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Car Exchange

July 4, 2007
by

corey says…Happy Fourth of July! Nothing too American about my day today. However, the DJs on the radio were sure to dedicate a lot of songs to their American listeners. Louis Armstrong and the Beach Boys were two of the featured artists.

I headed to Limerick to exchange cars today…there is a limit to the number of days you can have a rental car, so visitors have to swap out every 28 days or so. It didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked. After waiting with four other customers for 25 minutes, someone finally appeared at the desk. The main guy at Limerick wasn’t in today. The person who was there managed to collect the keys from the woman waiting in front of me, but had no idea what to do with my exchange. In broken English he said, “Come back tomorrow.”

Back and Forth and Back
Uh, not an option, so I went to Shannon airport a few miles away. At the car drop off, I was told I had to go to the counter at the terminal first. Drove to the terminal to be told that they had to assess the car at the drop off first. I just kept telling myself, “Well, I knew this couldn’t be easy.”

The guy at the drop off was puzzled when I returned. He jotted down a few notes on a sheet of paper and told me to give this to the people at the counter. We left the car behind, and he took me to the terminal in the shuttle. He said he’d wait outside and give me a ride back when I was done.

The woman at the counter looked at the notes and asked where I had one more piece of information. Obviously it must me my responsibility to make sure their people have all their paperwork in order. When I told her that was all they gave me, she started to tell me I had to go back to the drop off. I was able to cut her short and say, “Your man brought me over in the shuttle.”

“Oh, I just call over there.”

I wanted to say, “Yeah, good idea,” but just kept my mouth shut.

She was going to have to wait until the person at the drop off called her back, so she suggested I get some coffee and check back in five minutes. Well, it took fifteen. In the meantime, the guy in the shuttle stopped in to check on me…he had to get back to drop off and let me know he’d be back.

The woman at the counter had some trouble figuring out the multiple contracts…so it took a bit to sort things out, and she called her manager to see if there was anyway I could keep the car until August 12 rather than doing one more exchange. I appreciated her trying to do that…even though her efforts were fruitless.

Gridlock & Dinner
In the end, I got my new car on the road, just in time to hit Limerick at rush hour. Ugh. Lots of standstill traffic, but after about an hour and 15 minutes, I got from one end of the city to the other.

On the way home I stopped at the grocery store. I tried to call Tony to let him know was I was going to be late for dinner…and I was the one in charge of food. Of course the battery on my phone was dead, so I just did my shopping and got home just in time to start dinner.

Liza came over for dinner. Because of my time crunch, we just had soup, some pre-made appetizers and pizza. Liza brought a cake for dessert, and the meal was quite tasty.

Afterwards, we all played a little music. Liza is just learning the violin, so the two of us shared our squeaked out tunes. Meanwhile, Tony had a few beautiful aires.

Late Night Visitors
After Liza left, a car pulled into Tony’s driveway. A woman came to the door. She was quite frazzled and said, “We’re lost.”

Tony managed to give her directions. He opted not to give her the fasted route because she was already saying, “We are so far out her…the forest…oh it’s so remote.” Had he given her the shortcut she would have certainly thought he sent her to the end of the world.

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