-Where were you born?
South Africa, Pretoria
-In which country and city are you living now?
-Are you living alone or with your family?
With my Polish girlfriend
-How long have you been living in Ireland?
-What is your age?
-When did you come up with the idea of living in Ireland?
A friend of mine worked in Ireland & the opportunities were much better! As a chef, the pay and hours are very bad in South Africa and I always wanted to live abroad in order to make it easier to travel through Europe; while working on cruise liners I picked up the so-called travel bug...so this suits me just fine.
-Was it hard to get a visa or a work permit?
Not at the time...but now it's very difficult.
-Was it difficult for you to get medical insurance before you went there or when you first arrived?
No, I don't have any. It's not required in Ireland, although it can be expensive if you need treatment.
-How do you make your living in Ireland? Do you have any type of income generated?
My friend worked in a historic house linked with http://www.irelands-blue-book.ie, so I applied. The establishment I applied for made the permit application and through that I was contacted the second time when I returned home for 6 months. The only way it's done is if you get someone to sponsor you...there's no other way.
-Do you speak the local language and do you think it's important to speak the local language? Please add your thoughts on local customs and whether it's important for expats to respect/observe local customs.
Well, it's an English-speaking country...so it's second nature to me.
Same as any other country you go to...respect the local customs and you'll be grand.
-Do you miss home and family sometimes?
Yes & no...10 years out of the country...this is my home now. But I would like to go see some of the family as I've not been back since 2004.
-Do you have other plans for the future?
Not sure yet, but we are looking at Switzerland for 1-2 years!!
-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?
Glad I didn't buy when I wanted to...recession & all. We are renting, and it's come down somewhat. A 3-bedroom house with small garden for 1,200 Euro. But having said that, if you live in the countryside, a similar house with a bigger garden would probably come at half the price?!
-What is the cost of living in Ireland?
In Dublin mainly, it is expensive if you are a drinker and don't count your pennies. We go shopping up north often, and even with the cost of the petrol it still saves us money.
-What do you think about the locals?
Irish have become a bit racist lately...and I don't like the change. But you do get the good ones.
-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in Ireland?
Safe, good for golf, friendly people
Expensive all over, weather, jobs not easy to find, and the damn ash cloud
-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Ireland?
First come over and decide for yourself.
-Do you have any favorite Web sites or blogs about Ireland?