Apparently I’m Not Clever Enough

So now that I’m back in Ireland I have been looking at jobs that I’d be interested in in and around Dublin. I’ve been thinking about whether I should do a tourism course near me or If I should just apply directly for jobs. I don’t have the experience or the qualifications so I was thinking if I at least get a qualification in something then that at least will help me.

Anyway, I happened to come across a website that were looking for travel agents, so I said well I may as well apply and just see what happens! Apparently they are a good company to work for with good benefits and all that, so I filled out their application form and then just waited for an email.

I got an emailed back and they wanted me to do a mental agility test. I’ve never heard of this before so I didn’t really know what to expect. They said that I had 50 questions and I had to answer as many of them as possible in 15 minutes. So I started and honestly I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing! Maths, reasoning and comprehension are included in it and there are 5 ( I think) choices to choose from. You have to add maths quickly (I am atrocious at maths), another one is that you have to choose what the second letter of the last word is and then write it down of a sentence that is jumbled up. Then there was an example of ‘ Mansion is to hovel, as house is to…..’ and you had to click out of 5 possible answers which one ‘house’ is to.

Mental agility test sample

Source; google.com

I finished all of them but I didn’t have enough time to recheck them again. On all the Maths one I just guessed them because I didn’t have a clue! So then again I waited for their reply, not expecting anything to come out of it!

And…. I was right! I got an email a day later saying that my score wasn’t high enough. So that was that. I wasn’t annoyed or anything that I didn’t get through, I think I was just a little annoyed that apparently to them, I wasn’t clever enough to even have an interview with them.

I know I’m not good at maths, I know that. I’m perfectly aware of it; I don’t want to be an accountant, I wouldn’t even dream of it because I know I’ll never have the maths skills to do it. I just don’t feel it’s fair to be made answer maths questions and be judged on your answers because of it. So half the scores were low because of my bad maths.

Maybe I’m totally wrong and these tests are very effective, but in my opinion I don’t think so. I was already at a disadvantage with having bad maths, and I don’t think that’s right.

And anyway, this position was to become a TRAVEL AGENT. Not an accountant, not a lawyer, not a surgeon. Like come on, I think it’s a bit much just to be a travel agent.  The company also makes potential employers have a 40 minutes telephone interview, then another interview in their company, THEN another geography and maths test! So even if I did pass their mental agility test, I would have had to do another maths test anyway!

So maybe it was good that I didn’t get any further in their rigorous job application for the extremely demanding, difficult, life saving job of being a………

travel agent.

Aisling

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I lied!

photo of people walking on street

Photo by Lukas Kloeppel on Pexels.com

So, my last blog I wrote about our plans for Mexico and what not….. was a lie! We have actually arrived back to Ireland at the beginning of June! My last blog was really for my Mum (she is the biggest fan of my blog) and I didn’t want her to suspect anything.  You can check it out here: Looking To The Future

After my parents left Mexico after visiting us, we decided to leave in the next few months. We realised we were in Mexico too long and it just didn’t work out for neither of us. We weren’t able to get a job because we were busy with the weddings (ours and my husbands sister), then we would have had to move to Mexico city because in the city where we were there just weren’t any jobs for me.

I don’t see it as a failure though; I enjoyed my experience there, I came from literally zero Spanish to now being able to have day to day conversations, we got married and had our perfect wedding, and finally my parents came to visit. So some things didn’t work out but a lot of others did. It’s nice to be closer to my family though in Ireland. The weather is crap though, so I do miss the weather in Mexico! But I’ve been enjoying eating lots of white and brown bread.

I’d also like to think we are getting back on course to figuring out where we want to live and all that ‘life’ stuff. Maybe it will be in Ireland or maybe somewhere else in Europe, we will see!

But it’s nice being with my family for a while, with no flight to leave for for a while!

Aisling

Mexico City; I think it will grow on me

I’ve only been to Mexico city a few times, so I really haven’t seen much of the city at all. From my overall impressions, I’m not too keen on it; it’s just too big to able to comfortably travel to. First it’s a pain to travel into; once you hit Mexico city the traffic is terrible and it take hours to get to where you want to go. Second the road layout isn’t good at all. Whoever built the roads didn’t organise it enough and it’s not a city that is car friendly.

So anyway my husbands uncle invited us another few family members to eat with him in one of his restaurants that he owns so we decided to travel to where the madness is! The restaurant is literally right in the heart of Mexico city, and it’s located in a lovely old looking building. When I was in the centre of Mexico city the first time I visited the area but because there was a festival going on, I couldn’t appreciate the lovely architecture that was there. So this time round I was surprised at how pretty the buildings were.

Before lunch we went to visit some ruins which are free to enter on Sundays for nationals. Thankfully I had my residency card so I was also able to enter free! We spent about an hour and a half there and then headed to eat with the family.

I think my view is slowly changing about the city though. I think I’m just used to the city of Chengdu and how much more advanced it is. It was very easy to live in it, and I miss it so much sometimes. But anyway, there are good things about Mexico city, and I suppose I need to live in it to be able to appreciate it more and see all the good things about it!

Aisling

Let’s Get Talking (Spanish) Again!

auditorium benches chairs class

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

With my wedding, my parents coming to visit, I had to stop going to my Spanish class with my teacher for at least 1 month! Then there were holidays here so that added to classes being delayed.

When my Mum and Dad were here I rarely spoke Spanish. I didn’t want them to feel uncomfortable and left out when everybody was speaking Spanish. I know that feeling! So I just spoke English while there were here.

Then when they did left, I felt as if I forgot loads of things! I forgot words, verb conjugations, how to form the correct sentences. I really did feel like I forgot everything! I started studying again and I’ve found a Mexican TV show to watch on Netflix when the in-laws aren’t using it, and I think it’s helping me quite a bit. I remember a few words from it and simple phrases. It’s called ‘La casa de las flores’ if you are interested! It’s not something I’d want myself, but I’m getting more interested in it and it’s good for my listening practice.

So today was my first class with my teacher and It turned out well. I was a little apprehensive in case I was struggling to talk, but thankfully I spoke fine. I noticed though that I had been confusing él with ella. He and She. So I’d be talking about my husband with ella and my teacher would constantly repeat el! I didn’t even realise I was doing it. (and this used to drive me crazy with my Chinese students when I was teaching!)

I really enjoy my class though; I can make as many mistakes as I want and she won’t mind. That’s what I like. I’m not judged. (I feel I’m constantly being judged when I speak Spanish around others) She was also all praise about my Spanish too. I really do feel like it’s terrible, so when she congratulates me I really don’t know how to respond. I’d love to agree and know that my speaking ability is good, but at the moment I just can’t. When I’m not with her my Spanish hides and I can’t get the words out! So that’s my problem!

The class kind of reminded me that it’s still in my head somewhere…. I haven’t forgotten it…. and that I can talk with some degree of fluency…. with confidence I might add!

Aisling

My Parents Have Left

My parents were here, and blink, now they are gone. Back over 12 hours on their plane to Ireland. It’s been a week since they left and the day after they flew I felt quite sad and alone. I’d have no one to drink tea with and, as my dad says “talk shite with”.

What I like about being with my Mam and Dad is that we can comfortably sit together and just not speak. Just being with each other and not having the need to speak is a nice feeling. My husbands family second name should be ‘Talkers’ because they LOVE talking. For me, I’m not a lover of talking; it tires me out to be honest. I prefer listening instead. I suppose I miss that; just sitting outside in the sun together and we are all thinking in our heads about this and that. There’s no forced need to talk, which I feel sometimes happens to my husbands family. They are so used to talking that having any silence just feels awkward.

Both of them have good and bad things about them though.

So yeah, I did miss them a lot when they first went. You know all the times I visited from China, I was never as sad as this time they went. I think it was because In China I had my own independent life, my job, my apartment, my routine to go back to.

I give out about China a lot, especially the behaviour of the people, but I really really did enjoy my life there. There are times I think of going back.

Here I’ve been unhappy for the past few months. I don’t have my own independent life, I don’t have a job, I don’t have a place to live with just me and my husband, I have the most boring routine….

(Plus we still have our obsession with dogs and still haven’t got one because, well my in-laws wouldn’t be pleased)

Yeah, I could get a teaching job earning like €3 an hour. But take out my therapist every week which is €11, then my 2 hours Spanish classes which cost about €21 for 2 hours, then thats like 2 days of work just to pay for those!

Then we have to pay for where to live and all that other stuff. So really it’s just not worth looking for a job here. I know in Mexico city there are a lot more jobs, but to be honest we really don’t want to move there. I don’t particularly like the city; it’s enormous, the traffic is the worst I’ve ever seen (and I’ve lived in China) and the pollution can get really bad too.

traffic-mexico-city

Source: google

The picture above is literally every. single. day in Mexico. I’m not joking. It’s terrible and I really don’t like going to Mexico because every time we’ve went it’s like this.

So for the moment Mexico city is off the cards to live in!

Oh I’ve sort of went off topic quite a bit!! Anyway, back to my parents!

From what I gathered they liked pretty much everything about Mexico; the weather, the people, the small towns. Here are some things they didn’t like (mainly from my Dad)

The food: my dad is a traditional man…. so that means potatoes, meat and vegetables. That’s it. No spices, no condiments. Nothing. Just salt and pepper and a bit of gravy on the food. Anything exotic is a no no. HE DIDN’T EVEN LIKE MANGO!! What the hell? It’s like my favourite fruit! He said…. wait for it………

IT’S TOO SWEET!

(yeah, really)

Another thing he didn’t like were tacos. Yes I know this will be a shock to all Mexican people.

He pretty much didn’t like most Mexican food except pozole, which is a soup with corn and that. This is my favourite Mexican food.

Another thing he didn’t like were all the steps here in Cuernavaca. (it’s a hilly city) I understand this because it can get annoying, especially because they are uneven and the roads are full of holes. You need to pay attention to where you are walking.

He was shocked with the traffic too. From China I’ve gotten used to it so I don’t pay attention anymore, but coming from a small town of 40,000 people, it does take some getting used to.

My Mam on the other hand liked most foods, except tamales, which is a corn thing wrapped in the skin of something ( I really don’t have a clue what it is to be honest) I wasn’t too fussed on it at the beginning either but I grew to like it more. They are filled with different things and can be sweet or savory.

tamale

Tamale. Source: google

I think that was pretty much everything that Mam didn’t like. She told me she misses Mexican food and she’s back to the plain Irish food now. (Irish food is definitely not famous for it’s flavour)

But I’m glad that they visited Mexico. I’m disappointed they didn’t get to see China though. See my life and what we did there. I think it’s one thing that I’m going to be disappointed about forever. China holds a lot of good memories and experiences for me that unfortunately they will never get to see.

But anyway,

Aisling

They Are On The Way!

man holding woman s hand

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

So after months of waiting, my parents are on their way to Mexico! Last night I didn’t really get a good night sleep. I knew they were going to the airport and my mind was half on them, half on sleep, so I didn’t really get a good rest. When I woke up I got a message to say they were in Amsterdam airport…Phew! They made it to there, and now they are on their long flight to me!

My parents haven’t travelled on a long haul flight since I was 11, so I was quite apprehensive about it all. But thankfully everything seems to be going great and they should arrive here at around 7:30pm. We will drive to Mexico airport to pick them up and we should arrive home at around 10. Then they can hopefully have a good sleep!

Also the weather seems good today. The past few days it has been cloudy and I was worried for the wedding. I don’t mind that it’s cloudy; a wedding in Ireland without rain (even if it’s really cloudy)  is good weather, so all I want is that it doesn’t rain.

I think it’s going to take some time getting used to Mum and Dad being here. For 5 year’s it has always been me who goes home to visit, so I don’t think my head is going to comprehend that they are actually here in Mexico! I’m really looking forward to seeing them and I hope they enjoy themselves.

Maybe they’ll even want to visit again!

Aisling

What’s the plan for 2019?

man with fireworks

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

Well, I don’t know 100% yet….. I’ve been thinking of a few goals that I want to achieve, so I hope I actually do achieve them.

-Learn Spanish. Next year is all about Spanish for me. Study Study Study. For me, this is the main goal of mine. I really want to be able to tick this one off!

-Exercise more. With my wedding only a few months away, I just want to look better and feel better in myself. I just want to be healthier.

–Find a job I like. I don’t even really know what I want to do in my life, even being aged 28. But I just want something that I’ll enjoy doing. I don’t want to wake up and begrudgingly have to go to a job that I don’t like.

-Save money. First I need a job, then I want to save some money. We have been spending our money on travelling rather than saving for the future. Which…. I really don’t think will help us much when we’re older. (and having no savings to actually live)

Of course I still wants LOADS more things, but I think for me these are the important things that I want to achieve. I’ve no idea what will happen next year for us; will we stay in Mexico? Move to Ireland/ Spain…even France could be an option for us. Yeah It’s great to have the option of moving to all these places, and I know that maybe if you have a child or have a stable job that you love, then it’s hard to just ‘move up and go’. But at the same time I would like to have that ‘this is where I’m going to live indefinitely’ feeling. I want to come home to my own house, watch television on my own tv, and have my own bedroom. I don’t particularly enjoy living out of a suitcase either.

Plus I’m 28 and I just feel like it’s time to start thinking of settling down.

So, we’ll see how 2019 turns out!

Aisling