After eight years, I'm home.

When I moved here in 2005 I told my mother I would be back in the US in five years. As of yesterday, I have been living in Ireland for eight years and she now been here so often that I'm pretty sure she can claim herself as a resident to avoid joint-filing in the US. (You know, not that she'd do that or anything.)

Like being married, I can't believe eight years in this country have passed so fast. I've stayed through the wet weather, the bad customer service and the massive recession. We've gotten married, had a baby and bought a house. I've learned that I don't always need to have everything I want at this very minute (Bisquick) and what online shops to avoid if I don't want to pay a hefty customs fee (Customs really likes looking through boxes of lacy underthings).

I've seen the sea almost every morning, I've made life-long friends from Ireland and the US (and a few countries otherwise) and I've seen probably eight million rainbows. (That's one million rainbows a year; it certainly rains enough.)

I've been confused by proportional representation, Dublin bus schedules and roundabouts. (But I still passed my driving test!)

However, sometimes I find myself giving directions, explaining the law or defending a funny particular bit of Irishness or two to Irish people. I think this means I'm home. I might still be American but I hope at this point, after eight years, I'm a little bit of a Dubliner.

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Liz in Dublin