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8½ years in Ireland

11 years in EU


Work in Europe

North Strand Road flat, Dublin

Ireland, Summer 2001 —

I was living on Mountjoy Square when I started working at Boulangerie des Gourmets. I was paying £70 per week to share a room.

Turns out Olivier, the owner of Boulangerie, didn't want to advance me money. I'd had a week without work — and had opted for a trip to Galway with my pals Jesse and John, who were to leave the country soon. Money got real tight.

And Olivier didn't want to give me any. "If I give you an advance, everybody will want one." This was echoed by his ballboy manager, Damien. Really annoying. Damien implied it was reckless and irresponsible of me to run out of money. "How could you..." he asked, sort of trailing off at the end with a pinched-up, itchy little look on his face.

Well, it didn't get better. (To say nothing of the working conditions, which were typical of mass-production "gourmet" capitalist unit-pumping.)

I told Olivier "I'm going to lose my flat if I don't pay the rent." That's when he suggested I move into a flat that he owns. Goes without mentioning that I disliked the idea by the mere principle of it.

Nice flat. Room of my own. Nice room. Bedbugs. But a nice room.

Shitty housemates. Well, only L_ really sucked badly enough to be notable. But he fouled the whole house. A real ignorant punk. I worked with him too — hence the vehemence. Bigoted, unimaginative, brainless wonder; bogglingly alogical. And arrogant. Hard for me to bear.

It was uncomfortable there — not least because I felt I had been trapped into the place.

It didn't take long, either, before I had to get out. I soon left the job, the flat, and — clean sweep — left Dublin, too.