Thursday, 18 October 2012

Random stuff about living in Dublin

Somewhere out there there are beer, tramps and people who will ask for your cigarettes!
There's a few things that I've learned in my 1st month of living in Dublin. Now I'm going to by pass a lot of the more obvious stuff like pubs etc and concentrate on the things that slowly gnaw away at you. Like for example if you are a smoker, and are walking around places such as Camden street after dark there is a 60% chance that someone, a some point will ask you for a cigarette. (Edit: having headphones on stops this)

The same as during the day you will see beggars on most corners. If you gave to them all it would bankrupt you, some appear to be 'career beggers' who are not as desperate as some others. So whether you give to any, alll or none is up to you, but like any big city they are pretty much unavoidable unless it is pissing it down with rain.

Now as I've touched on before, thre are a LOT of pubs in Dublin, probably more than 1 person could drink in in one lifetime. Its very easy to get tempted to visit a different one each night before you turn around and realise that you're never at home in your flat. Just because everyone speak english does not mean they do things the same way as england, scotland or wales or any other country fo tthat matter. There are distinct ways things are done over here that you'll come across yourself and are far numerous to mention in detail here.

I'd urge you to set up a bank account as soon as you can to make life a bit easier while your here, and you'll need a passport and some sort of proof of your address (a bill will do fine, but you'll need to wait for ti to come first. There may well be another quicker way that I'm not aware of.)

It also rains a fair bit in Dublin and when it does...boy oh boy does it hammer it down. So make sure you have a waterproof coat as there's nothing worse than walking to and from work soaked to the skin as if you've been in a shower with your clothes on.

If you need to buy something whether it be clothes or something for your flat stephens green is worth a look and your best bet is aplace called 'Dunnes', Although there are a few places with cheap plates and cutlery etc in camden street as well.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Finding Somewhere to Live

Home is where the axe is!
Once your in Dublin, we'll assume that you have your first week accommodation sorted out by whichever company brought you over. After that the fun begins to try and find a place to live long term.

You have a choice of course, you could if you are lazy and have more money than sense simply keep staying in hotels and bed and breakfasts, but trust me you'll fast get sick of having no time to yourself or privacy. I spent another week split between 2 separate rooms in 2 separate houses. While the 1st one was fine, the cheaper one staying in a house owned by 'Mim' was excellent and I was made to feel far more at home. (I'd strongly recommend it for a stay if you have a choice in fact, as its the bed B & B I'd ever stayed at in all my years traveling around.)

When looking for somewhere to stay long term chances are if your working for screen scene then they will help as much as possible to find you somewhere that both meets your budget and also that's a nice place. In the case of those who came over around a similar time as myself, we had to also contend with the fact that the students were all coming back and looking for a place to stay. So most places were gone inside of 24 hours, often far less, so you had to be fast. is a good place to look for places and was found by Yanko sitting just behind me right now. Now price wise your going to often need one months worth of rent as a bond and usually either 2 or 4 weeks in advance. Also some places want a year long contract so you may have to either negotiate a shorter term, or look elsewhere.

I'm paying 200 euros a week for my apartment which has 1 bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen and a main room to myself in a self contained apartment. But you can spend as little or as much as you want really. Now for me as I'm living away from my wife and kids, to me it isn't home without them so it doesnt overly bother me. (plus I spend most of my time either at work or reading in the pub around the corner lol). On top of this I have the electric to pay as well.

Now this means either setting up an account over here, or using a one back home (which could possibly incur bank charges for transaction not in your own currency, so look that up!) Also if you do open an account you will need your passport and a utility bill such as an electric of phone bill before you can open one.

Having access to the internet is of course a priority in our online of work. While some ISP's over here do let you do a 'month by month' connection, its often easier to simply use a dongle. O2 over here seem to be the best bet at the moment. Although at the time of writing it does only give you 5 gig a month so you'll need to be careful!

Touching on mobiles I would strongly suggest picking up a local sim card as it'll be far cheaper and if you have either a second phone or a one capable of two sim cards you can also keep your old number from back home.

Now please keep in mind that this blog is my own opinion only, its not being 'funded' or influenced by anyone and you take the advice here or leave it. Hopefully the entire intention is that it will help people coming over t6o Dublin to get a feel for the place when working over here a bit faster.

My biggest advice for anyone with a family is to resist the temptation to keep loking at pics of your wife and kids every 5 mins as that's a one way ticket to driving yourself nuts. Make sure that you do have some semblance of a social life over here as you will fast get sick of things otherwise.

'All work and no play makes jack run round with an axe'. time we'll cover the practical side of living in Dublin.

Monday, 8 October 2012

A 3D Guy Arrives in Dublin

There be crawlies outside that Patio door!

The idea behind this blog is to not so much cover the 'art side' of 3D, but to provide sort of a guide to living and working in Dublin for those who like myself are new here.  So I'll be covering the things that may catch you out, the nice places to eat or drink and things that you may want to avoid.

I'm going to try and add an entry each day  while I am here for the 5 months of my contract till mid march, by that time it should provide a pretty useful guide to those following over.  I'm currently over on a 5 month contract for Screen Scene FX working on a film as the lighter and also doubling up doing any sculpting needed as well.

When I 1st came over here 3 weeks ago I was placed in the 'Leason Bridge Guesthouse' which is a standard initial place for anyone working at screen scene (although this could change in the future).  This is a comfortable guesthouse and luckily just acc5ross the road from the Leason pub.  (Which has some amazing entertainment nights about half of the week with everything from jazz to rock.)   It can get a bit touristy, but to be honest its a nice place to stop for a few drinks as your introduction to Dublin.

Now if you like me are a smoker, most places in Dublin will not let you smoke there, so you'll want to hunt some nice pubs and restaurants that have an outside area.  If you are especially unlucky and are at the Leason Bridge guesthouse on the ground floor, you may get one of the rooms with the patio doors leading to the 'patio area' (which in reality is just the car park).  Now this make seem like a godsend as you can simply open your patio doors and have a cigarette outside with ease...... BUT!.... while its great during the day, at night it is infested with horse lice and thousands of other crawly things.  So if you have any problem with insects (as I do) I advice not opening that patio door after dark.

Your 1st couple of weeks in Dublin it is not unusual for even the most restrained person to go a bit 'pub mad' and be out every night.  Mainly as literally every street corner has a pub, bar or restaurant.  But this will soon wear off as you'll be surprised how much it mounts up money wise.

Talking of money, settling in Dublin will costs you more than you maybe realize.  most people coming over here to Screen Scene do end up pretty broke for the 1st few weeks until their pay kicks in for a week or three.  This is less of an issue if you have a couple of grand spare to rely on as well.  So do not expect to be living the high life for the 1st few weeks, at some point your money will run out and you will wish you had been more careful of it.

Also cigarettes are more expensive than in England (or most of the EU) so you may want to stock up before you travel over if you smoke.  Guinness however is only 4.20-4.60 a pint over here and tastes about 300% better than any Guinness you have have ever had before.  In fact I am reliably informed by Garloff sitting next to me now, that against all logic, Guinness actually has less calories than a pint of German lager.

Next time we'll cover accommodation, Bed and breakfasts, shared rooms and apartments.  (We may also touch on a few hings about phones that could trip you up if your bringing yours over.)