Thursday, February 22, 2007

Krusty comes to Rossmore Avenue

Lara

I spent the other evening turning Lara's stramineous tresses into dreadlocks. This was a complicated procedure involving a purple comb, hairspray in an orange bottle, vast quantities of Tennant's (I generally try to drink the beer of the country, but this came in large cans and was on special, so we made an exception), rubber bands, Shameless, and The Sex Inspectors. Several hours later Lara was looking rather like Krusty the Clown (without the bald patches).

While I was hunting down more possible jobs (I'm going to be so glad when this is over - I never want to see my cv again), I noticed to my consternation that the technical writer one appears to be open until 31st March(!). No wonder I haven't heard anything else about it.

I've just come from washing the rubbish bin (with steel wool and Cif) and mopping the floor for the second time. Having just watched Vera Drake, although I have no desire to "help young girls", and I have an extra eight inches on her, I'm starting to feel like I should be humming 40s songs. You Are My Sunshine, anyone? I really need a job!

We have someone coming round to look at the flat this evening. All I know about them is that they have an Irish phone number and use txt language. We're hoping for someone with at least seven of the following qualities: hot, tall, male, drinker, musician, Irish, rich.

I went to pay Luke-the-landlord yesterday, and decided to go up to Dunnes Stores to get some more vegetables. I was in there, doing so well: I had a basket full of reduced price veg (mangetout, Brussels sprouts, capsicum, asparagus and pears), when I realised that I only had £3 on me. The other £6 of my budget for the day was sitting on the dining room table. I had to put them all back, it was so sad. Still, better than the last time, which was £4 over the contents of my wallet, and I didn't realise until I came to pay; that was truly embarrassing. I still ended up 4p over, but the checkout woman was so sick of me at that stage she shooed me through anyway.

Well, the house is starting to sparkle, which means that, apart from my dishpan hands, I don't really have very much to write about.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Friday

After dealing with First Trust yesterday I looked up ferry times to Stranraer (pronounced Stran-rar), and found that they were frequent and relatively cheap (about £20 for a return trip). The best bit, though, was that the RBS has a branch there. Just as well, because if I'd had to get to Dumfries or Glasgow by myself and back again I might not be writing this quite yet...

I made it to the 12:20pm sailing in a bit of a scramble (at 11:15am I was drying the dishes, and didn't know exactly where the ferry terminal was - I still haven't been to the waterfront), and arrived at Stranraer around 2pm. Oh my god - I think I've found the only town I can't get lost in! No matter that it's tiny, I even found the RBS all by myself. Once inside, I proceeded to spend a good two hours in there. I couldn't believe it.

So, I hope I've updated my signature on their file (Peter, who was helping me is lovely, but I don't think he'd ever had to deal with someone with so many problems), and changed my address. I also took out money for Luke-the-landlord (he'll be stoked: he's convinced I'm going to run off back to NZ, or Scotland, or Dublin, or something), and a bit for me, until I get my card. Peter then passed me over to Jennifer to explain what was going to happen with the cashflow card. Apparently they've ordered it (UK ones come with your name on them, they don't just give you the one on the top of the pile), and it will be sent to my branch in Stirling, who will post it to me, hopefully noting the new address. So far so good (although stupid). Jennifer thought this wouldn't be next week, but early the week after, so I went back to Peter and took out some more money.

Then I said that when I got a job, I would want a credit card, and what was the best way to go about that? Peter passed me a credit card form and said, "Get Jennifer to help you fill it out, and we'll post it to you."(!) I was surprised (how can getting a credit card be so much easier than getting a cashflow card??), because there's no money going in at the moment, just me taking it out, but apparently I have a good credit rating with them - must be all the time spent overseas...

So I went back to Jennifer, who said she wanted to see me again anyway, because apparently my last card was destroyed, so there's a high possibility that when they send the new one out, it won't be activated. To activate it, I'll need to send the activation slip back to the customer centre place, who will then send the new pin to my branch, who will send it on to me. Fantastic. We're looking at six weeks, I thought in a mixture of amusement and despair. I asked how long that was likely to take, and she thought something over two weeks, but suggested that I send the activation slip to her, and she would send the pin on to me. I decided that I should transfer some money to my AIB account, so I could take money from there when I needed it. I filled out a transfer form, but it turned out the Jennifer didn't realise that it was an account in the Republic which made it a "foreign transaction", costing £25. Gargh. We filled out the credit card form instead, and then I went back to Peter (who was starting to hide behind his desk at this point), and took out yet more money.

When I finally finished at the bank (and had topped up my phone - at 24p per sms, texting NZ is killing me) it was about half four, so I roamed the streets for a bit (without getting lost), then wandered into a pub. The entire place stopped and stared at me. Literally. It was like I was something from Dr. Who. But then the music started again, the bartender gave me a Tennants, and I slipped a babel fish in my ear (mixing my universes, but not my genres).

So here I am. No card. No likelihood of cashflow card for about three weeks. Credit card on the way. This can't be good...

Thursday

Yesterday I went down to First Trust (yet another bank), and filled in a form preparatory to opening an account with them. They have the same logo as AIB, with whom I already have an account, so I thought that it would be a fairly simple matter to get an account with them, and then they could sort out closing everything with the RBS. It was grand to start with, and they said that their account opening person would give me a call tomorrow (today). I didn't really believe them, and when they hadn't phoned by lunchtime I decided to walk down and see them again. This, I felt, would be relatively quick and then I'd go off to Sainsbury's to get some Jif (or Cif, as they call it here) and steel wool, and make a start on the oven. So, I closed and locked the door with the big brass key, and walked down to the bank.

Discouragingly, it was going to be as difficult to open an account with First Trust as it was to do anything with my RBS account. They didn't exactly require police records, but close enough; and when they wanted proof of where I lived, a letter from the RBS wasn't going to cut it. They wanted a "utility bill", whatever the hell that is. Not to mention three months of bank statements from the AIB. She couldn't believe it when I said that I didn't get bank statements. Am I really that odd? So I smiled and said, sure, I'd get those, thinking "Not on your life, sweetheart, I'd rather go to Scotland".

I went home to drop off my passport before going to Sainsbury's, and couldn't open the door.

I couldn't believe it. It was raining, it was cold, my books were inside, I was outside. I spent about 10 minutes, which is a remarkably long time, trying to get in. People walking past gave me strange looks. I giggled, in an "only I would lock myself out of the house in bad weather on the landlord's instructions" kind of way. I considered asking a strong looking bloke to try the key for me. I decided against it. The worst thing was it had been really easy to lock.

I gave up and went to the pub, via Mace (who but the Irish would name a dairy after something you spray in rapists' faces?) to pick up a trashy magazine because all my books were in the house. Apparently it's Cosmo's 35th birthday, and I've discovered that they are a smug self-congratulatory magazine. On the upside The Errigle do fantastic Guinness, and I got a phone call from a recruitment agency who are putting my cv in for another technical writing job. By the time Lara arrived to "save" me I'd had about five pints and was ready to think about clubbbing (at 6pm).

Fortunately her key opened the door relatively easily, but when we tried to open it with mine it comprehensively refused to unlock; and then we couldn't unlock it with hers either. Eeep. An uncomfortable moment ensued, where we imagined not being able to close the front door, ever again, but we accomplished it with a little brute force (without even having to resort to the Swiss Army knife), and vowed to remember not to use the brass key again.

Wednesday

Luke-the-landlord came round unexpectedly today. I was just hanging a "pair" of socks over the radiator, and happened to be looking out the window, and he waved at me. I squinted down at him, and waved back. He seemed to be expecting entry to the house, so I hurtled down the stairs and let him in, discovering afterwards who he was. Given that South Belfast has just had an armed robbery perhaps I should start wearing my glasses on a more regular basis (as opposed to when I don't know where I'm going).

Anyway, he asked me how the bank thing was going, which produced a diatribe on the UK banking system, and then we took a walk around the house. I gingerly pointed out the washing machine, but as he leapt in with "I don't know anything about them" before I could say what had happened, maybe he doesn't know you're not supposed to attack them with alcohol and Swiss Army knives... I also pointed out the leaking taps, tiny refrigerator, oversize child's bed in my room, missing curtains (Lara has taken one), broken board in the toilet... at which stage he started looking at his watch in a restive fashion. We did measure my bed though, and it's apparently not even 4'6", which explains why my sheets and duvet are dragging on the floor. I mentioned this, and he said that if they were new I could take them back. I replied along the lines of I was rather hoping that he was going to buy a bigger one, so we could put mine in the other room. This made sense to him, so now I need to find someone for the small room.

As he was leaving he said that if we were all going out of the house we should put the second lock on because the house has been broken into through the first lock. The middle one has a flippy cover thing over it which is a nuisance to use, and takes a huge brass key. (The bottom lock is tied up with Belfast's equivalent of number 8 wire and should never be put on.) When Lara came home we tried it with her keys - from the outside in the cold, when we could have done it from the inside, in the warmth. We may have been holding pint glasses of cab sauv - as soon as I get a bank card I'm buying a decent set of wine glasses...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Someone save me from the U.K. banking system, please

I can't believe it!! I am so angry I could ... throw a tantrum. In fact I may just do that. I got a letter from my bank (the Royal Bank of Scotland) today; not only did they spell Rossmore incorrectly, but they have the temerity to tell me that my signature doesn't match the one they hold "on file". It goes on to say:

What do I need to do next? You will need to visit your local branch where a Change of Address request form will be completed and they will arrange to update your signature details within the Bank's records.

completely ignoring the fact that there is no "local branch" in this country. Do they not think that's the first thing I would have done when I discovered that the cashlink card had expired? (I still can't believe they have expiring bank cards! Credit card, sure. Cashflow card, really?) They didn't even have the decency to list my "local branch" when they sent the letter - to Northern Ireland. Grrrrr. I mean, I can't get to my money to buy a ticket to get to my "nearest branch" to change my signature and my address! I really thought that opening a bank account with them was going to be as bad as it got - Dr. Lard (I prefer to call him Pooh Bear) will recall the stress I went through for that. It included getting the last five years' bank statements faxed through to the branch in Stirling, only to discover that actually, they needed originals. Could they not have just said that to start with? They also needed (and I may be exaggerating) five forms of id, a retina scan from a doctor registered with them, proof of work and a place to live, and the tooth of a wolf.

The letter goes on to say:

Thank you for your assistance in this matter and if you have any questions please contact me on ... and I will be happy to help.

I'm tempted to phone up and ask him for a return trip to get to my "local branch", but I think instead I shall saunter down (in the sun) to the nearest Ulster Bank (Belfast is bristling with them) and ask them to open an account for me, and close my RBS one. That would make me feel so much better. I'm going to implode if they can't.

On the other hand, I've discovered that Lara (my flatmate) is going to be a really bad influence on me. Apparently I didn't entirely break the washing machine, the same thing happened to her; except that she turned the knob thing the other way and it was fine. We opened a bottle of wine, and she mentioned that she had a Swiss Army knife, and I might be able to "fix" it with that. I like playing with knives. I took off a chunk of the plastic covering the programmes bit using the big knife (there will be a photo), and then we managed to move the dial around to B (normal wash), using the bottle opener. Normally this would be bordering on sacrilegious, but desperate times etc. (I was down to one sock: I must have thrown one away. Not to mention women in this country have very small feet, and the men wear really boring socks.)

There's an offy (bottle shop) here called Wine Mark, they're not as good as OddBinns, or Berry Brothers and Rudd, but they are everywhere, and they do have tastings from Thursdays to Sundays. This week is Oyster Bay, so Lara and I are going to visit four different outlets and go nuts on the chardonnay. Roll on tomorrow evening!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Oops

Oh god - I think I've broken the washing machine... I'm afraid unemployment is bringing out my hitherto extremely latent domestic side. I'm not entirely sure what's going on, and I don't think I like it. Last night I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen (and I hadn't even been drinking!), washing dishes, generally cleaning the benches (I know that doesn't sound like a two hour job, and that's part of the problem). I'd finally finished scouring, and was hanging the tea towel over the oven door, when I noticed that I hadn't cleaned the oven. I actually had to stop and think that I could do this tomorrow, if I wasn't working.

I can feel Danger Mouse's pain as he reads this. He, Papa Smurf and I used to flat together, and Papa Smurf and I would hold off doing any housework whatsoever, safe in the knowledge that Danger Mouse would cave in first. It was fantastic. I can't believe how much I've changed. I must find me a drink, stat.

So, I was cleaning the washing machine prior to using it this morning. Before breakfast even. (I mean, this is seriously worrying.) It involved cleaning the manky water out of the fabric softener compartment, and generally removing grimy looking stuff. So then when I'd put my new sheets in (I have a bed now. It looks like it's designed for an oversize child, but at least it's a bed), I sorted out (with some difficulty) what programme I wanted the machine to run on, and turned the handle thing. The programme bit on the inside wouldn't budge a millimetre, let alone an inch (which would have solved the problem nicely). Gargh! I haven't even been here a day! It's stuck between P and S, which apparently stand for pump and spin; and I'm running out of socks.

I went and watched the Ireland vs. France rugby match on Sunday. (I really can't believe the uncharacteristic things I'm doing at the moment, although it was probably just an excuse to go to a pub.) It was gorgeous weather on Sunday morning, and I went off wearing sunnies with no gloves or scarf. By the time I'd made it to the pub for the 3pm kick off (see - I have the jargon and everything!) it was drizzling quietly, and bedraggled shoppers were scuttling under awnings. I found a nice quiet pub in town, propped myself up at the bar, and contemplated what to drink. There was a beer there called Bass (rhymes with lass, if you're interested), which the bartender assured me was dark, so I tried that. Moved onto Guinness for the next one; the Bass was more like ale than a dark beer, but probably okay for a session. About three mouthfuls into the Bass an older man (who'd probably been drinking since about 10am) noticed me, and came up to talk. He was very sweet, but said things like "You'd make a good rugby player", and "Having a shiny chin is a sign of fertility" (gulp - have to watch out for that!). He even tried to set me up with his friend (who, it turned out had only met him about 10 minutes before I walked in), who rode a Harley Davidson. The motorcycist apologised to me for him, and bought us both a pint. At one stage in the second half I even had to pretend to be interested in the game to stop talking (actually, it was very close, and the French are always fun to watch). By the time it came to leave (4? 5?) pints later I was talking to the bartender, who said with a grin "And you just came in for a quiet pint to watch the game", and looking in trepidation at the saturated people coming through the door. The bartender gave me a golf umbrella from the left property. I was stoked, because the last one I bought (never buy umbrellas from the Post Office, even if they do proclaim to be "NEW! Wind resistant design!") lasted about 20 minutes, before the handle snapped in half (and Belfast isn't even windy, well - not as we know it, Jim), and another 20 minutes before the cover bit turned irretrievably inside out.

I've just heard from one of the jobs I applied for yesterday, and it turns out that it's the same position I've already applied for, advertised through another company. Still, she has a colleague with a new and unadvertised job, who's going to call me today. Someone needs to employ me before I break the oven...

Friday, February 09, 2007

Jobs etc.

HAHAHA! I've just applied for a job looking for testers! I hope they contact me - I'd love to get paid for breaking things again. Actually I've been quite productive today too - went to talk to Luke (the landlord/estate agent/something person), and I can move in whenever I like. This is good, but he'd forgotten that there's no bed in my room. In the same conversation he also mentioned that he has a terrible memory, so that's slightly less than comforting.

I applied for three jobs today - the testing one, a publisher one, and a tender submissions one. The tender one looks rather menial, but it's really well paid, so meh, I can put up with that until June.

I've also been searching for gyms - still haven't got over the "in your condition" comment I received in Dublin. They all seem to be american conglomerates moving into the rest of the world; maybe Belfast women are comfortable with their bodies, they certainly don't seem to have local gyms... Actually, I've been reading "Bandit Country", by Toby Harnden which is about South Armargh and the IRA, and apart from all the killing, I've been staggered by the way everyone either walks or cycles everywhere. It's full of sentences like "the patrol, who were cycling from X to Y". It's not like South Armargh is a small area. I'm taking it as inspiration. I have been striding all over Belfast city recently - mainly lost (I don't understand it - I walked to the flat yesterday), and running late. My brand new map is looking well-thumbed (or gloved: the weather has packed up, and although England has snow, we just have bitter bitter cold - no wind though).

I'm off to stop thinking about phrases like "building relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders", and start having a look at walking tours (I should be able to afford those!).

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I have a flat!!

Although I probably shouldn't say that until I've given the landlord the £50 I probably don't have... It's all far too complicated - I phoned the bank yesterday, and they said they can't send me out a new card (who the hell has a bank card that expires anyway?) until I have a real address, and apparently the hostel isn't "secure" (they should try leaving their swipe card in the bedroom!) enough; and I can't exactly get a new place until I have money to give the landlord. I should rename myself Yossarion...

So I went and saw two places yesterday. Oh my god. I got SO lost. I was supposed to be at Rossmore Ave (first one) at half eight. I shut down the computer I was working on my cv on (yes, losing it. GARGH! Can't believe I was so stupid!), grabbed my map and set off. Tip: look at the page with all the little roads on it, don't navigate (though apparently, strictly speaking, that only relates to seafaring) by the large one with main roads only. Several wrong turns later I got a phone call from Mr. Pteranadon, who seemed vastly amused by my rantings about lack of road names and offered to guide me from Google maps. This wasn't going to help me find unnumbered houses though. I mean... Anyway, only 25 minutes late, Rossmore is four rooms, two of them filled by a Swedish archaeologist (yes, blonde and hot) and a circus performer (who's apparently hardly ever there), and it's a bit of a hike from town. Nice big rooms though, and apparently the inmates both drink, even if they are vegetarians.

I eventually found the second, after walking almost all the way back to town (and then back again). Landseer St. has a pub on the corner (which makes up for no street sign), but it's quite small, and has only three rooms, which will probably be all girls, one of whom is an accountant. I think you know which one I've gone for.

I called the landlord this morning, and we're meeting tomorrow. He said he's been stung before by people saying they would take the room, but that I sound genuine. It fleetingly passed my mind that that could have been due to him not being able to understand a word I was saying.

I also sent my "beefed up" cv to the other agency this morning. He called up to make sure that I was, which I think is good. I feel quite productive really - just off to post my change of address notification to Scotland now.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Beautiful Belfast

Wohoo, I've made it to Belfast!! I caught the bus from Dublin on Monday afternoon, and arrived here 2 1/2 hours later, which was grand, but I realised with a small sinking feeling on the bus that I hadn't managed to print out either the name of the hostel I was booked into, or the directions on how to get there. All I could recall was that it was about a 10 minute walk, which, if multiplied by Mariella-directions, could turn into a great big tour of the city with a weighty suitcase in tow.

Thank you BT, who have funny little internet post things along with their phone booths in the Europa station. They're impossible to type on, and the mouse takes an entire hand to operate, and they cost £1 for 15 minutes (which I'm discovering is about the norm! It's a bit of a shock, after Dublin's €1 for an hour), but I found the necessary information to get me to a bed and a shower.

On Tuesday I got hold of a map and went walking. So glad I had the map, even though this is the most tourist-friendly city I've ever been in: they have great big posts with maps, including big red "You are here" things, and little signposts all over the place, but I keep going in absolutely the opposite direction. I blame the moon.

On one of my forays I discovered a wee place called something like "Jobless Resource Centre". I was having problems finding recruiters who were interested in someone with my "skills", so I wandered in, to see if they would have a list of job agencies, or somesuch. There were two lovely old ladies there, who had problems understanding my accent for starters, and then didn't seem to do anything like what the Centre implied. I forbore from asking what they did do. They kind of pointed me in the direction of City Hall, after saying they weren't very good with maps... I found one recruiter near there, who gave me a bit of paper with a map, and directions to go to the 9th floor in a completely different building, where I had an interview with a lovely man called John, who took my cv, and has a possible job he's putting me in for. I've since worked out it's for about 3/4 of what I was working for in NZ...

I'm having massive problems with my bank at the moment. When I was living in Stirling I joined (after blood, sweat and tears - all mine, natch) the Royal Bank of Scotland. I transferred all my money into this account before I left NZ, hoping that it went through all right. I got to Dublin, where I found an Ulster Bank branch, and thought that I would just check that the money was there (who me, paranoid?); and I found to my horror that my card had become unregistered, or something. Eeeeep. No worries, I though, I'll sort it out when I get to Belfast, they'll have a branch. Except that they don't... So now I have to phone them - only this is a little more complicated than it appears, because they have all my money, and Belfast doesn't seem to do internet/cheap calling places like Dublin. However, at least I have the branch number, courtesy of a lovely man at the Ulster Bank, which is bound to save about five minutes on the phone.

Randomly just received a phone call from another recruiter who wants to put me forward for a techical writer role. Must go and fill in some forms for him now.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Ah yesterday

The last couple of days have been grand. Yesterday my (leisurely) breakfast was interrupted by a phone call from Joy, a friend of my mother's, who asked if I wanted to come dog-walking up a mountain. Of course I did. Brilliant. So she picked me up outside The Tuning Fork (a pub, natch), and we drove off to Kilmashogue which is about 15 minutes of dog-on-Mariella, dog-on-Joy and dog-on-windscreen-wipers outside Rathfarnham.

The dog is some type of terrier thing named Har. He has quite an interesting history; to start with he doesn't actually belong to Joy, or even to the neighbours "across the way". The neighbours found him on the side of the rode after a hit and run (hence his name); they took him to the vet, got him patched up and kept him when no-one came to claim him. A while later the son left home, and Har wandered over to Joy's place; she kept him for about a week, then as she was putting up a notice a small boy said "That's our dog", so she gave him back. Except that he didn't stay with them, and has pretty much adopted her as his new owner. She periodically returns him when she needs to leave the country, but he's always at home waiting for her.

We decided to take the trail less travelled on the mountain - it looked more exciting. As it turned out: we felt like explorers, cutting our way through gorse, leaping over branches in our path, and fording rivers. Actually this is where I turned all girly and said that I was supposed to be meeting my cousin in town for lunch, and that I had a hole in my shoes (it's true - I was going to get it mended in Welly before I left, but the weather was so appalling I was wearing them up to my last day); so we retraced our steps, and took the high road instead. At this stage Har was looking more brindle than grey and white.

When we came back down Joy suggested lunch at Glencree, where they don't mind Har sitting quietly(!) under the table. For this trip Joy attached Har to the back seat of the car, much to my relief, and his audible disgust. We had very good mushroom soup with fresh brown bread, and navigated home via the Dublin "Mountain" (which has been measured at 910ft).

Joy dropped me off at Fay's, and I ran in to clean up my breakfast dishes: I had left toast in the machine and half a banana floating somewhere round the kitchen. It probably looked like I was abducted for scientific testing. Unfortunately Fay was home in between, and not only did she clean everything up, she also put the alarm on. Due to my inability to deal with anything electronic that's not a phone I managed to set this off (I was pushing the wrong buttons). It's very loud. However, she was joking with me about this yesterday, so I remembered her password when the eircom man rang to check that I wasn't breaking as well as entering.

I spent the afternoon having a guided tour round The Clarion and drinking very good coffee there with Em. I followed this up by attempting to buy a ticket from Bus √Čireann for Monday from Dublin to Belfast. Having spent at least twenty futile minutes on their site yesterday I decided that in person was the best method. When I asked the woman at the counter I discovered that the price was different from that advertised on their timetable (lower, so that was a good surprise), and that she couldn't sell me a ticket so far in advance (five days). No wonder I couldn't get one on line... So I went to a pub instead.

I had dinner at Brasserie Sixty6 with my friend Blaire. It took me about 10 minutes more than I had anticipated to find it, because I'd forgotten that you can have odd and even numbers on the same side of the road in Ireland (pics coming, I promise!), and that roads change their names capriciously here, so you can have number 68 followed by number 1 (just for example (who me? bitter?)), in the same block (who me? lost?). Happily, Blaire called as I was dithering half a mile up the correct but now differently named street, outside a different restaurant which could have been number 69 (the address she texted me), wondering if I should go in, and I walked down to the right one. I had planned to go out drinking afterwards, but we both ate so much steak (and chocolate fondue) that it was all we could do to waddle, slowly.

Fortunately I went out last night, with Leta, her bloke and his mate. Leta and I went to a Hare Krishna place for dinner; when I got there I was so hungry I ordered the super massive plate. Eyes bigger than stomach, there was no way I could finish it, but fortunately they did takeaways. We went to the Palace Bar, where they had both Guinness and live music. We were sitting right next to the musicians, and I wanted to take a recording to put on the blog, but I was far too embarrassed. I'll sort out how to manage it and take the next opportunity. Leta and her bloke left after a couple, but Tom, who is German and plans towns, and I stayed for a couple more, which was grand, until I looked at my watch and panicked about last buses. What time do they go in Ireland?? Apparently the ones to Rathfarnham go at 11:40pm. Good to know.

I'm meeting Em at a pub somewhere on the way to Bus√°ras (where I failed to buy a ticket) shortly, so I think it's time to send out a scout party.