Thursday, June 28, 2012

Foggy water

People take personal hygiene very seriously in Ireland. Sometimes people take a shower a three times a day: one when going to work, one when coming back from work and sometimes one at home. If it's a day off, or a person is otherwise not connected to work life, going out can be labeled as taking shower.

There are three types of rain in Ireland: fog, rain and water. Latter is when rain comes horizontally against a person's face and wearing an umbrella is more like a joke than actually useful accessory.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How to get a PPS number

One of the main issues of living (or at least working) in Ireland, is attaining a PPS number. Number is a personal number for Tax office to calculate person's taxes. Number is also needed if a person wants to get a pension later on as well as all the other social security and health related issues.

Attaining the PPS number is basically really simple process with right documents. You need to have a valid identification like a passport or a driver's license (of course, this seems to be mandatory in every developed country) and a proof of address. The latter one is a bit trickier process. What substitutes for a proof of address is a matter of opinion, but a rental agreement, a letter from a landlord or a room mate, a some kind of utility bill (electricity, gas, garbage disposal) or a letter from your employer is kind of proof, and so valid, but these letters are put into consideration. You also need some easy to use leisure products like portable videogames, mp3 device, a book, a paper or your yoga mat. I'll come back to that later.

So your morning starts 9:25 at Kings inn street social welfare office. There are loads of people with lots of concerns awaiting with you and when the door opens at 9:30 they will all run upstairs for reasons unknown to man. Theory of Collective Intelligence might give us a hint of this behaviour. But your main concern is to avoid letting your instincts to push in and to stay downstairs. There's a perfectly normal desk calling for you on the first level and when this happens, you can let your instincts finally go loose. Use your muscles to achieve the desk and you will encounter two well behaving customer representatives ready to give you a ticket number as soon as you tell them that you're here for the PPS number and you have your ID and forementioned proof of address readily at your hand.

Now comes the hard part of using leisure products. Time usually seems to be in bullet time (see references from Matrix or any other action movie made in the next five years after the original matrix) when you're waiting. Hopefully you understand how to use your leisure products or that you at least have that special happy place located somewhere in your brain, where you can go anytime when a moment calls for it.

After almost using all of your leisure products, your number is up and you will have to locate yourself in a appropriate small booth. Process from there on is supported by two lovely officials which will give you two small papers to be filled out. If you get into any sort of trouble because of lack of understanding, the officials will help you anyway they can, or if the situation asks for it, you will be appointed to guardian, who will take care of you until you are suit to satisfy your basic needs on your own.

The first letter is about your personal details, like your name and a place of birth, mother's maiden name, etc. As stated before, if you can't fill out these for any various reason, there really should be somebody to take care of you. You might label me as a supporter of sustainable equality, for I think that is a good thing. The second letter is all about security questions which will be used if you need to be in contact later on about your PPS number.

After you are done, you will receive a letter delivered to your home address stating your PPS number in five days. You can also call the Head Office of PPS numbers the following day. Here you will need to recall your security questions, because that is the way you are identified from now on - ALL THE TIME.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Packed packs

You know those movies where getting relaxed involves of  untieng a tie and getting socks off. It also includes a comfortable sofa where to lay down and where you are allowed to a have a big bag of potato chips. If that kind of movie (or a tv-series) were made in Dublin, it would require a props manager making special orders, because potato chips in Ireland are basically sold in small packs weighting about 25 grams.

There are bigger packs sold in Ireland. But, here's the catch, they are actually just bigger packs containing those smaller packs. Here's a pro tip for somebody learning the ropes of prop managing. Buy the bigger pack, take out the smaller packs and empty them pack to the bigger pack. Or just let the actor have the bag, but don't let him eat anything from the pack. Prop pack might as well include cat food, and you know actors. They are intelligent people who think with their hearts instead of their brains.

Good side is that you never eat too much with too much ease.

Author would like to apologize in advance for all the prop managers reading this short blog. You've probably figured all these things out or else you wouldn't be a prop manager. If this pro tip was actually useful, then remember to credit the author.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Irish courteousy - something to look for

Have you ever felt that somebody is rude to you? Or that somebody just tries to make fun of you and you don't know it? Here in Dublin it feels that you get the right answers to both of these questions.

Being Finnish as I am, I have hard times saying please and thank you to every dead space of a conversation, but not all the time as being such a sexually fantastic cosmopolitan. But here, in Dublin, it just gets to you. Even when you forget to say those complimentary words, somebody reacts to you in a certain well-placed-thankyous and takecareofs. It's hard to explain if you're not ever been to Dublin. It's like meeting your personal reaper at the wrong time, and the reaper asks you if this is a bad time.

It seems that it actually doesn't take a lot of time for somebody to just start repeating some common courteousies even if that somebody is just trying to ask for a lighter.

I think this is the basic dialogue that happens then:

- Aye, how you doing?
- I'm quite fine and the weather is fine, like, don't you think?
- Grand, and could pass me some fire, please?
- Grand, and ouh, grand, perhaps, grand, I got some from my, grand, friend, can't actually remember her name, but emm, grand
- That's okay, but you were brilliant, I'll just ask somebody else, but you were a great help, thanks.
- Yeah, and the stadium, that's just great, and oh, here's my lighter, there you go.
- Thanks a million.
- Yeah, you take really good care of yourself and we'll see each other again. Take care and bye.

In finnish that would be:
- Any light?
- No

Friday, June 8, 2012


Airports. Airports never change. Nobody knows who built the first one, but we know they exist.

Lennart Meri Airport, named after the former president of Estonia, is a small airport with just one runway. Nevertheless, while I was there, waiting for my flight to Dublin, I discovered that while Saku, Estonian brewery, has had a few Estonian sounding brands, but it also has had a few brands of beer which are not assosiated with Estonia very often. 

Brands like A Le Coq (sounds french to me) and Dublin (creamy dark beer, which is for me like Saku Tüme with some creaminess - but does get the meeting with the floor when against Beamish or Guinness) remind me of other places excluding  France and Ireland for reasons of being diplomatic. It could be that Estonian history hasn't had those remarkable events that curve history, so that they could sell beer on their own. Unless somebody wants to google Saku Karl Friedrich.

Or perhaps it's the Estonian way of saying that they are a part of Europe, more or the less than Russia. As far as I know, there hasn't been beers called The Stalin or The Iron Curtain either. Perhaps Saku, or some other brewery, could start a new beer brand called Lennart Meri. Hopefully it will give some justice to the name.