Welcome to another instalment of the July Expat Experiences link-up hosted by Molly of The Move toAmerica. If you've never heard of this link-up before you can find out more about it here and also read Molly's story for this week or my previous Expat Experiences posts. The prompt for this week is 'What I would change about …' and the idea is to have a good rant and list all the things that could do with a bit of improvement in your current city. Positive criticism, they call it.
You all know that I'm feeling quite infatuated by Dublin at the moment but after a month living here I've also started to take notice of some random small things that make my life here slightly less than perfect. They're really small things, as you shall see, but they annoy me from time to time. So here's my little list (Dublin, don't get mad at me for talking behind your back).
The taste of tap water
Problem: I'm used to drink from the tap and I've probably been spoilt because tap water in the Netherlands and Switzerland tasted way too good. As good as something which by definition is tastelest can taste. Consequence: I am probably not drinking enough water and half of my daily water intake is in the form of tea. My skin is already paying the price.
Public transport routes
Problem: Now, Dublin has actually quite a decent transport network. There are buses, trams (called luas), urban train. (called DART) and commuting trains but there is a minor flaw in the transport system. Most buses and trams connect peripheric neighbourhoods with the city centre but most neighbourhoods are not connected among themselves at all. Consequence: I spend two hours a day on the bus because I need to change at the city centre to get to my office even though I don't really live that far and it would only take me twenty minutes by car. If only I had a driving license ...
Supermarkets product choice
Problem: This is almost a bipolar situation, as there is either too little or too much choice for almost everything. I can go crazy looking for the perfect brown bread among at least ten different types of sliced brown bread but then I go to the dairy products aisle and I cannot find a single normal yogurt amid so many low-fat types. And that's not the only aisle inundated by low-fat crap. Consequence: Grocery shopping is confusing and trips to the supermarket have become something overwhelming and time-consuming. Perhaps it's me who needs some improvement this time.
I think that quite sums up what I would change about Dublin, every other thing is just fine. Ok, maybe houses could do with some help too – what about better isolation and normal showers (seriously, THIS is just weird!). But I guess that living in an old house and spending my evenings under a blanket sipping tea is part of the charm of living in Dublin. So, from the cosy corner of my room where I pass my evenings under a blanket, here are some tips to help you get over any inconvenience you might find in your place, expat or non-expat home.
Find a remedy - easier said than done, but it's worth the try. I might be buying a filtering jar in the near future to see if that makes tap water more appealing to my palate.
Ignore it - not applicable to all problems but when it can be done, it is really the best solution. I didn't tell you but Dublin can be a bit filthy, only a bit. Anyway, as long as where I live is clean, I can live with whatever it's on the streets.
Move out of town - drastic times call for drastic measures. If there is something you really, really, really cannot put up with, then better start packing. Maybe day after day of rain will eventually see me leaving Dublin but for now I'm just hoping the weather will not take that nasty turn.