“Can you use this here?”

This is what the cashier at the grocery store asked me today when she needed to see some I.D. after I used my bank card. (Side note – cashiers in Dublin are emphatic about checking the signature on the back of the card!)

I said “Surprisingly –  yes.”

I should have said “Yes, but they really shouldn’t allow ME to.”

It started off well, my driving day.  Josh is gone all day and part of the evening for work.  I think giving a talk about Azure (or as I hear it “blah blah, geek speak blah”. )  Not wanted me to be stranded all day, he said “I’ll come get you, you can drop me off at the Guinness Storehouse, then you can head home.”  I thought this was a good idea.

Now, the Guinness Storehouse is in City Centre, or close enough to it that I was a little worried about driving home.  But I managed to go around St. Stephen’s Green, cut through all the streets, not get killed by a tour bus, not take out any tourists, not one single incident!  I was rocking the opposite side driving in a strange city skills this morning.

Then I thought “Hey, I can show the kids the house we’re going to rent!”

I should have walked them to the park like Josh suggested.  My stress levels would have been lower.

Mistake #1 – I keep forgetting to look the correct way.  Which nearly got me clipped by a car driving correctly.  I have really fast reaction time thank goodness.

Mistake #2 – I tried to park…in an extremely busy shopping centre lot…on a downhill slope…just crooked enough that I couldn’t get out of the car.  But then the people on either side of me moved, so I backed up and over a bit so I was in the Good parking spot (the one with nothing in front of it, so I could just pull out)…I pulled crookedly into that one, pulled forward a bit to straighten out, went to reverse…only to have a Mini Cooper pull right up behind me to take the spot I was still half in.

Yes, I said bad words.  But the kids weren’t in the car, so it was okay.  And in pulling out and going around, I found an easier parking spot to get in and out of.

Mistake #3 – I saved the best for last.  I pulled out of that parking lot onto the road…and went to make a right hand turn…as I got in the right turn lane, I glance at the road I’m about to go on and realize the words and arrows are upside down.  I can’t read them – because they’re not for me.  I quickly reverse out of the turning lane…and try to figure out if I’m on a one-way road…and it suddenly hit me – I was in the wrong lane, going the wrong direction!

I said another bad word.  The kids heard it.  Did I mention their was a herd of Garda just down the street from where I was sitting incorrectly in the road?

But then the light changed and the nice driver let me scoot in on the correct side – so no harm done, no one bothered by my horrible mistake.  This was my first and hopefully last time I drive on the wrong side of the road!

We were out of a few necessities, and I wanted to check out the big Dunnes Store I was shown the other day, so we went there…and as I pulled in, I said “Why am I going someplace where I have to park?”  But we made it through that without event.

But now, I’m at home, and I realized I forgot to grab pasta sauce for the ravioli.  I think I’ll have the boys walk up to Tesco.  I’m done driving for the day!