Advertising | Metro Eireann | Top News | Contact Us
Governor Uduaghan awarded the 2013 International Outstanding Leadership Award  •   South African Ambassador to leave  •   Roddy's back with his new exclusive "Brown-Eyed Boy"  •  
Print E-mail

The shock of the new

Last update - Thursday, July 16, 2009, 17:48 By Tara Fannon

On 16 December 2003 I spent my very first day in Dublin. I had planned my move for nearly two years – applying for my Irish passport, saving money, circulating my CV, finding a flat, and corresponding with banks, recruiters and all other appropriate agencies. I prefer to create something of a safety net for myself before I relocate anywhere, and Ireland was no exception. Besides, I am highly organised and the two typically go hand-in-hand.

Whenever anyone asked me if I was nervous about such a big move, I always answered with an honest “No”. You see, in all the places I have lived, I have found it very easy to settle in. This includes the serious stuff like finding a job and a place to live as well as the really good things like finding activities of interest and making new friends. So with no worries and the promise of big things to come, I was ready.
As my flight landed in Dublin I saw that it was grey and wet out, but that was okay – it was December after all, and I had prepared myself for it. A friend of a friend was there at the airport to take me to my new flat in Ranelagh, south of the city, and on the way he took me on an impromptu tour through the city centre. As he drove alongside the Liffey, pointing out this building and that building, it hit me that I was really here.
What on earth had I just done? Shocked and terrified, I stifled an outburst of tears. All I could do was peer out the window intently as if to imply that I was taken with the sights, but really I was just hiding my wet eyes and runny nose. Why had I forgotten tissues!?
As we pulled up outside my new flat, a wave of insecurity washed over me at the thought of meeting my new flatmates. Would they like me? Would I like them? This type of thing was never a problem before, so why now? The anticipation was overwhelming, as was getting my gigantic suitcase up the three flights of stairs. I could always sleep in it if things didn’t work out, I thought.
Two of my flatmates were home when I entered, and they paid me very little attention. It was all a little impersonal, now that I think about it. I mean, I just made a life-changing decision to uproot and move to another country. If it were me greeting such a newcomer I would have at least put on a great big smile and baked some cookies or something.
I made my way to my bedroom, dragging the phone behind me. It was humid, cold and smelled of mildew. Plopping down on the bed – alone and concealed behind closed doors – I broke down and sobbed uncontrollably into someone else’s pillow.
Once I pulled myself together I dialled my mom but she didn’t answer. Reluctantly I dialled my dad, who did. As soon as his voice registered, mine cracked into another sob. I think I frightened him, to be honest. He said a few reassuring things and then nervously passed me over to my stepmom who, in her trademark elementary teacher’s tone, calmly talked me through my fit.
Something happened to me in that moment, and it all became clear. I remembered why I had come to Ireland, and more importantly the fact that I actually had the courage to do so. I wiped my face dry, put on my coat and got on with it. After all, I needed to open a bank account, buy groceries and fetch the paper for the job section.
From that point on I haven’t looked back – well, not too much anyway. My time in Ireland has certainly been an adventure of all things great and terrible. Nonetheless, all of it has made for some very interesting stories…

Tara Fannon is a Sociology student at UCD. Her column appears fortnightly in Metro Éireann

Latest News:
Latest Video News:
Photo News:
Kerry drinking and driving
How do you feel about the Kerry County Councillor\'s recent passing of legislation to allow a limited amount of drinking and driving?
I agree with the passing, it is acceptable
I disagree with the passing, it is too dangerous
I don\'t have a strong opinion either way
Quick Links