Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Preparing for Ireland / BGG.con Trip

I've been single - or effectively single - before. But I've never had so much to do every day.

Each day I have a list of ten or more things that must get done, and I'm the only one around to do it. I thought things would calm down after the summer or moving, changing jobs, etc. It must get easier with time. RIght now I feel I have to be on, all the time, full time.

I also thought I would be able to live within my means, finally, but I'm still spending over a thousand NIS a month more than I'm making, and that's not sustainable. There must be a way.

I could save the money I'm going to be spending on (already booked but not paid for) lodging and travel in Ireland. Luckily, the trip budget was allocated from separate funds (blog income) a long time ago; I already bought the non-refundable plane tickets. Otherwise, I might just have cancelled the whole damn trip.

Cell phone: Orange's offer to provide me cell-phone usage in Ireland was a joke. Instead I am renting an entire cell phone from D.systems Ltd for a few NIS a day, and $0.59 calls out and free calls in. It's too expensive to use in the US, but in the US I will always be with my friends Bill and Shirley who have cell phones with great service plans, so I won't need one.

Passport: I discovered a week ago Sunday that my US passport had expired in May. Ouch. A week ago Monday I dutifully called the embassy at 10:00 am (when they are open for receiving phone calls) and they said to come in without an appointment the next day. When I asked, they said that I could also come in today, if I got there before 11:00 am.

Driving through Tel Aviv is no picnic; I'm pretty sure I drove the wrong way down half a dozen roads. But I got to the parking lot across from the embassy at 10:55, got my photos taken and my bag stored, and made it inside. They promised me that my passport would be ready within a week and a half, and it would be faster for me to just come back to the embassy when they have it (rather than wait for it to be sent to me). It's now 8 days later, and 8 days until I leave, and I'm anxiously waiting to hear from them (I called yesterday, and they said that it hadn't arrived, yet). [1]

Electricity: I think I have a GB adapter somewhere. Have to go find it.

Money: I need to get some Euros for public transport and serendipitous spending. I have enough dollars to survive until Kansas City, and when I'm there I can use a US check to get out some money from my US bank account.

Activities (Ireland): Dublin, craft stores, or hiking every day, pubs and music every night. Shabbat hospitality courtesy of the Dublin synagogue and/or chabad. I hope to get a game in on one Thursday evening in Dublin.

Activities (US): I will be in Kansas City from Sunday evening until Tuesday early morning. Turns out that EVERYTHING worth doing is closed on Sunday and Monday in Kansas City. So not much planned. After that, it's pretty much BGG.con all the way.


[1] I am/was worried that Halloween would give me one less day of cushioning. Turns out that Halloween is not actually a US federal holiday. Who knew? Then again, why would it be?


gma J said...

Have a good trip! Julia

Fellonmyhead said...

Have you been to Ireland before? I'm sure you're going to love it.

Yehuda said...

No, first time. But I went to Scotland and loved it.