I swear, sometimes it makes me want to cry how incompatible I am with this country and culture. Please forgive me, dear Irish person, of course I realize and know that you are not all the same and it is not your fault. Let me unleash my sadness and move on. You see, ever place has their pros and cons and I have a right to be a bitter bitch. This is going to be a helluva long post, so hold on to your knickers and off we go!
Not so good-
1. Taxes– Ah, I don’t even know where to start on this topic. I am sure every country has its tax trouble and what-not, but damn it- no other country beats how ridiculous things are in Ireland. Let me fill you in. I kindly will. First let me say one thing- I do NOT mind paying taxes, no I don’t but when I do pay taxes I wish every regular and normal Joe/Abby and Emily down the road to see the benefits of paying those taxes. You know- free education (or at least a decent meal for kids in schools at lunch time. Note: Ireland doesn’t provide warm food in schools), or decent and safe roads.. You know, stuff like that! Irish people do not like to voice their troubles, they just slump their shoulders and get on with it… “Yera, it could surely be worse”, they say and pay and pay and pay and not eat and pay and not have a place to sleep anymore and pay and pay… You get my point! Why am I so bitter about taxes here?
Well, because if you have a 2 litre motor your road tax a year will cost you around 700 euro, plus insurance- depending on the driver but for a person with no points on their licence and no claims, around 300 euro and then the NCT (u”levaatus) which costs 56? I think? Thing is every year you go there is something huge wrong with the car due to the condition the roads are in shit despite you paying your arse off. I swear, every morning driving to work on the main road feels like sitting in a tractor and speeding across the field, going bouncy-bouncy-bounce-bounce “God damn it, I doused my crotch in coffee! Ow!” Pothole after pothole after … Yeah.. Lets move on.
The more a person wants to work, the more they pay their taxes. 40 hours a week and the wages are yours. 50 hours a week- well, that extra 10 hours you just worked will be paid with a “Thanks!” if your boss is nice enough.
TV licence annually 160 euro- all fair and square if this would actually give you some decent channels as well. But no, Sky service in Ireland would cost you 35 euro or month for entertainment package or there thereabouts, so.. if you want sports that would be another amount on top of it. So, you’re ending up with like 70 euro a month which amounts to 840 euro a year plus TV licence of 160. Now, that would be great because you think that if you pay you actually get a wicked-great service? Weeeelll, not always. A lot of people have problems with the dishes as Ireland is a rainy, windy country so each time the dish goes out of position you are TV’less for a couple of days until a guy comes over to re-position it and charge you 50 quid for it. Now, it happened to us one year with the storms where literally the guy was over 3 times and we just went- fuck this anyway!
The wickedest tax in this country (which is also in UK and some other countries) is the inheritance tax. I mean- dude, people can’t even die in peace because they know that if they’re filthy rich and want to leave stuff to their families their loved ones are going to be hit with a massive bill on top of their grief and possibly be in debt for the rest of their miserable lives. I am not kidding- a tax bill for the valuables that you inherit could reach hundreds of thousands, meaning some people have to take a out a mortgage to pay the tax bill and pay back the mortgage until their dying day. Like- who came up with this and why did they think this was an OK thing to do? Doesn’t make sense. If a person has worked their ass off all their lives to secure their offsprings a better life then… hell no- think again because inheritance tax! I think it is the most shameful tax that can ever be… And, no I am not inheriting anything, I’m from a poor family… yet my heart goes out to people who are in this situation…
Or I don’t know, maybe I am missing a point. Feel free to fill me on the hows and whys… Just remember, again, I am not against paying tax until it has some certain limits and takes into account the people who are already starving at home because all their money is tied up in government’s mistakes…?
2. Religion- I will say nothing apart from- Ireland is doused in it and maybe needs to break free from it a bit. But hey, who am I to say anything, right? If you want closer examples let me know and we can take the conversation to a less public place where our views won’t offend people.
3. Weather- it is miserable. No joy to be had from first snow. No joy to be had from “oh, hey, I can see the asphalt again!”, no joy to be had from a garden full of apples and berries and no joy to be had from a roasting summer. It’s the same flipping overcast with a bit of sun with occasional rain and storm and red alert weather every day. Ah, constantly damp and chilled to the bones. Rain, rain, rain and more rain. The rare year snow did come (2010 I think it was) it froze everyone’s plumbing in the attics, under the ground (as they are not really isolated) and all mayhem was loose. I was working in a take-away that time and we didn’t have any water at home and man, when you’re working in a take away you need a shower every day because you just stink of oil and fish&chips and the onions that you spent the whole morning chopping. Not nice. Also- as a side note- the fireplaces in this country are useless. They won’t heat your house and the chimneys are open so that when it rains it all runs down the chimney and splatters ashes and soot all over your lovely carpet. Friggin’ headache…
4. Commuting- Ireland has to be the most awkward country in the context of trying to get home to Estonia. I mean, getting to Estonia cheap enough. And it’s possibly Estonia’s fault for being where it is rather than being situated instead of, say, England? Or France? Man, the commute would be simples! I swear I have been chasing flight tickets and coming up with schemes of “fly over this one route and come back the other” but damned- not a single flight matches well with times. Either spend an uncomfortable night in the airport or book a hotel. I guess I am having so much trouble because I don’t want to pay 600 euro for tickets for 2 people. Ryanair has really spoilt me. If it can be done cheaper then why pay more, right? So, yes, a pain. I was giving up already and crying within my soul that yet again I will have to postpone my visit home. But turns out Lufthansa from Dublin with a stopover in Frankfurt will provide me with a flight for decent price and no major time wasting.
Travelling within Ireland is a bit of show as well. So- obviously I need to get to Dublin to catch my flight at 5 AM. Probably end up driving to Dub from Kerry (~3,5 hours) Sleepless night, a day at home wasted being like a slob on the couch with droopy eyes. No worries- been there, done that! My point is- who exactly decides that some flights are to be at those awkward hours? I mean obviously there are millions of flights a day or whatever and we can’t satisfy everyone’s whims (such as mine to have flights at decent hours) but… Why? Why is everything always such a hassle? Is it because I walked under a ladder?
Now, other Estonians in Ireland would read my 3 reasons and wave their finger at me while telling me to pack up and fuck off. They love Ireland Oh so much. I don’t blame them. I love Ireland too, because at the end of the day I am employed and able to support my family. Oh, and nothing beats a pint of Guinness at the end of a day’s work. I was ready to pack up and go, lads. I was! But then my 1 Reason for still being here happened. But yes- world peace and less taxes is what I aim for. Man, I could write a book and call it Utopia!
1. Love – yes. Met a guy, fell in love, and if I have to sacrifice my mental normality then I am willing to do it for him. Even though talks are in session for a possible future in Estonia. Who knows…
To end this post- No, I am not a pessimist. I came to the conclusion with my brother a few days ago that pessimism exist only when one gives up. Keeping up the fight and moaning about it is realism, my friends, because such is life!
Over and out!