I suddenly realised on Wednesday the 21st of June (Longest Day of the year) that I had been in Ireland for 10 years. I remember the day so clearly, I was laden down with so much luggage on a Swiss air flight from Johannesburg via. Zurich to Dublin. I arranged with Eva a girl I met in Australia in 1998 to meet her at the airport in Zurich as I had a 2 to 3 hour stop over.
She met me laden with all nice Swiss goodies it was so lovely to see her. Then onward to Dublin, and D was waiting for me at the airport, he had hired a Ford Ka, which must have been the smallest car I had ever seen because he had already collected the unaccompanied luggage and had to rush home to take it as there was no room for anything else.
Anyway it was so nice seeing him after almost a month, D had left on the 18th of May as he was starting work on the 21st of May. Well I was quite surprised by the apartment he had rented, I expected it to be really old and dark and dingy, but in fact it was Bright and lovely. And yes he never lets me forget how long it took him to clean it and how filthy it was. It's amazing the things we experienced in the last 10 years.
For the first year we never had a car and would go shopping walking to Rathmines from Milltown with a backpack, actually walking everywhere.
My mom came over for a few weeks and sadly she passed away that same year, we have had loads of visitors.
We've met some wonderful friends and some not so wonderful. We have met other South Africans, some who have arrived and left either to go home or proceeded on somewhere else.
I have revived old friendships with friends I lost touch with 12 years ago and are living just across the sea - Thanks Google. Actually thanks to Facebook, SA reunited and Google I have got in touch with people I haven't seen or heard from in almost 30 years, some who I hope I will stay in contact with for the rest of my life.
We have seen some awesome concerts, and we have traveled to places we never have even thought of going to had we still been living in SA.
We had the most wonderful addition to the family "Emily" who also may not have come along had we still been in SA.
I have learnt a lot about the Irish nation, mostly how they are ruthless in business and will smile and shake your hand while stabbing you in the back, even on your mother's funeral.
However I have also learnt that Irish people are just as friendly as South Africans and once you make a true friend they will bend over backwards for you.
Most of all in the 10 years gone by, I can finally say that I think I am now content with our choice, we made some good decisions and we have made some bad decisions, but the decisions we have made have been made and there is not too much we can do about them.
But I often wonder where will I be in 10 years time, I know where I would like to be but I guess sometimes we just can't have everything we want!
By the way the photo at the top is of my friend Bob who I started working with in 2001 so his probably one of my oldest Irish friends!