Friday, July 20, 2007

Today, the first full day in Ireland

Woke up at a reasonable hour this morning with, for the first time in over a week, no need to rush. Had a wonderful breakfast at the B&B (love this Irish bacon!) and caught a cab to the airport for my first errand of the day. None of the banks in town would change hundred dollar bills for fear of their being counterfeit, so I had to go the the Bureau De Change at the airport to get it done. Spent the day wandering the city center, shopping for necessaries, and generally getting through the first 7 things on my To Do list.

Aside from a little chill later in the afternoon (I forgot my jacket at the B&B's breakfast table), everything went pretty well. That is until my first semi-culture induced occasion for angst on my way home. I caught the bus back from the city center to the B&B - my 1st time on an Irish bus, but I thought I was handling it pretty well. That is until I asked the driver about how much the fare was (each route is different) and heard him say "one twenty-five". As I'd had 1.10 euro ready, I quickly found an extra 20 cents and handed it to him expecting change back. Instead, he asked "do you have 5?" Confused about why he wouldn't just give me change, I reflexively answered "I don't think so", to which he responded sarcastically, "I do tink so!" Still confused and now mightily embarrassed, I stepped aside for others to pass and searched the unfamiliar coins in my purse for the necessary 5 cents. I found it quickly enough, but once I paid him off, I was again caught up by another embarrassing gaffe, having not realized that I had to tear off the ticket. Another passenger had to hand it to me.

Those who know me will not be surprised to hear that I then spent the rest of my 20 minute ride going over and over that short interaction in my mind trying to figure out what went wrong and how I could fix it! Once I saw the price on the ticket (1.35 euro), I figured out the problem. It was linguistic - he'd actually said "one turty-five". I then started fantasizing how I could communicate my new understanding to him and prove that I was not a 5 cent welsher! No amount of telling myself, "Let it go!" or "If this is the worst mistake you make this week, you'll be in great shape" could make me feel better. It's pathological, but the idea of that representative of Irish authority having a bad opinion of me just tore me up! As I was getting off at my stop, which I thankfully figured out before the bus rolled on, I made sure to give a quick apology and explanation, to which he replied, "Oh, aye!", as if to say "What are you talking about you stupid git? Who are you again?" I don't care though, I set the record straight and that was enough for me! Sigh.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LOL - I'm laughing with you, NOT at you! I actually buy those daily/weekly/monthly bus tickets just so that I don't have to worry about understanding the drivers. Once I deposited coins into a blocked up coin thingy and the guy kind of yelled at me. Thank God I had my iPod on or I probably would have been much more upset! ;)