Everything has automatically a little bit more craic if you add the word "Irish" in front. Let's try:
  • Irish Breakfast
  • Irish Coffee
  • Irish Pub
  • Irish Dance
  • Irish IKEA
Now that I look at the list, somehow I feel like everything becomes "Irish" if you add a ton of alcohol and a couple blood puddings in it - none of these were part of our IKEA excursion though, sadly. Nevertheless, the expedition still had some pretty good craic! Did I say enough "craic" in this post already?

There's something about shopping for furniture that really makes me feel settled in a country. At this point, only after 2 years of living abroad, my feeling of being rooted in a certain place is still really dependant on this sort of external, fairly concrete activities to tie you down - I'd like to see you try and fly our new bookshelf in a luggage back to Finland! They're like anchors: nothing can pull me back now that I'm clinging on to my new house decor nail deep.

Alex and I moved in together - again. This time it's just the two of us, in a lovely little studio apartment a short sprint away from Phoenix Park. I'll take you to a house tour when we get everything settled (house tour = spinning 360 degrees around with a camera in a studio this size!), but for that to happen, we needed to test our relationship in the classic form of IKEA shopping.

The public transport of Dublin is terrible. I don't even know where to start. The only positive thing I can think of is the double-decked buses. They're fun.

Alex: "What do you think St. Pumps did to become a saint?"

Our task of the day was to find a bookshelf to replace the TV stand the previous owner of the apartment had left there. Obviously we ended up buying at least 15 other things, but...

Because why wouldn't you want a bath tub in the middle of your living room?

This is a funny thing: if there's one major difference between IKEAs in Ireland and e.g. in Finland, it's the fireplace. Almost every room exhibition displays a fireplace in it, whereas in Finland they occur really rarely. That's definitely for a reason though: most flats actually have fireplaces. Even ours (in a sense, you'll see later).

But of course the props are still all in Swedish. It's funny to sink in the middle of all this Swedishness: seeing all those Ås, Äs and Ös makes me feel at home, and 10 minutes in I expected everyone around me to speak Swedish.

"Mrs. Santa just got a lot hotter..."
"Shut up."

We got really excited about this rocking moose. The Canadian senses are tingling.

And what on earth are you even doing in IKEA if you don't plan to eat some classic Swedish meatballs? Well, Swedish for the Irish... Just plain meatballs for me.

Looking at this photo I realise how tired I actually look. Jesus. This year has been the worst of my entire life, by far, but somehow I never realised how it has started to reflect on my face. Onwards to new challenges!

... In this case, to assemble furniture. I can't say for sure, but Alex said "tabarnak" at least 20 times during the process. But we're still together, so that's good news.

The result! As you can see, we do have a fireplace, kind of, and even as a nonfunctional one we wanted to have it on display somehow. It starts to feel like home in here, for the first time in this country. Ireland, you're not so bad. The living conditions you offer just somehow make me hate life and everything coming with it.

What kind of things make you feel at home in a new country? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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