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emigration

Letter to Korea, August 2014

Dear Korea,


Letter from Korea, May 2013

Suwon, South Korea
May, 2013

Dear Ireland,

I am Ireland. It’s mad. Over the weekend I became a country. In fact, little and humble me is now my country. I’m touched.

Actually, that’s an exaggeration. I’m not the country, I’m kind of representing the country in a kind of unrepresentative official but not so official way. You see it’s on twitter, and because it’s on twitter the non-believers will only consider it as hearsay, while the twitterati will revel and rejoice at this phenomenon. There are other things too but this will undoubtedly prove the most controversial point.


Just Saying by Dave Tynan

This video came my way the other day. It’s a stark reminder of what happens to those of us Irish people who are dealing with emigration, one the social issues among young people in Ireland leading into 2013 (for example, I have four brothers and of the five of us only two live in Ireland). It is safe to say it really sunk in here at If I Had  Minute to Spare towers. I’m not the only one – a friend back in Ireland posted on Facebook that this video actually made her cry. I wasn’t far behind her.


The Magda Incident from Another Immigrant’s Perspective

It’s an old story; immigrants come into your country, steal all the jobs, drink too much, eat strange smelling food, have sex with all the local women and get them pregnant, do things differently, and then when the economy breaks down they sit around claiming more than their fair share of benefits. Dirty bloody immigrants.

And so a narrative for something like this appeared from Ireland recently. ‘Magda’, who lives in Donegal, is an immigrant from Poland. She survives on government welfare because she lost her job in the recession. She was approached by a Polish magazine to report on how she was surviving in Ireland during said recession. Apparently this publication was running a series on Polish emigrants’ lives in recession ravaged European countries.


On restless Americans, living in a foreign country and settling down

If I had read this New York Times article before I had thought of teaching English in a foreign country (circa late 2007), I would have found the premise implausible at best. Americans voluntarily leaving their soil indefinitely? Americans don’t do that. Maybe they go off for a holiday in Australia, or they backpack their way across Europe. We get a little jealous of people taking a ‘working holiday’ It’s a rite of passage, or perhaps a way to postpone Master’s degrees and starting families. They always come back to the states however… don’t they?

From the aforementioned article:

Driving from central Pennsylvania to Massachusetts, for example, you see an American heartland slowly emptying of opportunity: roads and bridges crumbling even without the recent spending cuts, once-confident businesses shuttered, “now hiring” signs eerily absent.


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