Bray, Books, and Brunch

I’m now in the final stretch of my time in Dublin. Truly in a routine now, the weeks are going by faster and faster. It’s going to be weird leaving Dublin, I’m so used to it here and the thought of going back to the 90-degree heat in Pennsylvania seems like such a foreign concept that can’t possibly happen for at least awhile.

The highlight of this past week was going to Bray in county Wicklow. It was quite easy getting there, in only over an hour, the 155 bus will drop you off right in Bray, with the coast only a few blocks away. My roommates and I went on Saturday, and it was pleasantly sunny and warm. For quite some time we just sat on the rocky shore and soaked in the sun. We then walked along the beach down the path and took plenty of pictures before taking some time in the grass to have a picnic. I even dipped my toes in the water for a bit, and even thought the water wasn’t too cold the wind made swimming seem rather undesirable. Some people were swimming though, and they looked really cold but also like they were having a lot of fun. I’m hoping I will go back to Bray before I leave Ireland and explore the town a bit more. It seems like a very peaceful place.

On Sunday, my roommates and I walked through the finance district of Dublin and walked across the Samuel Beckett Bridge. We went during the day, and since it some parts of it light up at night I would like to go back. The Samuel Beckett bridge looks like a harp lying on its side, a symbol often seen when travelling around Ireland. After walking around that area, we got brunch at a crepe place which had some of the best breakfast food I’ve had while in Dublin so far. The restaurant was called Lemon Crêpe, and the price for my breakfast sandwich and smoothie was quite cheap compared to other Dublin eateries.

The rest of the week wasn’t too exciting, just the daily grind of going to work. Since I have an hour lunch break every day, I’ve been trying to read during my break instead of being tempted to go on my phone and check social media. Since Coming to Dublin, I have read three books: The Hazelwood, Jane Eyre, and Sharp Objects. I also found a bookstore only two blocks away from where I work. The prices are extremely low for books in good quality, and I bought The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwoodand a Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway to hold me over for the rest of my breaks and for the plane ride home. Before I leave, I might have to go back to try to find a contemporary work of Fiction written by an Irish author—just to feel like I connected with the literary scene while staying here.

There are some differences in the work culture that I have noticed during my time in Ireland. Things here seem much more relaxed than they do at home. In previous jobs, I never really got to know my bosses. I would just do the tasks they needed of me to do and go home. Any personal conversations were kept on the surface level as to not waste time. In Ireland, my supervisors have truly attempted to get to know me, and seem to enjoy asking me questions and joke around with me whenever appropriate. I also overhear my supervisors chatting with each other about their personal lives throughout the day and they seem to be good friends with each other. My supervisors aren’t too strict about attendance either. Although I have been to work every day for the entire time, some of my coworkers have left early or arrived late and it has never been a problem—as long as the work is completed, it doesn’t always matter if people are at their desks all day or not.

I definitely prefer a more relaxed working environment and wouldn’t mind if my next job had the same atmosphere. I think as long as someone is working hard, work should not be a place of stress. I also like chatting with my coworkers, it makes the day more enjoyable and work becomes a new community.

Overall I’ve been pretty happy with the work experience here and I’m sad to see that my time is slowly but surely coming to an end.