Jakub Chang O`Brien an Irish Childhood
Technically speaking I was an only child, due to a very nomadic lifestyle and with no Social media availability in those days I used to create imaginary friends to bridge the gap of friendship and entertainment. Now an adult I have many people around me I can call friends however I have not lost the habit to build up stories and create scenarios on the base of what If?
Dublin 2097 Jakub-Chang O` Brien Irish Taoiseach from 2047 to 2053 passed away two years ago in 2095,Oisin Lee a reputed journalist & biograph is writing a book about the famous politician who with a bridge to his name and a major bill carrying the tenants of his origins alongside many others and tireless contributions to the Irish nation is one of the most influential political head of the century in Ireland. Oisin has made a lot of research and is about to meet Charlie-Chang O`Brien Jakub`s only son.
Oisin has already a lot of material but would like to focus on Jakub`s childhood. The meet up is agreed and the discussion starts in a coffee shop around a cup of green tea. Oisin and Charlie spent some time talking about Jakub`s childhood and they spent a significant time on the year 2013 in particular. According to Charlie you cannot understand Jakub`s trajectory unless you understand what happened that year
By many aspects 2013 started like any other year in Ireland but after almost 5 years of recession the end was almost in sight, Jakub was 9 his dad Piotr Pyoszki and mum Agnes Chang arrived in Ireland in 2002, Jakub`s dad was a loving but busy father he had two jobs the first one working as Taxi driver from 10 AM to 4 PM followed by a shift as Kitchen Porter in a local restaurant. While Piotr was busy, as a father he always made a point in sharing breakfast with his son and bringing him to school, Jakub`s mum Agnes on the other hand was working at the week end as a waitress in a nearby hotel. The Jakub Pyoszki -Chang family rented one of those semi -detached houses so popular in the west side of Dublin at that time.
Jakub was 9 in 2013 and 2013 was a very particular year for the country this was the year of the famous Gathering 2013, March had been the coldest month on record and the traumatic Savita Halappanavar’s case shocked the whole country. Avon the iconic brand stopped trading in Ireland while Keywest “stuck on a replay “single was on all the Irish radios.
This was also a tough year for Jakub personally, he found out why he had migraines and reading difficulties his myopia was finally detected and while this was not a serious condition it had a rather traumatic impact on him not only he looked different by birth but he would recall later this as being a stigma to him due to wearing glasses.
Jakub was not the only one to suffer from vision deficiency the country itself had overlooked a number of issues and choose unconsciously and collectively to ignore the need to align with Europe whether in terms of taxation or environmental challenges. On top of this there was also a lack of vision for the country on multiple other issues. For example there was no proper action or plan on multiculturalism or integration and no real intent to formalize policies around foreign communities, same in education except maybe a clear intent from the dynamic and clued in Barnardos
alongside a handful of visionary principals in the National School system.
These were tough times indeed for the Irish population and while we should not be associating clichés andl inhibitions a large portion of the population retreated themselves at home this in turn created a huge range of problems it had never been so common before to drink so heavily and regularly in the family premises, binge drinking and alcohol consumption generated a few but concerning issues including domestic violence.
Jakub`s best friend Sean knew it all too well, he was very often seeking asylum in the Chang household. As often lot of things happened behind closed doors in Ireland in those days and perception and reputation primed over the well-being, it was difficult for Sean’s mum to get by and face the biggest challenges she had ever had in her life. Jakub`s parents knew and were aware of the situation and they provided as much support to Sean as they could , Jakub an already very assertive kid asked Piotr one evening if he could intervene he was heartbroken, seeing his best friend Sean sobbing on a regular basis was not a sight for sore eyes.
This was tricky for Piotr while being Polish and carrying a EU passport, Piotr was hesitant & apprehensive. A potential intervention may seem irrelevant and it may jeopardize Agnes naturalization process if he was putting himself on the line.
Piotr knew that while the country was welcoming in general casual racism was a daily occurrence. There was a major difference between being accepted @ schools events and fund raising parties it would have been a bigger deal to go past that, it is interesting to note that up to that day Agnes and Piotr had never been invited to an all Irish household. Jakub`s dad was cautious and wary as only migrants can be, this is sometimes irrational but they prefer keeping a low profile.
Unfortunately Sean’s domestic and financial situation evolved to a point where his family had to move out. Jakub`s was not quite sure what this repossession business was all about but it was not a nice sight even with his brand new glasses and he would forever remember the episod of his life where his best friend was taken out of his house by the bankers.
Oisin is delighted Charlie-Chang O `Brien took some time to share some precious insights on Jakub`s child hood. It was maybe a pretty ordinary start for the most influential Irish Politician of the 21 century but while Jakub did not have a great sight he had a great vision for Ireland and that vision did not include
Jakub-Chang O`Brien 2004-2095
Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) from 2047 to 2053
Picture & Stamp An-Post
This is a slightly modified version of a previous article published on WordPress in March 2013
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