Why I left Ireland and moved back to my East-European country?
When i was packing, after almost 2 year in Dublin, everybody was asking me the same question “Why would you want to leave?”. I thought nothing of it until i noticed that after coming back i get the same question asked by most of my friends here. Well, the reason is ( drum-roll please ) …
Life in Dublin “kinda” sucked for me.
I ended up in the capital of Ireland about 2 years ago. I just finished a project in Bucharest and i was ready to “take the next step”. I had already done everything that is professionally possible here: Freelanced, had my own business, invested in other businesses and so on …
I left to join a France company there. I knew i would take a financial hit by going from a architecture position here to a be a “senior software developer” in Dublin, but i thought: “It’s worth it, at least for the experience”.
I got there in the spring, my France employer was nice enough to offer me a re-location package, it went 100% to the “re-location agency” and my soon to be landlord. They charged me 1k for their “re-location services” ( going on daft.ie and picking the first result ) and also had the nerve to request another 60 euros out of my first paycheck because it “went a bit over”.
1. The Accommodations
The housing situation in Dublin is a nightmare! It’s close to 1–1.5k / month for a studio apartment if you want to live in Dublin City. If you are willing to commute you can get a studio as low as 600 euro / mo . The common consensus is that you are better off living as cattle in a “shared accommodation” with 3–7 other foreigners.
So this relocation agency found me a s***-hole somewhere in the center of Dublin. Compared to my 3 room apartment in Bucharest it was a dump, but, it was central and i was lucky to get it since they didn't usually rent to “Romanians”. I never met the landlord; I found out that he did some shady dealings around Dublin and also owned a Hotel. I did all of my talking with this one-man-business type of guy that handled all of he’s proprieties.
After about 3 months, the landlord did some adjustments to the building so as to accommodate a Indian restaurant, under my apartment;
Due to the “Safety regulations” they had to remove the shared washer and dryer so, for the next year, i had to wash my clothes in the shower like a exchange student. Me and the other tenants did a bit of rebelling but in the end we accomplished nothing; We keep’t hearing the mantra “it is like it is, what can you do about it”…
After about 10 months, the central heater broke, the bloke who was sent by the landlord to fix it “got wasted” ( that was the reason he gave me over the phone) on multiple occasions and failed to show up. In the end i had to use some electric heaters that i found around the apartment to make up for the lack of heating.
I know what you are thinking: “If it was that bad, why didn’t you move?” That would have costed me at least 3–4k … On top of that, all of the studios where rented out, it’s a mess. Trust me when I tell you that I knew people in worst situations then mine.
I was more than happy to leave my deposit and email them when my flight landed in Bucharest. Somehow i knew that they where going to find a way to f*** with me again if i had given them a proper notice.
2. The Social Life
If you don’t drink, you’re fu****. Almost all of the nightlife revolves around drinking heavily and screaming your lungs out. The Irish unwind, like most of the Europeans, on Friday and Saturday.
And boy do they unwind. The streets become something resembling a war zone with loud “Guys” and “Gals” that are moving from pub to pub. The girls usually get in, the guys rarely do. The bouncers are the rulers of the land in the weekend and if you look drunk or foreign ( in some cases ), you’re not getting in with a “sorry mate’ , private party”.
There is a upside, the Irish have more or less a class based society. So if you look “rich” the rules are going to bend ( a lot ) for you. I will get in to that later.
During the week you can go to movies, golf, restaurants, sea and other nice and dull activities. Nothing artistic, except for a few museums. The Irish are not big on culture or theater as far as i could observe …
Friends are hard to find, because of all of the diversity and the different cultures. I had a guy that lived there tell me that he made some friends after 10 months, I thought he was joking until the same happened to me, even if you are sociable is hard to relate to other cultures ( especially Irish, they tend to have a one-night-stand mentality in regards to friendships )
Dublin as a city is mixed, the number of Irish people is shockingly low as most of them emigrated to Australia or the US, i am not joking about this, most of the Irish are not in Ireland …
Disclaimer: I admit this comes off as a bit of a harsh take on Ireland. I loved the people and some of the culture and i will insert more of that later in this series. The point of this series is to be as truthful as possible and not “sugarcoat” the facts. I do apologize to my Irish friends and invite them to message me for clarification if they disagree with my views.