Winging it in Wilmington

Sep 17 • NEWS & VIEWS, ViewsNo Comments on Winging it in Wilmington

FROM IRELAND TO ILM: Fiona O’ Sullivan dishes about her life in Wilmington as compared to life in Dublin. Courtesy photo.

FROM IRELAND TO ILM: Fiona O’ Sullivan dishes about her life in Wilmington as compared to life in Dublin. Courtesy photo.

Last week was fairly hectic. I went about changing my rental accommodation. As my first time “moving house” in the U.S., I have to say it remained intimidating. I didn’t really know how to sort everything out and I hardly know anyone here to help.

So, I started gathering my stuff and organizing how I was going to do this. I completely underestimated how much work goes into packing and unpacking. And this was only for one bedroom, never mind a whole house. (I don’t know how people stay sane when moving!) I have no car, and didn’t have time and money to go around town in a taxi to look for boxes. Plus, I gave both my suitcases to my relatives in Greensboro. So I ended up shoving everything I have into black sacks. When I first arrived here, I had two suitcases; four months later I’ve accumulated over 20 bags full of clothes, as well as bedroom furniture.

Transport was a major challenge to move. Somehow I had to figure out how to transport a mattress, box spring, bedframe and dresser across town. Instead of paying a ridiculous amount of money on a U-Haul for such a short distance, not to mention being on a very tight budget, I asked around work to see if anyone had a pick-up truck that could be of assistance. All I can say: It’s great having very helpful co-workers and that over here pick-up trucks are so common. Otherwise I would have been lost in how to get all my stuff from one place to another.

As well, there were some things that wouldn’t have even been possible to move if I was doing it all by myself. As soon as it came to taking the bedroom furniture out of my room, misery set in on each attempt. I thought it would be easiest to start with moving the mattress downstairs but only managed to drag it to the landing. The difficulty in simply bringing it to the landing meant transferring downstairs could only end up in disaster. The dresser was so heavy, I didn’t even make it halfway across the room. So much for trying to get a head start, but as the saying goes “many hands make light work.” So, my co-worker and her husband helped me out, and I’ll be forever grateful!

I’m sure doing this at home would be a little bit simpler, especially in Dublin because there are so many methods of transportation. Most of my friends who have moved to the city from the country for college found it to be quite an easy process. Most bedrooms there come furnished, so all they have to worry about is bringing their clothes.

To add to all this excitement, it was my birthday this week. It was quite bizarre spending it so far away from home, without friends or family. On Saturday night I had plans to go out with my former roommate and her sisters, but I was adamant I wouldn’t spend the day of my birthday, Friday, sitting on a couch with nothing to do. Fortunately, my new roommates invited me out to the Triangle Lounge. It’s unlike anything in Dublin. For such a small bar, it was great craic (as we would say at home). I felt like I had walked into something from a movie; it had a real Southern feel to it (as I’ve said before, the more Southern the better)! Only a couple of seats surrounded the bar, and the floor primarily filled up by foosball and pool tables—again not a layout typically seen in Ireland.

At home, I usually spend my birthday going out for dinner, then to a club. For people who celebrate their birthdays in the pub, it’s quite a different scene from the bars here. For one, there are more seats and tables, almost like a restaurant, with maybe one or two pool tables. Generally, the music is lower and there’s a vast mix of age groups. It’s more of a casual place to catch up with friends.

It’s even more varied when going to a Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) bar, which are very traditional. GAA pubs equal Irish sports bars. A number of times, while out at a GAA bar with a group of my friends, the old men would start singing old Irish folk songs. Makes me wonder if the two or three Irish bars here are the same as home. I’ll report back next week.

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