Every international student must register at some point with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). This task generally lists in the top 5 things to do promptly when arriving in Dublin. We all know students like to procrastinate! I waited until the last week before my passport said to register. Not so bad, right? As I mentioned in my previous post, the early bird does not get the worm when it comes to registering with the garda.To my shock and dismay, the line wrapped around the building twice on my second attempt to register. Day two: Still no ticket. I decided to go the next morning, leaving half an hour earlier. Let it be known – this day was already a day past my passport stamp. My heart swelled with hope as I saw a shorter line than the day before. This could be the day! The line was moving quickly and before I knew it, my feet were a meter from the door. Ten minutes passed before a man came out the door announcing the news. Yep…day three: Strike out.
I wandered down to Dawson Street and found a quaint Italian bakeshop below one of the buildings. The sign advertised tea and a pastry for just 3 euro. My lucky day! A scrumptious chocolate chip muffin and green tea to warm my stomach before heading back to UCD as an illegal. I thought I would be deported for not getting to the garda on time. But as the Irish say, it’ll be grand!
Tea in hand, I hopped across the street to St. Stephen’s Green. The park was quiet and soothing for a Tuesday morning. A bevy of swans drifted in the pond as buttery morning light melted through the still thickness of leaves. I let my mind take me down an obscure path, not knowing where I was headed. A man, about 50 years of age, sat on a large rock facing the pond. Pensively sitting, leg over knee, hand clasped around his knee. “Good morning,” I say as I carefully step down the rocks. He stops me, wanting to engage in conversation. He starts explaining how every morning he comes here to watch the swans and feed them. Before I know it, a common ground is reached where we both discover that we are writers at heart. As he sits there giving me advice for dealing with life and following my desires, all I can think about is the calming trance I am in. All the stresses over immigration and college have vanished for the morning. The kind man instilled a balance in me that morning. I was drawn to the park for the very reason to encounter this wise ‘ghost.’ He was right when he said everything will turn out how I want it to. The power lies within my mind. Synergy.
The following day I arrived to immigration at 6 am and got ticket 207 out of 500. All worries are out the door. What needs to be done will be taken care of in due time.
Take the time to say good morning to a stranger. Who knows what they have to tell you.