Driving Me up the Wall By Jess Blanchard

My mother is a terrible driver in America, so I don’t know what made her think she could drive in Ireland. Irish surface roads are at best one-and-a-half lanes, lined on both sides with chest-high rock walls.

During a gorgeous drive through the countryside, our rental car and one of the aforementioned rock walls found themselves entangled. Not knowing we had a spare tire in the trunk, we sort of just waited and enjoyed the view.

After what seemed like hours, a car came down the little-used road. A family sedan slowed down and rolled down its window. Help at last? We hoped. An Irishman stuck his head out. “Y’know your tire’s out, yeah?” “Yeah.” “Olright then.” And off he drove. Dejected, we sat down on the side of the road and began to discuss our options.

Eventually, a young American backpacker on a bicycle stopped to help us. He changed the tire, and we gave him a few Euros. Then we headed on down the precarious road, much wiser for the wear, contemplating cultural differences and how far we’d traveled to be helped by a fellow countryman. Needless to say, I’ll be doing the driving next time!


in Ireland

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