TRAVEL with pat and lew

Dublin was our first home exchange

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 3, 2007

The row home on Sullivan Street, near Phoenix Park, about 2 miles west of the city centre, is larger than our apartment in Collioure. It’s on two floors, linked by a treacherous circular staircase. We carefully heed our host’s warning to walk in bare feet or shoes, but not socks, and have no accidents.

There are always new things to learn when you live in someone else’s home. Like hot water. We were instructed to turn the switch in the press to start the hot water heater. The press? Not only where is it, but what is it?

It’s a closet. We finally find the switch in the closet in the downstairs bathroom.

Once we get the system, the hot water is plentiful. But one day, hurrying home with not much time to make a dinner reservation, we realized we had not left the hot water on. It takes about 20 minutes to get up to temperature. We cancelled our reservation and went another day.

Someone knocks on the door. They’ve heard that the house is for sale, which is true, and they want to take a look around. Should we? We decide that our host, who wants the house sold, will not be upset if we allow the visit, but we watch carefully.

The bedroom is decorated beautifully, and the linens are superb. But we’re learning that most of the world apparently does not read in bed, like we do every night, and the lighting is really not adequate for that purpose.

There are shops nearby, and local pubs, all described in the materials and maps our host has left. It’s fun to shop locally, although we don’t buy much, since we’re not doing any real cooking. In fact, although I like to cook, we didn’t do much cooking on any of our trips all summer. It’s not easy to get used to someone else’s kitchen, and there are so many great restaurants to try.

We left our Dublin home in the same condition we found it, and were pleased to find that our home exchange guests in Collioure did likewise.

All in all, a positive experience.

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