Next guest story is one of an Italian writer Robert Sanasi, 36, who was also a Customer support Rep at Facebook’s European HQ, Dublin office. He’s having a complicated relationship with Dublin for more than a decade and is keep moving out and coming back to Dublin. So let’s find out more about his interesting story and lifestyle.
Where are you from originally?
I’m from the South of Italy, a nice place near the sea named Nardo’, right at the “heel of the boot”.
Why and when did you relocate from your country?
I moved to Dublin the first time in 2007. The main reason was looking for a job as well as I desperately needed to go abroad and make new life experiences. In Italy I was feeling stuck with no job and no money and I wanted to shake my own life.
Have you lived anywhere else beside your native country and Ireland? How did you like it there?
Yes, several countries like France, Slovakia, Poland etc, but all after I left Ireland in 2014. Then I moved back to Ireland last year for a new job offer. So yes, I had a long-complicated love/hate affair with Dublin itself, always leaving and always coming back.
What made you choose Ireland?
I was thinking about Ireland for the chance to speak and improve my English and due to the many job opportunities. A close friend of mine was already here and invited me over. So it all started like this.
What do you like/dislike about the environment at work, relationships with colleagues?
I’m employed at Facebook though a vendor named Cognizant. I must say I’m fine at that even though I know it’s not the job of my life. I always worked in big corporations like many other expats.
The best thing of working in Ireland is that the environment is usually very nice and with a good vibe. I’ve been always lucky to work with wonderful colleagues and international people.
I never had an issue from this point of view. Sometimes, though, working in corporations can make you nuts due to the strict procedures or over controlling rules.
How do you like living in Ireland?
Oh, I can write a book on that… oh wait, that’s what I actually did 😊. In my semi-autobiographic novel “Dublin Calling”, I told my experiences about living in Dublin as an expat, with all its pros and cons and other unexpected existential flows.
I won’t spoil too much on that now, though! I can’t say I really love Ireland honestly, but I do say I love Irish people for their spirit, friendliness and making you always feel comfortable.
Ireland as a country and place to live can/should improve the quality of many aspects, from the housing issues to the water, from the public transportation (ridiculously expensive considering the service provided) to the dirtiness downtown and other social problems.
Despite this (and of course the weather! Oh the weather…) Dublin in particular will always be my second home as here I came one day and I grew up as a man through up and downs, good and hard times. I know I do often complain but I realize it gave me so much. I feel like I passed here more than the actual 8 years. It’s a weird feeling.
How different is Ireland from your native country, what do you miss, tell me a little bit about the economy, lifestyle and cultural differences in both countries?
Totally different! Of course, I miss the good food, the sunshine, the sea of my place in Italy as well the nice cafeterias that are great in the continental Europe (like in Prague and Krakow above all). Oh – and here I will please all my Italian mates – the bidet.
Every Italian misses the bidet when abroad. It’s a fact. Also, I often I have difficulty at finding the same quality for medicines or integrators as in Italy or other countries.
Though, Ireland offers more job opportunities, better salaries, equality, quicker bureaucracy and, as said, nice work environments and more benefits. It would be amazing to have this exported to the Mediterranean coasts, but as you know, we can’t have everything.
How did being an expat/immigrant change you? Do you think you’re a little bit different now? Do you think it changed your ways, moved some boundaries?
It changed me totally and this is apparent in the novel I wrote. I’m very different now: more self-confident, more experienced about life in general, more open-minded and always able to count on myself when necessary. Let me say it unlocked my “real self”.
Do you think you have equal chances when applying for a job or promotion as native Irish people?
When it comes to the jobs, I never felt discriminated at all and in general Irish people are not racist but on the contrary very open to the foreigners. It happened and still happens that sometimes my friends and I are bounced at the entrance of some pubs/discos just because we are not locals or at least it’s what they sometimes say. It can be annoying.
How do you like Irish people? What are the biggest differences (habits, traditions, lifestyle)?
Irish people are so funny that it’s impossible not love them. The biggest difference from Italians is definitely their way of drinking and their extreme love for sports like rugby and Gaelic Football. We just love football mostly.
We are similar in taking it easy when it comes to some tasks to do or punctuality. We are both famous for that, after all.
Did anything surprise you since living here (positive or negative)?
Besides the work opportunities, at first seeing girls and guys walking around wearing just t-shirts or light dresses in full winter was a big surprise but I got used to that over the years. I still wonder how they never get pneumonia or something… Irish mysteries.
How do you like the nature, lifestyle?
As said, yes! And it’s a great pool for young people who want to do great experiences and add value to their CV. Apart from this, Ireland has a wonderful nature but I must say I can’t really enjoy it to the fullest if it’s not sunny and warm. It’s something up to me, I guess.
The pub/beer lifestyle is surely not for me (also considering I drink just a bit of wine) but fortunately here it’s very easy to make friends and there’s a big community of Italian expats.
Do you have favourite place/s in Ireland (or Dublin area) that you go to when you want to relax (your happy place).
I don’t have a special spot, I just love strolling in the city centre. By the night, my second office is the Mezz, in Eustace street. I’m a rock music lover.
How often you’re feeling nostalgic?
Quite often, especially in wintertime or when it’s very dark or grey. I think I became a little affected by meteoropathy.
Would you recommend to other people to relocate to Ireland? Why?
I would. For better jobs, to start a career, to make new friends, to improve their English. It’s an experience that will stay with you forever.
Do you ever regret moving here?
No! Despite everything that happened especially in the past years with health and family issues that affected a lot my Irish experience, I’m still happy I took the decision to move here on that day back in 2007.
Anything else you would like to mention?
First, thank you for this interview. As mentioned earlier, I’m a writer and my first novel is set in Dublin. It’s named “Dublin Calling” and has been recently published by a publisher in London. Here’s the link on Amazon for whoever is interested in reading my story.
I’m sure many expats and Dubliners will empathize it. And I hope to see it in many bookshops in the city someday.
For more info, everybody can write me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
Ciao! Dublin Calling Book…
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