Just so you know

“It looks so lovely, your life,” my friend V. said when we Skyped the other day. “When I read your blog, I think ‘it looks lovely.'”

We brought our petite trash bin dutifully outside. These days, I look forward to trash collection very much, because it only happens every other week. Have I mentioned we have twins? In diapers?

Yes, on our lovely street, we have a tiny bin that Sascha gets in to stomp down the trash and get us to the exalted day when trash gets collected and we can begin again. But yesterday, we dragged the bin back, still full. I was deeply distressed. I double-checked online that we had the right date for collection.

After starting at “position 29 in the queue” on the phone, I finally spoke with someone at Dublin City Council who told me that the trash bin was purposefully left behind with our disgusting diapers and rotting meat and such because the account was in “arrears” from the previous owners. We would need to set up a new account under our name. I knew we’d have to pay for trash collection, but the owners neglected to mention we’d have to set up an account. They made it sound like we’d just get a bill.

So here it is, my breaking point in loveliness. I don’t want to do this often, but I’m going on barely any sleep (the boys have been on some night-waking bender the past week), and we are talking about rotting garbage. In America, (yes, Dad, I said it), I would have just recited numbers on a credit card over the phone, she would have taken some info, and bam! instant account with a paying customer, no interruption in service. Here in Ireland, however, they do things a bit more slowly and a lot more verbosely. Everything you do requires various letters: ones you write, ones you wait for. Not emails. Not forms you download and print out. Letters. We get a letter informing us the gas company has added our email to the account. A letter telling us to send a letter to immigration. Lots of mail, but I guess at least their post isn’t nearing bankruptcy like ours.

My instructions to set up a new account are as follows: send a copy of our lease (1st and signatory page) along with a letter requesting that a new account be set up. And then I guess we wait for a response as to when we are good to go with leaving our trash curbside.

So tomorrow, these are on our “to do” list:

1) Walk with boys and strollers and bags full of glass bottles (clank-clank through Ranelagh Village) to the “Bring Centre,” where, you guessed it, you have to bring your glass recyclables because the regular recycling pick-up does not collect them.

2) Take a taxi stuffed with our hideous refuse several miles away to the only center that will accept our trash. (This is Sascha’s idea. Mine was to surreptitiously throw away smaller bags of trash under cover of night at various public bins until we had a manageable amount in ours that might tide us over to the time where we can have our trash collected.)

3) Compose an epistle to the Dublin City Council on behalf of our rejected bin.


This is the glamorous life I lead. On very little sleep. Jealous?

14 thoughts on “Just so you know

    • I think in the wait time for our new account we’re going to have to do that, but Sascha rebagged all our trash in heavy-duty bags and cabbed it out this morning. Despite having called and confirmed that it would be 15Euros for a carload, when he got there, they shook their heads and told him 4Euro per bag. IN COINS. Sascha had no coins. He had to have the cab driver take him to the nearest store to buy something random and request his change in coins. The cab driver suggested maybe they should just be “runners.” (They had left the trash while he went to get coins.)

  1. I remember a time when Dad would take 6 barrels out to the curb. One for each member of the family.RH, USA is very reliable. Hang inToots it will get better. XO Mom

  2. Does not sound fun. Try not to stress out about it too much, you’ll straighten it out 🙂 Hope the boys start sleeping better for you too!

    • They do seem to be sleeping better, thank goodness, which can make all the difference for me. When I have little sleep, it turns me into what S calls an “impossible-ist.” Anyway, what I did was essentially reason with them. I went in and said, “I’m not picking you up. I love you but it’s night-night time.” And it actually has worked! I think the guilt about all the transitions had us picking them up more when they woke, which in turn meant they were waking up more. A vicious cycle we had to break.

  3. Oh, Erin, I feel for you! We lived in Puerto Rico for a couple of years after we were married, and we quickly discovered how things we took for granted at home were not “givens” there! Waiting in hours long lines to apply for services such as electricity and phone service, and then being put on weeks long waiting lists for actually getting them! We had diaper service ( for Amy), and after a trip home for a week, came back to discover the rotten bag still on our front step because I had asked to hold back service, (meaning drop-off) for that week. Or when the Indepenentistas would bomb the water treatment station every few months, and i would have to go to the end of our street with jugs to get water from US Army trucks! Still, I wouldn’t have missed the experience! You will be laughing about it years later, and doesn’t it make you appreciate the “little” things? Good luck to you all, and I still am jealous of your wonderful adventure!

    • Hi Sue,
      I had no idea you lived in Puerto Rico! Thanks for sharing your story. I am still glad we jumped at the chance for this adventure, even though there are some hard parts. I think I need to remember that wherever we are, now that we are parents things are harder anyway. xo Erin

  4. I give you a lot of credit. I haven’t had a proper adventure since my first was born, 9 years ago. My trash is picked up when it is supposed to be picked up, but there is also a cost when things are so easy.

  5. Pingback: Daytripping to Malahide | The Other Side of the Road

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