( Part 2 )
As I mentioned, I crossed the border of Ireland on the 24th of December. The middle of winter. Christmas time. And I with a little baby and suitcases, dressed like an Eskimo, on foreign, unknown land.
On my way from the airport to the apartment that my husband rented for us, my eye immediately caught sight of the cultural difference. It was a shock to me, and especially as a typical polish mom (overprotective, in addition, me being new in the ‘Mom business’), that babies do not have hats on their heads, have bare feet and are very lightly dressed. Looking at my little baby boy, looking like “a snowman” 😉, I thought to myself that those children were about to be sick. Unfortunately, this was not a one-time shock. Day by day, there were more and more, in my reasoning, potentially sick infants and children (but about it another time).
Back to my arrival. The beginnings were not fun or perfect, but this was probably to be expected. After a week, the landlord came and told us to move out because he said that he did not agree to a child living there 😳. Till now, I still can’t forget our reaction and the thousands of thoughts flying through our heads: “what now?”, “where will we live now?”… . I mention that my brother, who had arrived a few days earlier than me, lived with us.
Believe it or not, on the way to work, my husband and my brother met a guy who turned out to be the same nationality, having a spare room for rent in the cottage where he lived. Due to the fact that we had no other choice, we moved there. Horrible room! Conditions in the house …, I won’t even mention them. The fungus on the floor-to-ceiling wall was covered by a cardboard sheet so that it could not be seen. The cottage was in a critical state. We sat on a bed that was scary to sit on, I won’t even mention sleeping, and from this powerlessness we began to laugh. Now, as I look back, I don’t know how we managed to survive. All I know is that, despite the difficulties we encountered in the first days after arrival, we never mentioned once that we had made the wrong decision.
We immediately began to search intensively for an apartment for rent. We went to every apartment that showed up on the site and was within reach of our finances. From one end of the district to the other. In the rain and wind. And as for Ireland, it rained almost non-stop and the wind bravely accompanied the rain almost breaking heads off 💨. After 2 weeks, we got to the apartment, which was intended for us for that moment. Soaked to a thread, with a 1.5-year-old child in a stroller, we went to the second floor to see the apartment. Honestly, whatever it would be, we would take it. Only in those days, it was not us who decided what we wanted, but the landlord chose who to rent to, and there were quite a lot of interested people. In addition, you had to have a certificate from work and references from the previous landlord that you are a good tenant. But where to get such references, as we just flew in and snuffed from place to place? We left what we had because back then you left your documents and phone number and waited for this salvation of a ringtone with this wonderful message: “… please come to the office to sign the lease and pick up the keys.”
January 13th, 2007. The best day on this island to date. Signing the contract and collecting the keys 😁. We didn’t wait long with the move. On the same day, we were already “at home” 😄. Our new apartment compared to the previous ones looked like a hotel! Clean, painted in bright colours of the walls, floor panels, everything clean and in very good condition. And in this apartment we stayed for longer. It was a terraced house, converted into apartments on each floor and a pizzeria downstairs with an entrance from the street. I’m not going to say it’s a dream place to live, but the best thing that had happened to us so far. It turned out that our neighbours were our nationality and an Italian, who worked in the evenings in this pizzeria. Already in the beginning we felt the discomfort that awaited us. The walls that were made of “paper” were a problem here because when our son was playing, the Italian neighbour slept after work and everything bothered him. And because he was family of the owner, we tried not to disturb him and nevertheless enjoy what we had. On the one hand, it’s not surprising, the guy wanted to get enough sleep, but on the other hand, I also won’t lock my little child in a cage and tell him not to move or make any noise because the neighbour sleeps and hears everything 🙃.
And this is where the next stage begins. The adaptation stage.
Moment for You