We went to Dublin yesterday on one our occasional jaunts to the pub in “town”.
We get the bus up and back and don’t have to worry about drink driving. We have a few drinks in “The Oval Bar” on Middle Abbey Street, a short stroll from where we get off the bus on the quays.
Heading home then only involves crossing the Liffey to get the bus on the far side of the quays. Sometimes this can be a tricky assignment but we normally manage it as we don’t stray too far from the Liffey when we drink or eat.
By the time we are ready to head home we are not capable of long walks so the whole arrangement works well provided the bus shows up.
Invariably a bus will show up but any connection with a timetable is only a loose, tenuous one, and entirely coincidental.
Yesterday, we got lucky and the bus was there when we landed down on the quays after our Indian in Kathmandu Kitchen in Dame Street (recommended, by the way).
The Bus Eireann driver was incredibly friendly, engaged in a bit of banter as we got on and purchased our tickets, checked if I didn’t have a pass, and generally ‘had the craic’.
When we reached home and were getting off at Ballinadrimna/Moyvalley he asked us had we enjoyed our night, wished us a lovely weekend, and so on.
And he encouraged the girl who got off the bus before us at Moyvally to ensure she was wearing a high visibility vest or garment the next time she travelled. This was great, caring, sensible advice and went way above and beyond his duties as a bus driver.
And it struck me (again) that this type of decent human interaction was something that we Irish are particularly good at. I don’t believe this would have happened anywhere else in the world.
I have previously written about the passport control staff when we flew back to Dublin Airport from Naples not too long ago.
And then we have naysayers and whingers and Cassandras telling us that Ireland has gone to hell and we are doomed and we are the sick men of Europe, and so on and so forth.
We have a great, not a perfect, country populated, by and large, by decent people who care about the the other person and who recognise it doesn’t take much to be nice. But it makes a difference.
Hat’s off to the driver of the 115 Bus Eireann bus yesterday evening. Keep up the great work.