April 10, 2016

My Irish Spring

Why are you here? 

How long are you staying?

Where are you staying?

Do you have a job?

What will you be doing here?

Do you have enough money to be here?

Why did you come here?

Can I see your bank balance?

Ireland is nicknamed the Land of a Thousand Welcomes, but that was not my experience when I went through immigration at Dublin airport!

The easy, breezy lack of border checks in Schengen territory were long gone once I landed in Dublin. While the Republic of Ireland is a member of the European Union, the country is not part of the Schengen agreement. Therefore, I had to go through immigration when my flight arrived from Budapest.

Normally, it’s a pretty smooth process that lasts about 60 seconds, max. This time, I got peppered with questions, and the officer didn’t seem super-psyched about my answers.

Do you have a job? No.

How long will you be here? Probably about three weeks.

Have you booked a return flight to America? No.

Problem is … I know that Ireland is a pit stop in the context of a longer journey, but how could I prove that to him? Invite him to follow my blog???

Eventually, though, I made it through, and it was time to celebrate. Cheers!

Another reason to celebrate: My visit coincides with Ireland’s 100 year anniversary of the Easter Rising. There are signs and commemorative flourishes everywhere you look, along with plenty of spring flowers. It’s a great time to be in Dublin.

Temporarily, of course. I promise to leave!!!

Here are some photos from my first few days. Details in the captions …