Very often we have people come in to the shop who ask us for directions . Sometimes it will be a delivery driver looking for a particular street in the town or perhaps someone looking for the community partnership offices further down our block . We also get the odd tourist who may be looking for directions towards their next destination .
The other day we had some Americans in who were looking for directions to ‘ Yokehell’ or yawll as we pronounce it even though it is spelt Youghal . I proceeded to direct them out towards the Dungarvan road where they would take a left at the fingerpost , then on through Ballymac before taking a right just past the halfway . Then on down through Millstreet before coming out on the main Dungarvan – Cappoquinn road and taking a left followed by an immediate right . Then on through Clashmore before coming onto the main Waterford – Cork road where a right turn would bring them straight on to Youghal .
I was feeling quite pleased with my simple directions until I looked up to see a San Diego Padres baseball cap topping off a very blank looking rotund face . Then the Padres fan asked if that was like the R671 or the R672 and I was the one with the blank look on my face . I guess it’s because so few roads up until very recently have been signposted by their correct title as opposed to their ultimate destination here in Ireland that we’ve become accustomed to giving directions in this manner . Luckily I recalled having seen a sign somewhere on the Dungarvan road with this title , so I guessed the R671 but told him to keep an eye on the signposts .
This made me recall an incident which happened a few years ago when another American tourist asked a group of council workers on the fethard road for the quickest way to Urlingford . This is what he was told ;
‘ Go straight on out as far as Fedard ( Fethard) . That fella Loyd Webber lives near there so if ya keep an eye out you might see him . Then straight on through the town apast the saddlery on your right. Then straight on far as Kilnaul ( Killenaule) and on as far as Balnunty ( Ballynonty ) . Vere right there an keep goin far as New Brimajim ( New Birmingham) and then you have a choice to make . Ya can go straight on through Glengooool ( Glengole) or take a right which’ll bring you along by the big stone wall . They’ll both bring you to the same place but ya might want to take a look at the stone wall , seeing that your American an all . Then if you keep on that road over the humpy back bridge you’ll land safely in Urling-ford !
The American tourist was then seen to drive fifty yards up the road before getting out a map and figuring it out for himself .
So while we might think that we’re being friendly and helpful with our place by place directions the fact is that most tourists only want a few numbers which can get them to where they are going .