the living room and then we moved to the kitchen to have a wonderful quiche that Maggie made, as well as other random delights like olives, cheese, salad, guacamole & chips. Lovely. At about 2:00am Luke and I started fading so we were taken to Mickey and Emma's to bed. (The funny thing about this was that Maggie had sent me an email saying that Luke and I were welcome to come to Letterkenny for the weekend but that he and I would be staying with Mickey & Emma because there were so many guests.... The email that I received had the right hand side cut off but I didn't think it mattered because I thought I got the gist of the email.... However, I did miss the Mickey & Emma part. Therefore, Luke and I were staying up at Maggie & Jimmy's because everyone else was, and we were watching Mickey & Zack get more & more tired, not knowing that WE were the ones keeping them up and that we could leave for bed at any time! Mickey finally said "We'll go whenever you like" kind of thing and I realized my mistake.... How embarrassing...).

The next morning we all slept in until about 11am. Mickey was kind enough to set breakfast out for us all.... Rock somethings (Scones with raisins), cereal, coffee, tea, toast... yummy). After breakfast Mickey offered to take us on a short tour of Donegal, which thrilled Luke and I. We all drove to a beach about half an hour away (Sadly I don't remember the name of it but for those of you that have seen Brian & Carmel's photos from when they were here in the summer... it's the beach they took a gazillion photos of). He also took us to a nearby lighthouse (Lovely, and surrounded by sheep!) and for a nice drive along the coast. After the drive we headed back to the house for lunch - Emma had prepared fresh veggies, bread, tuna and egg salad for us to make delicious sandwiches with. After lunch Mickey, Luke and I headed to BRIDGE BAR for Luke's first visit. It was only about 4pm at this point, so there were no bands playing but Luke was impressed by the cozy atmosphere and the great pint of Guinness (You were right Dad, the Guinness is great there!). We chatted with Mickey through our first beer and then were joined by Paddy who came to Ramelton to have a pint and pick up Zack to take him into Letterkenny. After a couple of pints Emma joined to remind us that we must get ready for Maggie's birthday dinner at 7:30. We all headed back to the house to get ourselves gussied up and then we called a cab and we were on our way to the restaurant. Everyone else had met at 6:30 at a pub down the road from the restaurant but because we were running behind we decided to go straight to the restaurant (Indian). We were brought upstairs to a separate party room where the four of us went ahead and ordered ourselves some Indian beer (Which, by the way, is very tasty). We didn't know what any of the brands tasted like so we ordered 3 kinds and tasted each others. Shortly after everyone else started to trickle in and we proceeded to have many laughs and good chats until we were all finally ready to order. Dinner was FABULOUS. Many different and wonderful flavours. Dinner lasted a few hours and afterwards we all headed back to Jimmy and Maggie's for more drinks and more craic.
(A few funny things...... 1. At one point in the evening (It was getting quite late by this time) Paddy decided that it would be funny if every time Emma went to take a sip of her beer he made a slurping sound... It was quite amusing for the first hour!!! Emma couldn't control her laughter and wasn't able to take a sip for ages. Rachel helped her out by providing her with a straw, however that just cause Sarah Jane to join in and make straw-sucking sounds.... 2. Paddy spent half the night slagging Luke for admitting that we are going to Scotland to see a Rangers game (For those of you that don't know, the Rangers are a Protestant team and the Irish are Catholic so Luke is not supposed to be cheering for them... We were given shit for it!). 3. Luke and Paddy (and everyone else) spent part of the night arguing who is better... Beatles or Rolling Stones.... Luke felt the Beatles were better and Paddy thought the Stones were better.... They spent a while debating this and dragging the rest of us into it. 4. Many horrible, ridiculous jokes were told as things were wrapping up. Amusing how Paddy is often the only one that thinks his jokes are funny! 5. While walking by Lorna (Who was lying on the floor), Paddy's beer foamed up and landed on her face. Lorna did not find this amusing at all, however it was funny because it stressed Paddy out. Lorna was fine... no harm done. 6. Lorna was taught to tie people's shoelaces together and proceeded to try it out on Paddy. He didn't fall, but he came close! 7. Paddy nearly landed on the floor while getting up by slipping on the living room rug.)
These things do not seem as funny when read but believe me, the group of us laughed our asses off for hours doing ridiculously childish and immature things. It was GREAT! This fun continued until about 3:30am. The Irish sure know how to party...

Sunday morning we all slept in. Mickey set out breakfast for us again (Thank you for your hospitality Mickey) and we all ate while waiting for Paddy, Joyce, Sarah Jane, Brendan and Lorna to meet us so that we could all drive back to Dublin together. Once all of us were organized we left Mickey and Emma's and headed to Jimmy and Maggie's to say good bye and get Paddy and Joyce's things in order. Paddy had a sausage sandwich (Which he originally offered to Luke but ended up eating himself! Boy was he slagged for it!) and we were off!
The drive back was great.... save for Paddy and Joyce and their infamous arguments.... (We had been told about these car arguments but had not experienced it on the way up.... we were fortunate enough to experience it on the way back! Apparently Joyce and Paddy were driving Rachel from Dublin once and they argued much of the way so Rachel and her friend went to sleep to ignore it! Those of you that don't know Paddy and Joyce may think this is not good but those of us that do know that it's just the way they are and that it's bloody hilarious! Also, on the way back we witnessed something that we had witnessed on the drive home eight years ago when Angie was here in Dublin with me. A beautiful rainbow in the surrounding field. We could see both ends of it. Paddy, Joyce and myself all remembered that day.

It's the work week again and Luke and I had to drag our asses out of bed Monday morning as we were so tired from the late nights. We'll have to get back on track. Though it was only two nights it really did a number on us as we've been going to bed pretty early lately to get on track for our 6:30 wake ups.

Yesterday a co-worker of mine, Rachel, was kind enough to take me to her house after work and lend me some board games (Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit and Pictionary) so that Luke and I have more to do than play cards, go out for pints and stare at each other). It was really funny because she didn't realize that Luke and I had no T.V. and said "Oh Love, you should have told me earlier..." and then she proceeded to laugh and tell everyone that I was lacking in the T.V. department. She then said "I'm going to take you to my house, give you some games and drop you off at the DART station... you poor thing!". Very sweet of her. Unfortunately this is her last day of work here with us... off to something better.... She's the ONE PERSON that I can ask those stupid new-person questions, chat with, all that good stuff and she's on her way out of here.... :( There's a party on Friday that I have been invited to... A "Leaving" party at a pub a few towns from here. I'll be going directly after work with the gang here and Luke will meet us all after he's gone home and changed. I imagine it'll be good craic as everyone in the office is fantastic!

Well, that should bring you all up to date....

Actually, Luke and I finally got our bank cards and PIN codes in the mail so we now have working bank accounts. If anyone would like to send us some money you can deposit it to The Bank of Ireland, St. Stephen's Green, Account #.... JUST KIDDING! Now we'll be able to pay our rent (As I mentioned before it is direct withdrawal each month from our account and is due on the 18th...) and pay our electricity bill (ALSO direct withdrawal... due on the 15th...). Seems we're actually pretty much finished with the boring paperwork. Just one or two more things to send off and we're DONE DONE DONE!

Did you know that the first year you are here if you have arrived from another country, you do not have to pay any taxes on your wages... (If I had known that I would have arrived here in January. As it is we will not be taxed at work for any money we make up to the end of the year. Pretty nuts, isn't it??!).

Ok, well, that's really it for now. Hopefully something REALLY exciting will happen this week and I'll have something thrilling to report next time. Until then, I hope you enjoy reading about the big trip up north.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Jess another wonderfully written entry and the pictures of course are fantastic. I miss and I'm sending you a letter on monday the 14th of November so let me know when you get it.
Love you Emily

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great familiar pictures and so sorry we missed the party. It was nice talking to you on Friday night. Keep up the great writing.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, the Bridge Bar; wait until you experience it on a busy Saturday night - cheek to jowl, standing room only, loads of public craic; farmers, soldiers, sailors, tinkers and Breslins

jealous .. what can I say ..
Love you both

9:17 PM  

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