Diary of An Irish Woman

musings of an irish lady now living in America.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

the joys of calling AAA - or AA(as it is in Ireland) when you're in middle of nowhere

A wee story on trying to get roadside assistance when in the 'back of beyond'

Bit of background...

So when in Ireland we were in Connemara - amazing beautiful place where my Granny bless her is from. The gang of yanks had come over with us for a whirlwind tour for two days while we were in Ireland to get married. There were 11 of us there and Arv's sister Anu was coming over that day from America with her friend and driving from Dublin straight to Connemara to meet us. I had advised against it since its a tough 5 hour drive from Dublin, and jetlagged doesn't help. Also the word for road in Irish is bothar - coming from the two words - bo meaning cow and thar meaning way of - and no where is it more apparent than Connemara that wherever the cow wandered there's the road. Don't get me wrong its beautiful but its the middle of nowhere and not much help around

So we get a call on our mobile while in Cliften - a very nice Irish lady telling us she picked up Anu and her friend as their tire was flat and they were at the recess road at a pub - nearest to civilization . Seems they made it all the way over and got a flat just 30 miles from us after driving for 4 and half hours. So off we went in rescued the van we rented with the five of us.. imagine rescue music here..

So when we got there Anu had been on a payphone for an hour - she had no luck in getting rental company to help her, also AA said that make of car not covered.. She had AAA gold coverage in states so we tried calling them to get their help in Ireland. They said no problem. Irish AA was telling her they couldn't and needed proof of her membership from America.

Note that in Ireland AAA is called AA - alcoholics anonymous not as being bandied about in Ireland - with the thought process of the country that sure its ok to be drunk...) Anyway she was getting nowhere so I decided to have a try

Now there was a wee issue with this

Anu's full name is a long Indian one - and I have a heavy Irish Accent
Which of course leads to I was pretending to be her and couldn't pronounce my own name

So the call went something like this

to Irish AA - Yes - look I need help and American AAA cant fax over confirmation as they are not allowed to fax international. I'm a woman on my own in middle of nowhere (6 people behind me in van trying not to giggle) and I need help now

Guy on phone says - ok - we'll send out help - What's your name

My name... pause while I look at Anu's long name on her membership card - and well. well it came out like this

Its Annnhummmannhhaaamm murhhammmannahhham

silence from other end of phone...

Laughter and giggles from behind me in van..

Yes you see said I (thinking I am covering for this beautifully) - I married an Indian guy and I took his name.. yes - I even took his first name. Indian names can be so difficult.

Now there's 7 people in van trying to hold in belly laughing while I still pretend I'm on my own in the middle of nowhere, an Irish lady married an Indian guy and who cant pronounce her new last name, or her new first one....

So taking pity on me - Irish AA agreed to send someone out. An hour later - five of the guys were trying to take the wheel off the car in the pissing rain off a bog road and having no luck - finally Pete came out from a local garage - Pete had no joy either - the rim was so bent. So I told Pete to get his garage to come get the car next day and we'd all head back to the BnB, drop the now well past exhausted jetlagged girls off and go to pub.

So we were late in meeting my cousins in the pub with the running around but funny bit was telling them about the guy Pete who came to help - I described him , they didn't seem to know him, and they know everyone. Finally I said cross-eyed and they all went - ahhh - sure why didn't you say it was cross eyed Pete. And for the next day even getting directions to garage to get the car - we had to say cross eyed Pete for anyone to know who we were talking about...

Only in Ireland....


At 7:03 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I loved your story! I've always wanted to visited Ireland, so now I know that if I'm ever stranded, I need to find cross-eyed Pete! (BTW, I am marrying an Arabic man, so soon my name will probably be a complicated as your friend's!)

Congrats on your marriage, BTW!


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