I am half-Irish and a citizen of Ireland, although I was born in London and grew up in Johannesburg. I have a complicated identity. In my early twenties I decided to leave my old stomping ground in search of greener pastures.

I moved into an apartment in Dublin centre, which I shared with with Adèle, a lovely French girl from Brittany. Two days in and we were already sleeping together. I took her virginity. She was obsessed with Celtic culture, she dreamed about leaving France and coming to Ireland. When we made love, it was like an outpouring of all her desire for this foreign country. Adèle was a screamer, I thought she would wake up the entire building when we had sex.

I had a brief stint working at Citibank, which was a disaster, otherwise I mostly worked at Mercer, helping to build a workflow system for pension fund management. With my collegues we would often go out for beers after work. It was mindless drinking, small talk, joking, jolly times. The Irish are the funniest people on Earth.

Drinking beer wasn’t good for my waistline though. There are a lot chubby people in Ireland, I was a little revolted to see young women wearing crop tops with fat rolls hanging over the gym pants. I looked at myself in the mirror and I thought oh god I’m becoming one of them.

Dublin was alright, but the plan was to move to France. When Adèle finished her year of studies, I got the little push I needed to take the plunge.