You never have to keep up with your neighbours if you don`t have any!
Well, what a few days I`ve had!
I went for my interview on Thursday morning in the sleeting snow! I was there promptly 30 minutes early and prepared myself mentally for an in depth question and answer session. Little did I know that the only Q & A`s I was going to be doing was a maths test!!
I hadn`t done one of these since university, but here I was with 35 minutes of maths questions based on a series of charts and to make things `easier` I had 10 multiple choice answers to choose from!! Oh, my head hurts!
Straight after that I had a 12 minute IQ test to answer 50 questions. `Elephant is to Ballet as these tests are to…. a) Pointless, b) a waste of my time, c) a good reason to regret having a few drinks out with the lads last night… Well you get the gist of it!
Then I waited 90 minutes before I met one of the senior guys who told me basically that they wanted me but for a different role, a role he didn`t know at this point and that was why I had to meet another guy who did. Right enough I thought, so I duly waited another 90 minutes to be told by my next interviewer that they wanted to create a position for me (which was flattering) but no he could not answer my question as to remuneration (which was frustrating).
Suffice to say that the 5 hours I was in there went well, all things considered but now it is up to them if they want to send me to these far flung destinations where my blog entries can really take flight!
And taking flight was something that I had great difficulty in doing. I spent Friday again walking around Luxembourg and trying to improve my French as I went (I suddenly felt like those Asian folks that kept stopping me on my travels a few months ago just to practise their English!).
Joe, Darragh and Alan had been my trusted companions for the three nights I was in Lux and we had a few drinks on Friday night as Alan was leaving after 7 years. Darragh came up with the best definition I think I have heard for whether a person has actually visited a country or not. You can say that you have visited a country if you have bought a pint in that country, outside of the airport. Simple but flawless in it`s application I think you will agree (unless of course you are a teetotaller!)
I got up early on Saturday morning to catch my bus to the airport to join up with my brothers in Dublin for the Ireland v Wales match in Croke Park. Well, I got to the bus stop at 7:10am but I had missed the 7am and for some reason there was no 7:30am bus so I had to wait for the 8am bus which crawled to the airport due to fog. I rushed to the counter and although I still had 20 minutes to take off (it’s a tiny airport so that should have been enough) the lady said I couldn`t check in. Nightmare. I was reminded of the Little Britain sketch where she types something in and then mournfully informs you that, “Computer says NO…”
Then she said, in an annoyingly upbeat manner, that I could fly to Shannon (the other side of Ireland for those that don`t know) so I took it. What was really frustrating was that both our flights got delayed due to the fog so by the time the Dublin flight took off, I had arrived 60 minutes before it flew…
I was texting my brothers to try and line some way of salvaging the day when I ran out of credit with no way of topping up! Aaagh, give me a break. Then I boarded my plane which due to the fog, took off an hour late and then arrived into Shannon. I caught a cab into the city (blatantly and unregrettably stealing it from in front of 75 punters waiting at the cab rank!) and then boarded a 3 and a half hour bus to Dublin.
I settled into my new book on Pablo Escobar, the infamous terrorist and drug traffiker who literally had hundreds of judges and thousands of people kidnapped, mutilated and summarily executed during his years of terror in Columbia in the 80`s and 90`s. Reading about his exploits, it actually did something to satiate my blood thirsty desire for murderous rage against the Ryanair check in lady, the pilot and the person that my brothers had now given my ticket to when another person joined my list!
The bus driver stopped for a break just at kick off time and I recounted what had happened to me that day to an old fella in the bar. “Aha,” he said, ” you should be there and here you are with me in Borris-in-Ossary!” and he roared laughing! Insult to injury, still he got a good laugh out of it but unknowingly got on to my `Pablo-list`!! (It also goes to prove that the Aboriginals don`t have a monopoly of bloody stupid place names!)
I arrived into Dublin just as the game finished and met up with Annette and Megan, both friends of mine from Sydney and my brothers. Again, there was much merriment at my misfortune but I have to say the funnier side of it was dawning on me by now (the effects of Pablo must have been wearing off!). I told them of how if I get this job that I will have to go to places like Honduras, El Salvador, Senegal and Sierra Leone to name but a few and they said I couldn`t even go from Luxembourg to Dublin successfully with getting into strife! Touche…
Still, it bodes well for my future stories! And if the position isn`t right for me, then I will just take off and do some more travelling in Europe before my brother`s wedding in Italy in May.
An aunt of mine said that she felt sorry for the youth of today having to go and buy houses and getting up to their necks in mortgages and buying the big cars just so that they could keep up with the Jones (the neighbours) . She wholeheartedly agreed with my desire to just travel and she said the lines from the Diary Title above which I thought were so right and which I find so poignant and apt at the moment.
So I am back in Limerick now after a successful golf outing this morning when the Homer Simpson Cup (it`s actually a glass that my brothers and I swap around to the winner of this prestigious competition) was shared between Caoimhan and I. I think I am on the road in Ireland this week so who knows where I will turn up. But dependent on whether the offer comes from Lux and it`s ok, I should be leaving Ireland in just over a week to do some work or travelling in Europe so stay tuned.
Who the hell gets robbed twice in two nights?!!