Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Fun Day at the Garda National Immigration Bureau

[The Dingle entry is coming, but as it is photo-intensive it is taking some time, and I've got some other stuff to say in the meantime.]

My passport had been stamped upon my entrance into Ireland with the date October 3rd, and I had been told to go to the GNIB, in City Centre, to register and get my nifty little ID card before then. I did try to go before that date, but at 3:00 in the afternoon they had long since stopped giving out tickets (think "deli counter") and so I resolved to come back the next day. Unfortunately, the next day was the day I came down with tonsillitis, and so the trip was put off. When I did try again, which I believe I mentioned here, I gave up, as the line was not only ridiculous but immobile, and I had better things to do. And so, I decided that yesterday would finally be the day I made it in and registered. I didn't have class until 2, so I thought I'd have plenty of time since I planned to get there well in advance of the 9:30 opening of the student office.

And so, yesterday morning, I awoke at 6 a.m., showered, dressed, ate breakfast, made it to the bus at around 7:45, made it to Garda at 8:50, and was faced with a line that was still around the corner (only one corner this time, though). I stood and waited while reading up for my upcoming essay for about 40 minutes waiting for them to open, and at 9:44 I got my ticket (the time is printed on) saying that I was 218th in line, and thus the 282nd person to get served overall for the day. The garda who handed me the ticket told me to come back after 1:00. "There go classes," I thought. But I decided that it would be an excellent opportunity to wander the city, buy a bike, and stop in the National Museum for a while, where they have an exibit on bog bodies that I really should've been to see by now. Alas, however, Square Wheel Cycleworks was out of second-hand bikes, the National Museum is closed on Mondays, and the cinema didn't open until 1:30. I did, however, have a really nice bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese while sitting next to the Liffey being stared down by seagulls.

By noon, I'd run out of ways to amuse myself, and seeing as the weather was being generally unpleasant I decided to just go back to the GNIB and wait there. I had brought quite a bit of school reading with me, which was good, because I had plenty of time to read it — 282 wasn't called until around 4:30. When the number counter hit 280 I was fidgeting pretty badly and the African woman sitting next to me, the Eastern European woman on the other side, and I joked about the building pressure. Finally, it was my turn, and I handed over the stack of paper they required of me along with my passport. The man behind the counter was very nice and everything went very smoothly. After I paid my €100 fee (and I can't believe had to pay them to spend my day there) and had my picture taken, I was told to stick around just a little longer for them to call my name and give me my card. It was after 5 p.m. by the time I actually got out of there, meaning I spent longer than a full day's work at that hell-hole. But it wasn't all bad; people watching was pretty high quality, and there were a lot of absolutely adorable babies and little kids to make faces it. Also, my ID photo is the most badass I think I've ever taken.

So after this ordeal I treated myself to a surprisingly delicious veggie burger at Abrakebabra and went to see Superbad, which was just what I needed. It's a very funny movie while still remaining fairly loyal to a fairly genuine sense of the high school experience, and the ridiculously awkward characters made me feel a little better about myself.

In other news, today I bought a second-hand bike at Joe Daly's Cycle Shop in Dundrum and got plenty of exercise finding my way back. And now, I'm going to take it over to rock climbing.

1 comment:

Ken L said...

Yaaay ID! Post that picture, too? q:

Also, yay, Superbad! I enjoyed that muchly. Happy adventuring!