Monday, September 21, 2009

Smooth Sailing

So, I thought the well had run dry. I thought there was nothing left to tell about our misadventures here in bonny Ireland. Well....I've been wrong before.....

You would think that something could be easy. Anything at all. But, you would be mistaken. Nothing and I mean nothing is easy in Ireland. I would love to go into a store, restaurant....anything, just once, and have it not be a total catastrophe or a struggle to maintain any kind of sanity. Either we don't have coins to pay for parking (this involves driving around in circles saying "I don't know, what do you want to do?" "I don't know, what do you think we should do?" "Well, we can't park anywhere" "Nope", and we end up eating pizza for the third time that week after wasting an hour driving around the city with whinny children in the back), they don't have what we're looking for, our credit card is declined, oh and my favorite....we can't find the store, restaurant, or whatever to begin with!

We won't be getting any help with the last one anytime soon. It seems that there are other people in this city that needed our GPS. Yes, our GPS was stolen from our rental car this last Friday night. Jeremy had decided to join the boys for a rare, but much needed night out. In his excitement, he didn't think to remove the GPS from the windshield, or the coins ($26.00) from the cup holder (this was $ that we finally put in the car so that we had coins to pay for parking) when he finally found a wonderful parking spot on a dark, deserted side street in City Centre Dublin.

When he returned to the car only about an hour later, he found that both front windows had been smashed. The GPS, money, and most SUNGLASSES were gone! Not only mine, but Grant's as well. Who steals a baby's sunglasses??

Poor Jeremy had to try and clean all the glass as best he could while he waited 45 min. for the Garda to arrive. The lovely, and most helpful Garda informed him that it would be an extra fee if he would like them to look for fingerprints and that no, he could not obtain a copy of the report at that time and would have to go to the Garda station in the morning.

Wouldn't you know that we were planning on renewing the rental on the car that Saturday morning? Hmmm.....I wonder just how suspicious that was. "Yes Sir, I would love to keep this car, but as you can see it is clearly damaged and we will need a free upgrade since you were not planning on us needing a different vehicle and do not have any comparable vehicles in the same class. Oh, and my company credit card was declined? So sorry, please allow me to put the month long lease of $4,000 on my personal credit card as, I dare say, I can't find another worthwhile place to spend my money." They got us in the end more automatics. It seems that if you would like to rent an automatic in Ireland, you must give at least two weeks notice. I can barely drive a stick in the States, but in Ireland? No way! Good luck, Jeremy. Not only do you have to shift with your left hand, but the blinker is on the right side of the steering wheel so every time you want to turn, you end up turning on the windshield wipers instead.

Anyway, after a quite frigid and frustrating ride to the Garda station (no windows and no GPS)for our report (which by the way looked like anyone could have printed from any Commodore 64 computer) and our quite friendly exchange at the rental agency, we were back on the road with our bright blue jeep. Now, I'm not talkin' about a Jeep as in Wrangler, Liberty, or Cherokee. No, I'm talkin' about a jeep as in KIA Sportage. For some reason, they call all SUV's "jeeps".

I'll leave you with one small hope that life in Ireland isn't all least for some of us......Jeremy finally found a restaurant that gives you free refills on coke! Now, where the hell is a Starbucks!?


  1. awww, staci! sounds like you guys are having quite the time over there... have you checked out public transport? often times thats easier than driving in other countries. miss ya!