Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Happy 4th of July! Independence Day in Ireland. I won’t expect fireworks tonight in Dublin. Like all of the other holidays that we celebrate only in the U.S., I’ve come to not expect anyone to notice. A few did which was nice. (Wonder how many people in the U.S. know Irish holidays.)

Not much to report from yesterday. Made some beef stew and then later in the afternoon went to see E.T. at the cinema across the plaza. Really enjoyed watching E.T. again, but have seen it so many times I know much of the dialog. Still fun to watch and, yes, still get sad when E.T. and Elliott had to say good-bye.

Today, I picked up a new USB charger for my phone. My old one wasn’t able to hold a charge any longer. Very handy to have if traveling for many hours and not near a power outlet. Also shopped at the big Tesco for some ingredients for making Skinny Lasagna tomorrow.

At 2:00 I had dental appointment to get my teeth cleaned. Think I posted earlier that the exam and cleaning was 95 Euro – much less than I would pay in the U.S. Think I was paying close to $150 in the U.S. – with insurance. My dental appointment in Budapest was similar to a U.S. visit. Was a bit different in Dublin. The dentist performed several tests to see if I was grinding my teeth at night and the hygienist used an oral spray to numb my teeth and gums before the cleaning. Was in and out of there before I knew it. Very well organized.

Early evening I met up with another group of InterNations people. This time was for a beer tasting event. We were given a few beers to try along with some cold cuts. Enjoyed meeting new people from Bulgaria, Belgium, and someone who moved to Dublin from Florida. An American!

The Bulgarians were very happy to be working in Ireland. So many more opportunities for them here that they wouldn’t have at home in Bulgaria. They said the transition from the days of USSR is still ongoing. Sounds like it is getting better, but for now, moving to another country for a better job is still better than staying at home.

The Belgium guy, Rudy, was interesting. Not because he talked very fast (excellent English) but just the experiences he’s had. I talked about visiting Zermatt and the Matterhorn – and he said he climbed the Matterhorn last summer. Wow! He did admit that more inexperienced climbers can make it to the top since the anchors were already pounded into the rock. It does require considerable skill to manage the ropes. I mentioned my dad was a mountain climber in Oregon. And he knew about Mt. Hood too.

The guy from Florida, Ronald, was a consultant who specialized in IT start ups. He has also helped with non-profit start ups so we talked about that as well. He described an intern program for youths who are interested in the IT industry. The High School dropout rate is very low throughout Ireland – around 10%. Wow – we talked about so many subjects.

After a couple of hours, think I was talked out and left. Just a short walk back to Smithfield. Caught up on some emails, watched TV (via Apple TV) and was in bed by 11:00.


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