Each month in Home from Home we ask someone to compare Dublin with another city in which they have lived. Sometimes they are Irish who have lived (or are still living) abroad, sometimes they are expatriates in Dublin. This month we spoke with Ivo, who is from São Lourenço, a small town in Minas Gerais located roughly halfway between Rio and São Paulo famous for its mineral waters.
You arrived in Dublin first two years ago, then left and came back. What made you return?
I was here in November 2012 to learn English, hoping to improve my career in Brazil. Although I wanted to stay, I decided to go back because I did not have a visa. After going back to my work and my life in Brazil, I kept missing Ireland every day. I love this country and this city so much because although it’s very international, it’s a small city, so we get to know each other better. All of us foreigners here, we try to make a second family with the friends we make here.
You work very hard, and you are trying to stay in Ireland and Dublin. What was your profession in São Lourenço and what is your work in Dublin at the moment?
I studied finance and worked for Santander Bank; I worked mainly with investments. In Dublin, well, I’ve had a range of low-income jobs. With a student visa, it’s difficult to get a better job. Most companies don’t take those chances and regulation is very strict when it comes to allowing foreign students to work full-time. Now, I’m a sales assistant at a shoe store in the city. Before this job, I drove for a catering company and also worked in a coffee shop. The catering company was the hardest one. I had 4am starts every day, drove all over the city load and unloading the van by myself. Minimum wage jobs are the only types I can get at moment, no matter my education.
Is there a positive side to you choosing a low-income job in Dublin instead of a better career in São Lourenço?
I stay here, because no matter how tough my job is or how tired I am, when I’m done with my shift and walk around Dublin, everything gets better. I look at the streets, at the people, at the canals on the way home, and I go back to being happy and grateful to be in this city. I know it sounds crazy but being in this city with these amazing people is worth it for me.
What do you miss about São Lourenço?
What I miss the most is the food. I even make jokes that I miss the food more than my family. I start thinking about their delicious dishes, and my mouth gets watery. The most delicious one for me is feijão tropeiro which is with brown beans and bacon mixed with onions and garlic… simply heaven!