Sometimes it’s the little details that set a trip on the right track. Here are five tips experienced travelers know but never learned from guidebooks…
You’ll need power for that shower
The pump and water heater for Irish showers are often housed in an in-shower device that provides consistent heat and pressure. For safety, the power is often turned on by a cord from the ceiling or a light switch that may be placed outside the bathroom door. When you arrive, be sure to check the system to make sure you understand how to use it.
There’s a another side to asking for a ride
In some parts of the Emerald Isle, the word “ride” has a naughty connotation. You might surprise your Irish hosts when you ask, “can I get a ride?” Instead, request a lift or a drive. And if the word “ride” crosses your lips, don’t let on that you know this tidbit… you’ll only end up sounding like you truly have a dirty mind.
By the way, telling some one you’ll “pick them up” means you will literally lift them into the air, so say “collect” or “give a lift” (I know, “give a lift” sounds a lot like picking someone up in the air, but trust me, “give a lift” is a better choice).
Now, if you can only remember to say chips instead of fries and crisps rather than chips and half-seven over seven-thirty and avoid “top o’ the mornin’,” you’ll nearly be talking like a native.
What do you mean… you want a Tyme machine
Time travel hasn’t hit Ireland yet, so asking for a Tyme Machine may prompt curious looks. If you’re on the hunt for cash from an Automated Teller Machine, avoid using the term “Tyme Machine” which is popular in some parts of the US. Instead, ask for the “hole in the wall” or the “money machine” or “cash point” or “automated bank machine” or hold up your debit card and ask “I need to get cash out of a machine.”
If it’s brown, flush it down
The flushing power of Irish toilets can vary greatly. You may want to check the bowl before you leave the loo so your B&B hosts will remember you for something other than what you leave behind. And on the topic, it’s better to ask for a toilet, not a bathroom… unless, of course, you’re planning to take a bath.
Take stock before you lock
It’s a common scene; North Americans struggling with Irish locks. Different locks demand different steps… some require a handle to be lifted, others call for a half or full spin of the inserted key, and many Americans simply can’t get used to the idea that they may need a key to get OUT of their room. It’s best to test your lock skills while you have a local around to give pointers. And watch out for the threshold… many doors require you to step over the door frame or risk tumbling out of the doorway.
What tips do you want to add? Leave them in the comments below… a rhyming title is not require, but appreciated 😉