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Home is Where the Heart is ?!?
By Celia Anderson
9, Feb 2002 - 12:26

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You must be so bored with my train stories. Now imagine how I feel. Up and down each weekend. Friday, you shoot off early from work, to catch the 77 or whatever comes first. (Those of you, who have travelled by bus in Dublin, know what I mean.) Then dash towards the Liffey, onto the 90 or 91 to Houston Station. Once you get into line and are herded into a fenced off section, you feel the urge to look out for sheepdogs, expecting to see a black and white flash at your heels. Then onto the 18:00 Westport train. And that is an experience in itself.

Have you ever seen an Avalanche on TV? Well, be at Houston Station on a Friday at approximately 17:45 and you will see a colourful one. Instead of trees and rubble, it drags along every sort of luggage, bag or packet, including the odd old person who was brave enough to stand near the front of the “Mass”.

Once again, I can hear you say, “Why does she do it then?”
Ok, you asked for it. Now I am going to bore you to death.

I came to this beautiful country (including wind, rain, floods and our ever-famous potholes) in November 2000. My intentions were to join my Irish partner and set up home together. I found work in Dublin and all was “grand”. But alas, a few months later, my partner was transferred to Castlebar. We travelled up together and need I say, I fell in love with this lovely town on my first visit. We strolled around town, walked up and down roads, exploring. Sat on a bench next to the fountain in “The Mall”. We knew we were home. At the time I had no idea what hurdles I was to face. No problem, I thought (Yeah Right?). Backed with my good work record, I had a fair chance finding work in the Mayo area. For now, I was in Ireland, enjoying the new culture (incl. Guinness) and meeting new interesting people.

Oh boy, was I in for a rude awakening. Let's just say, it was not from lack of trying. After many months of travelling, I heard good news. An agreement between Switzerland and Ireland was coming into action. It was going to happen at the beginning of 2002. The agreement called “freer movement”, would mean I could apply for work without my employer needing a work permit for me. In the meantime, I applied and received a Business Permit which would allow me to open a bilingual business (with no extra financial backing, it was equal to another brick wall), but it also allows me to work for any company (without a work permit) in a bilingual field, on contract or self employed. I was over the moon. Finally I was coming home.

To make a very, and I mean very long story short. The agreement was postponed to the beginning of 2003, finding contract work in the Mayo area is next to impossible and to make my life even easier, work permit fees trebled. That means, by next April, I would be travelling home and back up for one year. What more can one add??? How about …..”HELP !!!”

I even have a “fantasy” backup plan. I play the Lotto twice a week and buy 8 Winning Streak tickets a month, with the home of getting lucky. At least, it’s for a good cause. My dream would be to open an International Book Shop in Castlebar (have already spotted the ideal location, just across from the Mall). My sales would mostly be over the Web, but I would have a good collection of books in all languages on my shelves. Who knows, maybe I could finally finish writing my children stories called “Collection of Tails”, while being surrounded by people and books.

Ok, enough of that. Your reward for reading this long tedious tale – coffee!! You may go now. Enjoy!! NO WAIT!! Just one more statement: “The Future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams!” Right on, Eleanor Roosevelt.

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