rm_wildwestrose 58F
108 posts
9/6/2006 6:48 am

Last Read:
9/7/2006 1:39 am


Back in nineteen and ninety nine, A friend of mine and I decided to take a little trip to England and Ireland. For Kathy, the thought of going to her ancestral home in Ireland was her impetus for taking the trip. As she told me, she wasn't too hepped up about seeing England, but she would tag along if it meant being able to see her "homeland"...Ireland the Green.

So plans were made, and in short order, we found ourselves in London. For the next week, we toured all over England and Wales, having a delightful time everywhere we went. We were invited by the owners to tour castles, taken to tea by the "King" of Hay-on-Wye, and everything went along as smoothly as one could wish.

Finally, it was time to return our rental car to the agency in Bristol, and board a bus bound for Holyhead. I had made reservations for us on the fast ferry over to Dublin, and after a bit of a weary, dreary, uncomfortable ride to the ferry terminus, we got off to board our ferry. Small problem. They sent us to the wrong boarding gate, and by the time the error was discovered, our ferry was long gone.

So, making the best of a bad thing, we boarded, and found ourselves a little area to rest while the passage was being made. There were herds and hoards of folks, and it was noisy and crowded and simply a miserable experience, especially after already being on a bus for 12 plus hours.

But finally, we docked, and as we planned to grab a cab to where the car rental agency was located in Stillorgan, we were in no hurry to get off the ferry. In fact, I really abhor folks who must be at the front of the line. My hubby would insist upon being first in the line up, and I never really saw any point ot it.

As we exited the ferry, loaded with baggage, we looked about for the taxi stand. Finally, we spied one right outside the main doors...but for some reason, the quantity of available taxis was notably scarce. In fact, there were NO taxis, available or otherwise.

So I went to the security desk, and inquired as to how long it might be before another taxi arrived. The security guard looked at me rather as if I had grown a second head, and flatly stated that there wouldn't be another taxi. When I asked why there was a taxi stand, if no taxis would be there, he replied that most folks would call ahead to have one waiting for them when they arrived.

Meanwhile, the final call for the bus into Dublin was announced. Since Dublin was in the opposite direction of where we wanted to go, I decided not to worry about it, for surely, I could call a taxi and have one there in short order. So with a polite smile, I asked if there was a telephone directory that I could use to find a phone number for a taxi cab company.

Again looking at me as if I were daft, he politely produced a pamphlet with a couple of phone numbers on it for transportation. I took the information back to Kathy, and knowing her to be extremely good on the phone, I handed her a few 20p coins, and left calling the cab company in her very capable hands, whilst I went to the door to play lookout.

Now, by this time, less than 15 minutes after docking, there were virtually no people left in the terminal. Hundreds of people had disappeared to the four winds, leaving us feeling rather stranded. As I stood at the door, I was looking for any cabs to appear, while also making sure that our baggage did NOT disappear. Finally, I spied a cab! As he pulled up, I went to inquire if he was for hire.

Alas, he already had a fare, and as he told me, most folks had the sense to know that they were going to be arriving, and would call ahead to arrange for a cab. I was getting a bit miffed by this point. I mean, I have travelled all over the world, and this was the very first time that I had arrived somewhere to find NO cabs waiting at a taxi stand. But there was nothing to gain by being huffy, so I politely thanked him, and returned to my post.

Meanwhile, I was wondering what in the world was taking Kathy so much time. I mean, it only takes a couple of minute to order a cab, right? But by this time, fully 15 minutes had passed since I had handed her the money to go call. Finally, a few minutes later, a very upset looking Kathy walked up to me. Stiffly, she handed me the pamphlet with the numbers. She also slapped the remaining 20p pieces into my hand. Then with every ounce of control at her disposal, she informed me through gritted teeth that it was now MY turn to make the calls.

As her voice acquired a slightly hysterical edge to it, she told me that she has been unable to get ANY of the cab companies to send someone out to the port, and now, she refused to make even ONE...MORE... CALL. Calmly, I tried to unruffle her feathers, and finally, I left her waiting for an elusive taxi to appear, whilst I tottered off to make some phone calls.

I must digress here to say that by now, we had been awake for over 24 rather stressful hours, and all we really wanted to do was to get some sleep. We had reached the kind of walking-zombie stage, you know, where you are actually asleep, but your eyes are open, and you are walking. But the only help for it was to get a cab, and get our rental car, so we pressed on...

I reached the telphone banks, and I looked at the pamphlet Kathy had handed me. On it were scribbled at least 10 phone numbers, about three of which were not checked off. So I started with the first one, and here's how it went...

Ring Ring...ring ring... "Shamrock Cab might I help you?"

"Hello there, I hope you can help me. I just came in on the ferry, and I need to order a cab to pick us up."

"Oh now, sure, and don't most people order theirs ahead of toime? Why weren't ye after orderin' yours yesterday?"

"Well, you know, I didn't KNOW that I had to order it ahead of time, and everywhere else I've been, there are always taxis waiting."

"Well lass, I'm afraid that I haven't anyone available for the next 45 minutes. But, ye might be tryin' ABC cab company, they might be able to help you! Here's their number...555-1234.

"Thank you darlin', I'll give them a call..."

Sigh, struck out on the first one, but I'm sure the next will be better...

Ring ring...ring ring..."ABC cab company, how moight Oi be helpin' ye?"

"Hello, I've just come in on the ferry, and I need to get a cab to Stillorgan."

"Stillorgan is it? And ye've just now come on the ferry? Hmmm...I don't have anyone who could pick you up for at least an hour, maybe an hour and a half..."

"Honey, look, my friend and I are exhausted, and I really don't want to wait an hour and a half for a cab!"

"Hmmm...well then, Oi've got an idea! Why don't you take the bus to downtown, sure, and you can catch a cab from there! There are lots of cabs downtown!

"Sweetie, that would have been a brilliant idea...only one small problem. The last bus left about a half of an hour ago. So you see, we're stuck here, and we need a cab to come and get us."

"Well then, why weren't ye after takin' the bus? You should have taken that, it's how everyone does it, you know, unless they call ahead for a cab, of course."

*Sigh*"Well darlin', we didn't know about having to order one ahead of time, and I really don't care to go miles out of my way just to catch a cab from downtown. If y'all can't send someone, who could you recommend?"

"Sure now, ye moight be givin' GPO Cab company a try. Mebbe they could be after sendin' someone out. Here's their number...555-2345."

"Thank you for your help...bye."

Jeez Louise! I get the point already! I'm a roight eedjit for not pre-ordering a cab. But I only pre-order a cab to GO to the airport, not to come home from it! Or from a bus station...or anywhere else for that matter. *Heavy sigh*. Meanwhile, I gamely continue calling companies on the list, or new ones recommended to me.

Now, I am a natural mimic. Within minutes, I can mimic someone's accent, and as the calls progressed, my Irish accent, not to mention my Irish temper, became markedly more pronounced. Finally, about the 15th call, I actually got a new angle...

"Hello, Blarney Stone cab company, what can I do for you?"

"Hello Darlin', Oi've just come in on the ferry, and Oi'me at the port. Oi need a cab out here, and no, I didn't pre-order one, but Oi need one ASAP."

"Well luv, I don't know, we really don't service that area. (Don't service the area? Hell's bell's! There isn't much to Ireland, much less Dublin! ) Ye moight be after trying ABC Cab company, Oi think they cover that area."

"I've called them. I've called everyone. No one can send out a cab in less than an hour. Doesn't ANYONE service this place?"

(Ok, so the accent was spotty, I didn't say I did it perfectly!)

"Well luv, truth to tell, not many companies, try Padraig Pearse cab company, Oi'm sure they'll be able to help ye..."

And with that call, my patience ended. I finally understood Kathy's tearing snit, and I had visions of us still being there the next morning when the ferry came in again...

But I gave it one last try...

"Padraig Pearse cab might I help you?"

And as I wearily began my spiel, I realized something. I was speaking to the same fellow I had talked to in the very beginning. Even though it was a different phone number, and a different name, it was the same fellow. Remember, I'm good with voices and accents. And even though there is an "Irish" accent, there are many different versions of it. Someone from the North does not speak like someone in Dublin, or Kerry. Yep, I had him by the short hairs...

As this realization came creeping through my brain, and hit me between the eyes with a pole-axe, I stopped what I HAD been saying, and finally declared, "You know, I've been calling now for almost an hour. If ye had sent me a cab when Oi first asked for one, Oi wouldn't be bending your ear now, and we'd both be happier, now wouldn't we???!!! So why don't you be a nice fellow, and send a cab 'round to me now?

With that, the cab fellow silently acknowleged defeat, and he promised to send one right away.

As I got off the phone, and turned to signal victory to Kathy, she came running up to me saying, "I got us a cab! Hurry up! He was supposed to pick up a fare here, and he can't find them, so he's willing to take us."

Feeling only slightly guilty for not calling the cab company back and cancelling, I grabbed my things, and plopped my ass in the back seat of the loveliest cab I had ever seen. As Kathy and I filled each other in, the cabby was listening with unveiled amusement.

Finally, I asked him, "Why in the wouldn't they just tell me 'no', instead of some cock-and-bull story?"

"Well now luv, you see, that's the t'ing about the Irish. Don't you see, they simply can't tell anyone 'No'. They don't want to hurt your feelings, and disappoint you, so if they give an excuse for WHY it is difficult to do something, they figure they are getting out of it gracefully."

And y'all, it was at that moment that I finally understood my hubby. The man is third generation Irish on both sides, and he would never tell me "no". Whatever I wanted, he would give it to me, whether it was reasonable or not. And that is the subject for a whole other entry...but I will say this. The little insight that the cabby gave us was what made my trip to Ireland delightful.

Once I realized that there was a whole different mindset, and that the Irish weren't just another type of Brit, and that they certainly weren't suffering from the Protestant work ethic, then I was able to relax into it. Kathy, however, was another story. I'll tell you the rest of it later.

rm_SWSunset64 52F
3940 posts
9/6/2006 8:25 am

What an experience!! If I ever make it to Ireland I will know what to do. My grandfather on my dad's side is from Ireland. Now I know why I can't say "no" LOL!



rm_babyboomer26 68M
898 posts
9/6/2006 10:23 pm

Some Guinness was spilled on the barroom floor
When the pub was shut for the night.
Out of his hole crept a wee brown mouse
And stood in the pale moonlight.
He lapped up the frothy brew from the floor,
Then back on his haunches he sat.
And all night long you could hear him roar,
"Bring on the goddam cat!"


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