Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Lost in Dublin

I have no sense of orientation whatsoever. Give me verbal directions, I'll get lost. Give me written directions, I'll get lost. And don't ever give me a map. I won't know how to read it. The only solution to find my way is to be driven to the destination once, and I will remember how to get there. I have a great visual memory, and I couldn't thank Google Streetview enough for the life changing experience of finally finding my way around Dublin.

I don't generally like driving in big cities, but Dublin is one of the worst. You can have a sign at a crossroads, and at the next junction, it's gone. Do I go straight? right? left?  The first few years I was in Ireland, I was lucky to live near the airport. There are signs everywhere in Dublin for the airport, so I was just following " the little plane" sign all the time...And hoping I wouldn't end up in Cork airport by mistake. 

But the worst thing you can do when lost in Dublin (or anywhere in Ireland as a matter of fact), is ask for directions. 

When my boyfriend and I decided to get married, we had to go to the registry office in Dublin to fill out forms and register a date for the wedding. We looked up the address, but didn't really know which way to take. We parked the car in the usual spot (meaning the only car park I knew how to get to) and looked for the place. Of course we had to ask for directions:

"You go through the bridge, turn left at the pub down the road, then right, up the hill and it's around the corner. It's only about 10m minutes walk"

Right... Of course we we turned left, but we probably didn't take the right turn after that. There was a pub alright... There was more than one, and more than one street as well. After 20 minutes of wanderings, I really had to go to the toilets so we went in the first pub in sight. We had a drink and asked the barman for new directions.

" Sure, it's not far away at all. You see the road there, don't take it. Go straight and then it's the 2nd turn on the right. Keep going straight until you see the pub (another one?), and then turn right again, and you're there"

We saw the road, didn't take it, but we didn't find a 2n turn right so we kept on going straight until we got lost again. And had to stop in a pub...again. And ask for directions ... again. At that stage we were losing hope and I wasn't sure I wanted to get married anymore.

"Ah sure, it's just around the corner" the barman told us

"I don't believe anybody anymore. Just tell me exactly how to get there."

"I'm not joking, go out, take right and it's just on your right"

We did just that, and eventually found the registry office. It only took us about an hour and a half...