On The Buses: Stories of finding love on the 202

On The Buses: Stories of finding love on the 202

Irene Petrova: Love her job in Apple, Ireland... and the rain.

THE 202 bus, heading to Knocknaheeny, was packed with northside residents and Apple employees, happy to be in out of the rain on a wet Wednesday.

Irena Petrova, from Bulgaria, works in Apple as a chat assistant and was heading into work when the Evening Echo met her on the bus.

“I love my job, I love my colleagues, the products, the environment and my salary!” said Irena, who has been in Ireland for the past five years. She also said she loves living in Ireland.

“I came here for work and I am happy to stay here. I am very happy here. I don’t mind the rain at all.

“Before coming here I spent 15 months working in Dubai and I missed the rain.” 

Another Apple employee on the bus was Bertrand Theibault from France. Bertrand has been working as a technical assistant for the past two and a half years.

“I have always worked with technology, I like it.” 

Speaking about living in Ireland, Bertrand said he liked the trad music, people, rugby and culture.

Bertrand Thiebault: Missing France.
Bertrand Thiebault: Missing France.

“Despite enjoying his time in Ireland, Bertrand said he missed home and would be leaving Ireland shortly to join his fiancé in France.

“We have been together for the past two years. It has always been long distance so I am moving home to be with her.

“I will continue to work with Apple, in a different department in France. I am looking forward to it.” 

Zak Rahil, also a Frenchman working in Apple in Cork, said he always wanted to live in Ireland.

“Since I was a child I have wanted to see Ireland. I have always wanted to experience the atmosphere and meet the people.

Zak Rahil: Plans to stay for few years.
Zak Rahil: Plans to stay for few years.

“I have only been here since last November, but I plan to stay for a few years.” 

A southsider turned northsider was the next person we met on the bus. northsider was the next person we met on the bus. southsider turned northsider was the next person we met on the bus. 

Maria Griffin, originally from Bishopstown has been in living on the northside for the past few years.

Maria Griffin: New relationship is going well. Pictures: Denis Minihane
Maria Griffin: New relationship is going well. Pictures: Denis Minihane

Maria was off to work in Fitzgerald’s Newsagent on Pembroke St. She has a daughter who is currently graduating from UCC. She studied media and plans to do a Masters.

Love was in the air on the 202 bus as Maria told me about her new relationship with the milkman who delivers the milk to her place of work.

Maria told me they had been together since January and had been set up by another employee in the shop; Phil.

“It’s going really well, I am very happy. We had our first date in BDSM where my daughter works.

“I think it is gas what is going on at the moment with the uproar over the sign. I don’t think it is that bad, I think it lights up the place.” 

Maria said she would definitely be buying one of the 1,000 'aesthetically vile' t-shirts that the owner Benny McCabe has printed following the criticism of the appearance of the bar’s sign.

“I think Benny is very good at turning negative publicity into positive. I will definitely be buying one of the t-shirts,” she said. 

Old aged pensioner Pat Kelleher from Blarney Road, was also on the bus, heading off to mass.

“I go to mass most days,” Pat said.

Pat Kelleher: Likes to keep active. His wife is in hospital at present.
Pat Kelleher: Likes to keep active. His wife is in hospital at present.

“I don’t believe in everything, but I believe in some things, so I go.” 

After mass, Pat said he is going to do a bit of shopping, stroll around the market and visit his wife Marie in the hospital.

“My wife Marie has been in the hospital for the past few weeks. I visit her every day. I like to keep active. I would rather burn out than rust away.” 

Noel McHale from Bakers Road was heading into town to do a bit of shopping. Noel told us about his son Jason who is working as an accountant and life in retirement.

Noel McHale: Enjoying life, especially now that he is retired.
Noel McHale: Enjoying life, especially now that he is retired.

“Me and my wife Mary are retired, it’s very relaxing. It is a nice pace of life. I thought I would be lost when I retired, but I’m quite enjoying it.”

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