Maria tells us what makes Dublin so special to her

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The modest heat-wave that Dubliners were treated to for the past two weeks inevitably had to give way to a familiar biting wind with a dash of not all too unseasonal hail.

Theres an element of truth to the old adage of Dublin experiencing all four seasons in a day, but it’s something one of our Hassle.com cleaners, Maria, still can’t get used to yet. Maria moved here from Venezuela over a year ago, but she still shivers as we make our way from Capel Street (we don’t really blame her either!).

We decided it was best to escape the cold and have a chat over some coffee and tea in Brother Hubbard, one of Dublin’s many cafés which compliments the modern wave of South Americans’ coming to the city. Though it’s definitely gone under Maria’s radar so far…given she doesn’t drink coffee or alcohol. Now, this might make Dublin a strange choice of place to live for Maria, but she says she loves it!

tea

Just the other day while talking to my Mother, I said that when I’m walking down the street it does not feel like I’m away, it feels like home.

A native of San Cristóbal, she has no time for the hustle and bustle of Caracas where ‘people don’t walk, but run’, but she enjoys the quality and pace of life Dublin offers her.

It can feel small but also safe, even where Irish people think is dangerous I can relax and not have to worry about anything.

Maria, like thousands of South Americans in Dublin, has come to improve her English. Ireland has offered an opportunity to avoid some of the recent hardships of Venezuela, but also comes with challenges of its own.

Things can be very hard here, but then, they could be harder at home – it’s really important to stay positive and enjoy everyday life

contreras

I enjoy my time with my friends – in Venezuela it is not so common to meet over coffee like this, that is something reserved for visiting people in their homes; so I love to bake traditional Venezuelan breads and pastries, to share with everyone.

Not one to put her feet up, Maria is also a bit of an amateur hairdresser…but hasn’t quite mastered beards *just* yet – which are lot more prevalent in Dublin than home. With an outsiders view she notices the smaller details of the social fabric of Dublin, beards among them, and is really appreciative of the little things. Though, the fact there are little things is comfort in itself; not every conversation has to boil down to politics, it’s nice.’

 For the moment, cleaning offers Maria some extra money for exploring the city; having already made it to see the “Iron Age Bog Body Exhibition” she reckons she has plenty left to see and do, not least more cafés.

 With her cousin Veronica also part of the Hassle.com team and her boyfriend ferrying people around as rickshaw driver, Maria has put down some roots here and is playing her part in a generation adding a little bit more colour to these dreary Dublin days.

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