Advance Warning: There are no film or DVD reviews at all in this blog post!
Last weekend I took a trip to Dublin with a couple of my co-workers, Richard and Vitaly. I've been sharing the company flat with Richard for a few weeks but his contract ended on Friday and he decided not to renew (with the lousy weather, long hours and weekend working, and this being his first contract nobody could blame him). Vitaly is a Russian contractor who has worked for the last couple of years on the software that we are producing a new version of. His wife Nadia came along too.
Saturday was great, even though we were all exhausted after another difficult week at work. A quick early evening nap meant Saturday evening went really well and Dublin was what friends had told me it was - a fun, friendly city with lots of drunks (including us), but all of the friendly, smiley kind. A stag party from Manchester helped make the evening and I posted photo's from the weekend on an internal company 'social' web site which I've also posted here (beware three 'pages' of slow download and company 'in jokes'). What the photo's don't really convey is a sense of what a nightmare Sunday became when Richard's car broke down late Sunday morning in the middle of Dublin on a busy match day.
Using the internet to try and find a breakdown service on a day when an important national match is being played is not a wise idea. Two idiots wasted several hours we didn't have before towing us (in a battered old Ford Fiesta) to their 'premises' behind three off-road rubbish tips complete with roaming packs of rabid dogs, mad barking locked-up Alsations and the supposed office being a trailer home. It felt like we were about to become the participants in a bad Hollywood 'horror' flick, and far scarier at the time than any photo's I managed to grab (the mere act of which caused another altercation). A 170 Euro bribe had not been in my budget but was needed to get the car towed to the more public location of Dublin airport, where the RAC were joined and called out, with me thankfully managing to get a hire car for a week despite only having my photo passport without the accompanying paper license. The moral of the story is: if you're going to take your car abroad make sure you have recovery there!
Sunday was an expensive and wasteful (not to say stressful) end to what should have been an excellent weekend, and for Richard it was pretty much the last straw in what he has come to see as the 'nightmare' of his first contract in Ireland. Thankfully we have the pictures to remind us that we'd loved Dublin itself before the nightmare started!