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New Arrival

October 4, 2007

corey says…I was up at the crack of dawn and heading to Shannon to pick up my friend Tony this morning. It’s his cottage I’ve been staying at since I arrived a few days ago. Before leaving in the morning, I made sure there was a roaring fire burning, and I did what I could to make the place feel homey. The cottage is his dream, so I figured I do my part to romanticize it a bit…warm, cozy and no work at all (such goals are never quite that easy to achieve, but it doesn’t take much to make the illusion come together for a short time).

On the way in, I hit some terrible traffic in Limerick…almost standstill. Limerick’s morning rush hour can be very hit or miss. Coming in just ten minutes earlier or later and there might have been no traffic at all.

When I rushed into the airport, Tony was standing against a pillar surrounded by his bags. His eyes were a bit pink around the edges, but otherwise he looked like he survived the overnight flight without much by way of side effects. He had been upstairs at the cafe where we agreed to meet, but decided to come downstairs to have a look around.

I was in and out of the airport in no time. In fact my parking fee was only 1 euro…I don’t think I’ve ever parked there so cheaply.

Once on the road, I asked Tony the pressing question, “Should we check and see if your curtains are in?” There’s quite a story to these window treatments, and their actual delivery has been quite elusive. First, they weren’t in yet, but would arrive any day. Then there was a call that they were never ordered. Then there was a call that they were in…only to be determined that they weren’t. Then a reorder. Anyway, the order was placed in late May and here it was the start of October, and he still isn’t sure of their status.

Tony warned me, “If they’re not in, you might want to leave the store because I’m either leaving with my curtains or all my money back.”

The situation looked grim when we arrived. The clerk went to the back room and hadn’t returned after 20 minutes. As he paced the store, Tony looked as though he was rehearsing his attack.

When she returned, the clerk said she needed someone to help her find the order…as she was “from the other store.” This is one of the trends I’ve noticed in Irish customer service… everyone tends to be very friendly, but there is always some sort of excuse. In reality, the customer doesn’t care what store the clerk is from…they just want their curtains.

The next clerk said she remembered the order, but she had “been on holiday for the last month” and wasn’t sure of its status… and how does that makes anyone feel better about their curtains that appear to be MIA?

In the end, the curtains we uncovered, and an extra 10% was taken off for the trouble. Whew!

The ride home was uneventful until we were about ten miles from the cottage. I was coming around the corner and the road seemed to mysteriously dead end. Now, I’ve driven this road a hundred times, and I knew there was no end here…in fact the road was there two hours earlier.

When we pulled up to the dead end, it became clear that a tree had fallen into the road. It was such a large branch that it looked as though the hedgerow grew right across the road. There was absolutely no getting around it, and because of the size and the fact that it was hanging on the electrical wires, we made no attempt to move it. We simply turned around and made a detour.

Once home, Tony unpacked and I headed into Nenagh for some errands. When I returned, Tony and I went for a hike. The afternoon was much like yesterday with blue sky and a pleasant temperature. The hike we took gave us a view of Silvermines Village, Nenagh and Tony Ryan’s estate.

Tony Ryan is one of Ireland’s wealthiest men and founded Ryan Air…the airline that kicked of the discount airline trend in Europe. Tony Ryan died yesterday in his other home in Kildare and the funeral is scheduled tomorrow. It’ll be quite a to-do, and his life and times are already a big topic on the TV and radio.

Later we went to Liam’s cousin’s to say hello and then it was home to bed.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Bridget permalink
    October 7, 2007 10:40 PM

    Welcome back Guys,
    Good to hear you are both doing well. I’m grand too-nothing major to report, school is fine. Got my exam results and i did really well so I’m over the moon. I have a week off for Halloween so we might be able to catch up at home, Take Care, Bridget

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