Month: March 2014

Setting up shop in IRE

Hello friends,

Greetings from Galway City. It’s been a fun few weeks getting my bearings in town. From Paddy’s Day pints to seriously strong gale force winds I’ve been getting a crash course into what makes this city in the west of Ireland so unique. By weeks end I should have an Irish bank account, local cell phone and a great 2-bedroom apartment to call my own right in the heart of the city. Now if I can just pick up the tin whistle I’ll be known as a local in no time.

A few lessons / observations /ramblings on my first 10 days as a Galway resident:

-Paddy’s Day is taken very seriously (confirmed first hand its not just an excuse for Americans to drink heavily while wearing funny green hats, although there was plenty of that as well last Monday). Parades, pub-crawls, and a level of energy even the heartiest revelers would enjoy.

-The people are incredible. Clearly I am biased with a strong Irish background but I’ve already met so many nice people who genuinely want to help out and get to know you. Bartenders, taxi drivers, realtors (letting agents as they are known) all have a story for you and want to chat. Tell them you are from Boston and there’s a 100% chance they have a cousin or brother in Southie (or so they say). True or not, the Irish hold Boston in high regard.

A Friday night sets in Galway.

A Friday night sets in Galway.

-I’ve been staying at an AirBnb on Mary St while I get set up. It’s a great little studio apt right in the City Centre, a short walk to anything needed. Outside my door are four fine establishments: a Mexican restaurant, a tattoo parlor, an Asian restaurant, and a biker bar named Sally Longs. I frequent three out of the four.

Contrary to the pic, the inside of the AirBnB is quite modern and nice.

Contrary to the pic, the inside of the AirBnB is quite modern and nice.

 

Thank you Sally Longs, for teaching me I don't want to live next to Sally Longs.

Thank you Sally Longs, for teaching me I don’t want to live next to Sally Longs.

-The weather is hilarious to me. Yes it rains damn near every day this time of year, but when you talk to a local they act as if they were expecting 70s and sunny everyday. “Can you believe this shit weather we are having mate??” is muttered daily. Do they realize they live in the west of Ireland and not Manhattan Beach?

-La Salsa’s 5-euro burritos are out of this world. The food in general in town is really good, way beyond expectations. Not that I didn’t expect to be able to find a decent meal but the number of hip joints with really good local food has been a nice surprise. Think Portland Maine vibe.

-If I tipped every street performer I saw on a daily basis on Shop St I’d be broke in a month. The buskin culture in this town is amazing. Would make Lyle D proud.

couple the fellas on Shop St playin tunes

couple the fellas on Shop St playin tunes

-On the business front I’ve been settling into being a remote employee in the interim, using my mornings to meet with bankers, lawyers, realtors and keeping busy with my team back in Boston through the afternoon and evenings. Stay tuned for more exciting updates here in the coming weeks.

For a behind the scenes look at the streets of Galway, my man Pharrell has got you covered-

 

Hope you are well wherever it is you find yourself in the world.

MLK

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Sunday Night Ramble

next stop, the motherland.

next stop, the motherland.

March 9 ’14

Where has the time gone, 2014? It is already mid-March, and this time next week I will officially be in Ireland. Crazy to think. The last few days have been filled with random errands trying to tie up loose ends before my flight leaves. Saturday evening, nonstop to Shannon, arriving just in time for St. Pats Day. What great timing.

If you have found yourself asking the question, why another blog, MLK? Whatever happened to deductionsandmelodies.com anyway? You are not alone. I think at last count this is something like my 2,453 attempt at getting into a consistent writing groove. Who knows, maybe there will be some reunion posts to share between myself and Mitch Miskified (co-creator of DedMels, lifelong fellow rocker.)

To answer the question of why another blog, I have four answers:

1) fuel my writing interests. that first book isn’t going to write itself.

2) easy place for family and friends to keep tabs on my journey (the Fitz family “reply-all” chat rooms can be exhausting).

3)  share some tips about what to do and more importantly what not to do while living abroad.

4) create a repository to look back on when I inevitably lose my memory and wonder how I spent my late 20s in Ireland.

Writing has always been one of my passions and I have been sorely lacking on practicing the craft the past few years. This upcoming year is going to be a wild and crazy experience so I want to make sure to document as much as possible, to learn from my mistakes as well as share some success stories for those interested in learning about an American on ex-pat assignment in Europe.

That is all for now – stay tuned for more to come…

Random musical plug for the night – how cool is this Band of Horses video? Was fortunate to catch them recently at the Somerville Theater on their acoustic tour. Very cool show –