Monday, 19 January 2009

Irish Rover - Part 8

....continued from Irish Rover Part 7 - Part of a series of posts recalling my wandering ways (finally bringing you to how I got ended up here in Buenos Aires.

New York was great but I still hadn't found what I was looking for. After a bit of pleading, heaving and pushing for a transfer, a potential work opportunity with the bank I worked for presented itself to move from New York back to London which would put us nearer to at least one family (mine).

After giving notice on our apartment lease, abandoning the wife's application for US residency, buying air tickets, paying for a moving company, the unthinkable happened. A management reshuffle at work meant the transfer was put on hold until further notice. The 'Man from Del Monte' who said yes no longer had the power to say yes and we were left up sh!t creek without a paddle. I was a tad fu(ked off with the corporate machine to say the least.

The exit wheels were already too far in motion so the missus had to head solo to the UK and hopefully I would follow shortly. The movers packed all our stuff and the missus boarded a plane and I ended up having to sleep on a sofa of a good friend waiting for the politics in work to settle down. Any illusions I had about 'the company has your best interests at heart' were dashed. I still feel bitter about the whole way it was handled. I gave the company 110% - they gave me the middle finger up the arse!

If it weren't for the consistent lobbying of my boss back then, I probably would never have made it, but she pushed and pushed until the powers that be finally relented (thank you 'R'). After four months haggling I finally moved back to London in April 2005.

London had changed a lot (for the better) since my time there in the 80's. Irish were no longer third class citizens. Quite the opposite - we were riding the high waves of the Celtic Tiger. We spent two fantastic years spending a lot of time with family and friends and exploring the near and far flung corners of Europe on the Ryanair cattle shuttles.

In June 2007 after much deliberation and consultation I decided to walk away from the company and 'secure' job I'd had for 13 years. No redundancy package - No golden parachute - just me heading off into the sunset for a wee bit of R & R, to be a bum and do this kind of stuff. I needed a break. I needed a sense of purpose.

Is life just about 9am-8pm Mon-Fri? Wait for a bonus that rarely meets expectations? Take conference calls at 10pm? Have that sinking feeling in your stomach on Sunday afternoon - "Oh fuck - work tomorrow!"

A lot of people (most of them have mortgages, kids and debts up to their eyeballs) did and still do think it was an irresponsible move on my behalf. The plan was for this exodus to be for one year sabbatical. So we packed our stuff once more and this time headed to Buenos Aires for some down time. The cost of living is cheap and the missus has family here.

After living the 'life of Reilly' for a year, a little phenomenon known as the global financial crisis has popped up it's ugly head and so my re-entry to the rat race has been somewhat delayed. Now I find myself trapped in a strange but fascinating land with little or no job prospects or earning potential.

Do I regret the choices I've made? - NOT ONE FUCKING BIT!
Do I need to find a job? - unfortunately yes - I didn't get paid the silly bonuses some of these Wall Street shafters pillaged for years - I live a frugal - thrifty lifestyle down here to make ends meet.

What will I do? Where will I go?

WATCH THIS SPACE! - Change be a coming in less than 5 days!

Tags: ..Irish in Buenos Aires, Irish expat in Argentina..

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nick January 20, 2009 5:20 am  

I'm sure you were right to give up the 9 to 8 for a while and do what you really wanted to do, even if it's posing a few employment problems right now. You've had a lot of brilliant experiences you might not have had otherwise. I sympathise with the job headache having been shat on by a couple of employers last year and still scanning the job ads.

Thriftcriminal January 20, 2009 5:41 am  

Here was I thinking you were gainfully employed down there! Well, I have kids and a mortgage so I wouldn't be off into the great unknown, but if I didn't have them, I'd be going for something similar to yourself, possibly with more idling, deliberately not contributing to the broken machine. Seems pretty responsible to me, given the current circumstances.

NicoleB January 20, 2009 6:58 am  

Grin, I can imagine the reactions of most people, trust me.
Oh well.
I'm sure glad you don't regret it and heck, opportunities usually pop up when you really want and need them.
Best wishes!

Baino January 20, 2009 7:21 am  

. . .but I still hadn't found what I was looking for. . .how very U2 of you. I love these posts and hey, you were/are young enough to take the plunge. Good on you for doing it. I'm still waiting to fully satiate my wonder lust although I fear I'll end up being a 'grey' nomad towing a caravan up the north coast.

Broke But Still Drinking January 20, 2009 9:50 am  

I'll bet you are happier than the material people. I'd trade in a lush lifestyle for a beach any day. Keeping up appearances is too much work for me.

Anonymous,  January 20, 2009 10:10 am  

Funnily enough I'm planning a year tralling myself - starting in September or so. can't wait!

Quickroute January 20, 2009 3:31 pm  

@Nick: It's been a fantastic adventure and I'm not looking forward to the rat race

@Thrifty "possibly more idling" - if I was any more idle I'd be in a coma!

@Nicole B: Thanks - I've been lucky so far :-)

@Baino: It was now or maybe never so I jumped at the chance as I now it's more difficult later on

@Broke: Very true - a big house and flash car can't compare with an adventure on the road (in my book)

@Conortje: Good on you - Now do tell - where to?

VE January 20, 2009 4:43 pm  

Man...I'm envious of your nomad lifestyle. I have to wait until April to get to the caribbean to get out of here for a bit...

C'est La Craic January 21, 2009 12:07 pm  

Good for you mate. It's a race for rats to die, as the song says.
And sure when you're on your death bed you won't be saying 'wish...I''

wandermom January 21, 2009 12:19 pm  

Loving these posts - especially when you slip in truisms like "Ryanair cattle shuttles" along the way.

Definitely agree with you that Life's To Short to live with 9-5 from 22-65, I hope you get a job sorted out so you can continue on your travels.

roy January 21, 2009 12:28 pm  

the never ending bleedin' story!
jaysus I'd say you never shut up when ye get back to the blacker!

Shaunj January 21, 2009 5:03 pm  

Good luck with the job hunting, fancy a change myself right now.

The restaurant was decent but expensive for Poland. I am sure they send the dodgy bits of cow arse an Argentinian wouldn't be seen dead eating-over here for the locals to sample.

Megan January 22, 2009 3:04 am  

I missed my first chance, but my second one is coming around in about four years...

That's way more than the less than 4 days we got going on here, though! Tell, tell!

Conan Drumm January 22, 2009 7:31 am  

Hmm, noticing the 'we' became 'I' and wondering if you're solo now?

Quickroute January 22, 2009 9:07 am  

@ VE: You're among the most well travelled bloggy people I know

@ C'est Le Craic: Very true - the office seems so trivial from afar

@ Wandermon: Thanks - I'm sure it'll all work out in the end

@ Roy: lol - yep - i'm the one blathering away over me pint as I drive people to the drrrink!

@ Shaunj: Thanks - bummer on the meat :-(

@ Megan: It's good to have that to look forward to - all will be revealed soon!

@ Conan: Nope - her good self has stuck by me thru thick n' thin - don't know how she has the patience! ;-)

iWalk January 22, 2009 11:42 pm  

My life was just about 9am-22pm Mon-Sat for long time. But I never can quit this kind of life drastically like you. I can only colorful my life with some tours to somewhere. But these are only short time tours, Not live deeply everywhere like you. Yeah, I hope I can have the courage to live like you. :)

Anonymous,  January 23, 2009 5:28 am  

"@ Conan: Nope - her good self has stuck by me thru thick n' thin - don't know how she has the patience! ;-)"

Don´t you mean she has stuck by you thru think n´fat? Ye´ll be grand goother!! You´re the M.D. of Mr E.C. and you´ll find the way, as always. Think of Patrick Rocca. 41, multi-millionaire, 3 kids, commits suicide.

Perhaps he should have taken a year out.

Arjewtino January 23, 2009 11:44 am  

Love the redesign, dude, though I'm not sure how long you've had it like this.

I'm an asshole.

Hi! I'm Grace January 23, 2009 8:47 pm  

Unemployment? Hmm, you are not alone, dear. :(
Keep fishing.

MikeTheWaiterDotCom January 24, 2009 1:17 pm  

Change is something that many people fear. Personally, I find it exciting....and if one is to be "stranded".... you have found a nice place for it.
peace to you and your from Indiana, USA

Nomadic Matt January 24, 2009 11:02 pm  

what change will happen in 5 days!!! i hate waiting!!!

ur post title makes me think of the game red rover. "red rover, red rover, send an irish man over!!!"

iWalk January 25, 2009 1:25 am  

It's Chinese new year's eve today!

Hope you a happy OX year!


nick January 25, 2009 6:07 am  

Thrifty (if you're reading this), what's happened to your blog? I've tried several times to get into it and I just get the header and a blank screen. Come back, I didn't mean it really!

Quickroute January 26, 2009 11:13 pm  

@ ALL: Thanks for the comments and good wishes. The new adventure has begun!

Mark H February 06, 2009 4:19 pm  

Good on you for taking the plunge. Too many talk about it and too few actually do it.

Stevo May 09, 2009 6:47 pm  

Paddy, I finally read the whole series. Bravo. It's funny and succinct I wish I could write as well.

You've had some great adventures. I thought I would do the same when I moved to China. I have had adventures, but ended up married, and in management, which has delayed my wanderings. Now that that chapter is closing (the management part) I hope to be able to hit the road a bit. I'll use your Rover tales as a blueprint.

Quickroute May 10, 2009 12:59 am  

@ Mark H: Thanks - No regrets

@ Stevo: Thanks for the compliments - I'm sure you will have a blast - Traveling is Living!

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