The Time has come…

Tomorrow, I would be flying back to Manickpur, India, the place I call home. It has been more than 2 and a half months here in the land of leprechauns and their pots of gold, Ireland. I am very happy to get back home bit at the same time am feeling a little sad to leave such beauty behind and perhaps the dream of this wonderful country, one question lingers in my mind at the moment – would I ever come back here? I haven’t got a clue about this.

I have always believed in destiny. You are always lead to the place you are supposed to be. May be for the better may be for the worse. But if you try to change it then there could be problems created for you as well as the people around you. It is bit like changing the course of history. You can always go ahead and make history, but you cannot change history.

Anyways, I guess I was destined to travel to this beautiful country and meet so many interesting people that have already touched my heart that I am feeling so sorry to leave them.

So tomorrow a Lufthansa airplane will take me to Frankfurt and from there Mumbai and home. I am to fly early morning and would take me early morning the next day to reach home. I am already thinking of all that I want to do as soon as I reach home – eat food prepared by my mom, sleep, take a haircut, meet up with all the friends and just enjoy the feel good feeling till I get back to office on Monday.

I have experienced a lot here in Ireland that would stay cherished in my mind always. I wish I would come back here again. 🙂

So see you all after I am back home…

Shift+Home

So finally I have shifted from my original apartment to a swanky well furnished 3 bed, 2 living and kitchen house. The people whom I was originally staying were expecting their relatives to come over this weekend, so I had to shift houses and more so because I had my stay extended so I had to change the house I lived here in Ireland.

I bid an emotional farewell to my earlier apartment mates, and headed to office with my luggage, after work I was taken to the new place that was 15 minutes away from the office by bus. I was there given all the necessary instructions and was guided through the place. There was one bad luck in there, the place was a new one so there was still no television set over there, so I had no means of entertainment and I was expecting a friend to come over from Mumbai only on Monday so there were 3 nights that I had to spend with out any entertainment except my books – which were a bunch of entertainment.

Now to the house, this has been taken by my office for the people who come in from offices worldwide to Dublin – for training or co-ordinating. I was the first one in the new house. There are arrangements for 5 people to stay in the house comfortably; there are 3 bed rooms where 2 of them have 2 beds. 2 living rooms that are spacious, a kitchen with all that is needed – utensils, fridge, freezer, oven, microwave, amongst other things. There is also a washing machine and an iron to take care of the soiled clothes. The house is in a part where it is very relaxing especially after a hard days work.

So here I am shifting places and having a ball of a time and enjoying the Celtic hospitality. What more can I ask for. And by the way, a television set is due on Wednesday 😉

A Month Goes Past…

Hey what do you know… It has been a month in a foreign land. But seriously I have enjoyed every bit of it. There were many things here that I did or experienced for the first time ever. Flying in an airplane, travelling in a metro and watching the earth from an altitude of 11000 ft., standing on a cliff almost 250 ft high, watching strange rock formations, sheep grazing in green pastures, wild horses, beautiful cottages and even snowfall (even though it was a little harsh on me) Whoa!

I am going through the most amazing time of my life. I never did have a feeling that I would be in a different country away from my own people – the people whom I grew with and shared most of my life with. It feels like I have started a brand new life over here – all over again.

The people here are really friendly. They always have a smile on their face even though they do not know you… life is slow here compared to the busy life that I used to live. Manickpur, being close to Mumbai has become a part of the fast lifestyle. Hence you do not make out any difference. But here, people really do have time for you. If you appear lost, they themselves will come and ask if you need help. Even if you hesitate, they calm you with their smile and help you out.

I had a chance to experience the biggest festival in Ireland – St. Patrick’s Day. The parade was mind blowing – it really is a big thing in how much goes in to planning and executing such a huge parade and the festivities. I missed out on the fireworks display though since the weather God was having a bad day. But I did experience my first snowfall, even though it was more like a blizzard, it was snow falling on me. I was ecstatic on watching snow or rather crushed ice.

Back to the parade – it was a mixture of myriad colours. I got an experience of being an Irishman as an overjoyed volunteer painted a shamrock on my face. Then I had a blast in a local pub where they were celebrating the feast of their patron with traditional Irish music.

In the month I have been to the west and the north part of the country sightseeing. And believe me I have seen most amazing wonders on this world. The Cliffs that hang over 200ft over the ocean and the hexagonal stones at the Giants Causeway. It was a huge risk going to Belfast, as it is a part of the British rule in Ireland and not a part of the Republic of Ireland, but the risk taken was worth all of it. I explored the regions of tension and also the place where the biggest ship of the world – the Titanic was built.

Work wise, I am handling a completely different thing than what I used to do. But the process of understanding the concepts and the how the work goes is slowly getting in my head. So there are no problems that I face while working. I take it as a challenge that I must overcome to live.

My hosts here – they are a bunch of the most helpful people here. Themselves being not from this country, they have given me a place in their home and made me a part of it from the very first day. I have never experienced such hospitality.

In short I am having the time of my life.

One Week On…

It has been roughly one week since I landed up in Dublin. My experience on the plane was great and most amazing. I slept most of the Saturday and on Sunday I explored the Dun Laoghaire bay area of Dublin. Watching the office building from the ground gave a very different feeling. I would be working there for two whole months! And then again I continued my walk to the pier in Dun Laoghaire bay area, clicked some photographs (Flickr!) and retreated home. In the evening, I went up to the local church for a mass. A mass without any songs or music was so different than what I had experienced so far in my life.

Monday was an early start as I had to get to the Dublin office of my company! So breakfast was a quick one and I was off to the office. I was taken on a tour of the place by the person I report to and was given a brief input as to what I was going to do in Dublin. Quickly I met with people who I had worked with from the Mumbai office and exchanged pleasantries. Pretty soon the day was over.

Soon the week has flown past with me feeling that I was always a part of this great Irish culture. I felt that I do belong here and am no different from the person walking down the street. The people are very friendly; and they always have a smile on their face.

Well St. Patrick’s Day is coming, so be ready for a detailed report of what I was up to this weekend.

First hand at flying

As I boarded the Swiss Airbus, I got nervous by the sheer size of the aircraft and to add to that I was told that the flight was jam packed. I found my seat and luckily it was a corner seat and not somewhere in the middle. 20G – that’s towards the end of the middle passage.

At exact Swiss precision, we began for take off at 1:40. There were so many thoughts and feelings running through my mind at that point of time. As we got on to the runway and the speed suddenly shot up, I was pushed towards the seat, almost nailed to it. Then suddenly the feeling that I was in the air – I was flying! All my nerves were calmed down when we started to cruise at an altitude of 11000 feet. The twisting and turning of the aircraft was a truly amazing experience.

The in-flight entertainment screens started showing clips about air safety and other important tips. As soon as we were stable in the air, the PA announced that we would be served a small snack. I was not really hungry and wanted to have some sleep, but the person sitting besides me was already asleep and snoring away to glory! Shattering all my thoughts of a peaceful sleep. So I browsed through the in-flight entertainment and listened to various music and finally watched ‘Déjà vu’ and a documentary on ‘Pierre Cardin’. I tried to sleep in between the movie but simply couldn’t. It was a 9 hour long flight without a trace of sleep but I did manage to get a few winks.

Just before landing at Zurich, we were served breakfast – a choice of an Indian or Continental one, I took the Continental oneJ. Then the process of landing started and funnily I never felt a thing that we were going down, just a feeling that I am travelling in a lift and going to the ground floor. Before the landing process, we were given a brief walkthrough of the Zurich Airport. It was 4 degrees C in Zurich while I left Mumbai at 30 Degrees C!

At Zurich Airport, I had to get to another terminal, to board the connecting flight to Dublin and I had 3 hours to spare. There is a metro rail service to transport passengers through the two terminals at Zurich. So there I was taking a metro rail for the very first time. Soon I was at my boarding gate, but still 2 hours too early! So I roamed around and clicked pictures of the airport and the planes and browsing through Swiss magazines.

I had a small bout of racism while boarding the flight to Dublin. I was kept waiting by the ground staff and all my papers were checked again and again! He doubted my Indian origin – he went by the name! Convinced that I was harmless, he apologised and said that he was just doing his job, I said that was OK and left for the plane.

The connecting flight to Dublin was a terrific experience in itself – I had the window seat and was just near the wing and the engine. The flight was delayed by 25 minutes as the schedule at the airport was heavy. But very soon we were in the air and I was mesmerized by the sights that I saw.

We passed right through the clouds and were above them in no time, I could see houses and cars that looked like small toys then the snow covered Alps, with a huge blanket of clouds. It was Heaven! We passed though France, England before finally landing at Dublin Airport.

At Dublin Airport, again I was made to go through the immigration and I gladly showed them all my papers. And was off to get my baggage, I had to wait to get the baggage but it was worth the wait. I took the bags and looked for a phone to call home, but all that they said was to call from a Credit Card and I had a Global Calling Card, so I too a taxi to the place that I was supposed to stay. Richard was there to receive me in his house as I got there. He showed me around his place and also gave me a set of keys to his house. I was touched by this. Since I was tired, I took a warm shower and was in bed fitfully asleep. I slept for almost 4 hours before realising that I haven’t called home, so I requested Richard if I could use his phone, he gladly said yes, so I called home and started to miss home already!.. I wandered around the house and then slept again only to wake up the next morning.