In this week’s Across the Water, Martin Grant talks to Donal Greene, originally from Bay Estate, now living in Bratislava, Slovakia.
I am originally from Bay Estate, Dundalk.
Parents names and names of family?
Niall Greene and Siobhan McGoldrick.
When did you leave and why?
I left in August 2011. The main reason why I left was to be closer to my son who lives in Vienna
What’s your occupation?
Teacher of English at Cambridge International School, Bratislava.
What’s the biggest difference in settling into your new home?
The food is muck compared to Irish food, I had big problems getting used to it. But I am getting there.
Is the social life much different from home?
Yes, people tend to stick together a lot more here. The idea of going to a pub on your own and chatting to a few strangers is unheard of - doesn’t stop me though!
How do you like to relax?
I play football and poker competitively, I travel regularly to Vienna, Budapest and Prague and of course I enjoy a nice quiet pint.
Have you been home since leaving and what changes have you noticed?
I try to get home once every 12 weeks or so. Dundalk town centre has gotten much quieter which is sad to see, but there seems to be more employment opportunities with PayPal and eBay so I suppose it’s balancing out.
What’s the best and worst things about being away from home?
The best thing is experiencing different cultures and being so close to so many great cities and of course my son. The worst thing is missing out on all the banter at GAA training with Na Piarsaigh and Rocky’s kicks.
Have you plans in the future to return home to Ireland for good?
I’m honestly not sure. I would consider returning if a good opportunity presented itself but for now I’m happy enough here.
Name one thing from home that you wish you could buy in your local store?
It would have to be 6 cans of Harp.
Have you a message for your friends and family?
I miss you all and I’ll see you at Christmas!