Things has been moving so fast on the second week that I was not able to catch on updating the blog.
Visit to the zoo
Finding a place to visit that is proper for the kids, wife thought it was a good idea to take them to the zoo. They have online ticket, £50 something for family of 4. We took a bus to the zoo and that resulted in a lot of walking just to get to the zoo and back. Maybe bus is not the right mode of transport.
It was nice and sunny day, rather hot so there’s no need for the jackets. The zoo blends in with the Phoenix Park, not like it’s sticking out. So it’s more like a stroll while trying to watch out for animals. So happen when we were there, there was an avian flu outbreak so they had to keep all the birds (we were hoping to see penguins).
What is worthy to see there? I enjoyed looking at Gorillas. Despite seeing them on TV, I’ve never seen one so it was something of a joy. Also we get to see wolves, again something I hear in story books and see on TV but never the real animal. They are definitely a lot bigger than what I thought.
Prior to departure, the relocation agents asked me which bank I want to go for. There’s not many banks here in Ireland, not like Malaysia. I went to a MoneyGuideIreland Website that provided the comparison and choose the cheapest one. Banks here charge every month to maintain the account, not like Malaysia where it’s free. Also some banks charge to withdraw money. So you basically have to pay people to keep your money (well it’s more like paying for the services).
I made appointment to meet with the bank officer first working day when I arrived. When I went to visit him, he already has all my details and the process was smooth. Then he said that this is his last week of work as he is migrating to Australia. I have to wait for the compliance team to activate my account which should take a few days.
After the end of the week, the account is still not activated, so I went back to the bank. Lucky it’s like 2 mins walk away from my temporary residence. Another bank agent helped me to remind the compliance team but there is not much he can do there.
Come mid second week, the account is still not activated, so I went back to the bank. Same story this time, but the person said he needed to get a copy of my ID, something that the system flagged out. I also made sure that I am able to log into my mobile banking app. They need to send an SMS with temporary password to an Ireland phone number, then I have to log in with the temporary password on a PC and then only can change my password and pin to access to app. Once that is sorted and I can “log in”, the person said he will flag the compliance team to process my account and let me go on my merry way. He did show me how I know from the app whether I the account already activated(that I can properly log in).
NB: This is the time when Russia invaded Ukraine and there’s sanctions going on. Read in the papers that my bank is checking on their Russian customers to see if they are residents. Maybe the same compliance team is busy.
Few days after visiting the bank for the 3rd time, I can finally log in the bank app. One thing to note for Ireland banking, not only do you have the bank account number but you also need to know the Sort Code (which is the bank branch) and also your IBAN number. I keep getting asked these details when wanting to transfer money.
Once account is activated, I tried to do a remittance online from my bank in Malaysia and it arrived in the next few hours. I also tried the app called Wise. To activate Wise, they loaded RM101 into the Wise account earlier. I then transfer this RM101 to Euro and then transfer it into the bank. It took a bit longer than the remittance from the bank in Malaysia but it’s another alternative to transferring money from Malaysia to Ireland.
By the way, depositing money in Ireland bank is called lodgment
What I am told next is to expect my debit card cum ATM card to be sent to my registered address within the week. Let’s see how long that will take.
Lastly, we saw snow in one of the day this week. It was just a few minutes. I happen to look out the door and saw that the “raindrops” looked a lot larger. Told the wife that it looks like show and we had a short discussion whether it’s rain. I did not see the floor getting wet, which is what I would expect if it was raining. It was till some of the snow fell into the balcony that we can confirm it’s snow. I would explain that it looked like Styrofoam balls, like the mess you get when you break up Styrofoam. It was over very soon, so we didn’t get the touch it much. Was told that this is the time of the year they get snow (strange). Spring is when you can experience all of Ireland’s weather in one day.
Another good news, it is confirmed that my air freight will be arriving next week and then will take another week to clear customs. Unfortunately I still have not got my PPS number, will have to figure out how to store the items with them till I can get the number. Without the number, I am not able to bring in the items tax free which will be a bummer.