It's Been A While But I'd Love To Again

It was many years ago when I was teaching and had my summers off. One trip started in Switzerland and ended in London 11 weeks later. But I wanted to go to Ireland where both my parents were born..

So I booked a charter flight to Shannon, Ireland...showed up at the airport on time only to be told..."sorry Frito, that flight's been cancelled...."

No way...I was not returning to the bed and breakfast I just left...so a group of us negotiated and we were offered a flight to Belfast, arriving in Northern Ireland, shortly after midnight, alone and scared and during the horrible fighting that Ireland was immersed in.

Some of us said yes...

On the plane i had time to rethink my decision...it was truly scary...I was traveling alone with limited funds and hey what was I going to do when I got there.

That's where my seatmate came in...he saved me. Sean was a newlywed on his way with his bride to meet some of her relatives...He leaned towards me and pressed a key into my hand all the while writing down an address....when I protested he stared me down and said, "don'tbe a damn fool Frito, there's a war going on and I don't want you on my conscience."

I took the key and the address,,now I was even more scared.

Sean hooked me up with a group that was hiring a car to drive down to Dublin that night and the key was to his rented room called a "bedsitter."

"And don't pay any attention to the posters of Che Guevarra on the wall and don't read anything on the desk."   OK, what had I gotten myself into? Yikes!

We drove down, stopped at the border ...car was searched. by armed soldiers...we were all questioned....very scary stuff...and I thought the last thing I jokingly told my Mother was "don't worry, it's not like I'm going to Northern Ireland! " Yeah...right!

I think it was about 3 hours later, the car pulled up to an old, rambling home and I was let out...I remember how it smelled ...the damp earth...and how foggy it was...I frantically looked around for a place to hide out until morning...nothing...so having no choice I opened the unlocked front door, and made my way to the Sean's room, number 3.

It was 2 pm the following afternoon when I woke up,,,,quickly dressed and ran from the house. I left the key on the desk, just as Sean told me, then looked up and stared at the immense poster of Che.

I have no real knowledge whether Sean was in the IRA as he alluded to, but I do know that he saved me from a much scarier evening. Here's to you Sean and your bride...I hope your life has been full.

 

frito414 frito414
56-60, F
26 Responses Mar 8, 2010

Wow it's been a long time since I was in Dublin Chocolatesmiley. It was a long tome ago and yes I was crazy...I made a quick decision that could have had dire results except for Sean's help.<br />
I'd love to go back and I'm sure it would be very safe now...so glad things are better in Ireland now both North and South.<br />
<br />
Well I'll never know for sure...He alluded to ity..may not have been true but it wasn't only the Che poster that made me think that. I owe a debt to Sean...hope life has been kind to him. <br />
Thanks so much for your comments all the way from Dublin.:)

Also I really doubt he was in the IRA..did you think that coz of the Che Guevara poster?? Lots of guys have them up, doesn't mean anything except they're trying to be cool!!!!:)

eeeeeek I'm from Ireland!! In dublin right now... loved your story! You really were crazy arriving into Northern Ireland in the middle of the night!!! It used to be so dangerous up there but it's a LOT better now, you'd be fine visiting it. Maybe go visit Belfast for the day, do all your shopping..sterling prices are much cheaper than here in Dublin they completely rip us off but the Republic is the best all the same :):)

Thanks Datura! There's a thin line between brave and foolhardy...in this case I'm not sure! *grin*

Great story Frito! You're a much braver lass than I !!

Thanks Des :)<br />
Nancy these little motorhomes have everything and they're great on gas! Yep, someday....:)

That is my dream too...hit the road in a motorhome. Someday.<br />
<br />
She is having the time of her life...as well she should. :)

Thanks Nancy....I'm scratching too...hard...I spent the weekend lusting after a Toyota mini motorhome on EBay...I would LOVE to just hit the road now....your time will come...I know that's probably small comfort now. <br />
I hope you daughter is having a blast! :)

What a cool tale frito! Scratching like crazy...damn travelin itch. (My daughter is in Ireland as I type this)

Ah Ming, no I never saw him after. He had just gotten married in London and was travelling with his bride to Belfast to visit relatives. At the end of the flight, everything was hectic and rushed...sadly I never even thought of asking him his name or address...most likely he wouldn't have shared it but?<br />
And thanks for the good thoughts...he was a very caring guy and I hope his life has been full.

frito 414,<br />
Do you have met Sean after that? Or had you heard from him ever since?<br />
I would recommend you to put this story in contest to the "Chicken-Soup" books.<br />
Truely heartmoving....

Fromnowon, I just wanted to go to Ireland. I was in London and our flight to the States was leaving in 4 or 5 days. This was my only shot at Ireland so I took it but that decision could have cost me dearly...I was lucky Sean chose to be my guardian angel. :)<br />
<br />
Fish, Ya never know!<br />
The bedsitter was a tiny room with a single bed and a bookcase and desk,,,that's all. It did have a window looking out at some lovely old trees.:)<br />
<br />
Pedro, it could have had a very different ending. I suppose if I were left to only my own devices I would have tried to get a hotel room in Belfast or possible just stayed at the airport all night. I do feel enormous appreciation for Sean and his kindness. :)

Thanks Salar...it was genuine kindness and I'd like to think it was a "favour being returned."

The kindness of a stranger Frito .......<br />
<br />
I am sure it was a favour being returned ....

It was just that one night but it stands out as my scariest travel experience...no way did I really want to end up where there was fighting...I just made a quick decision and once on the plane there was no way to change my mind. Thanks Paco.

Gee, Frito. So much for relaxing on that leg of the trip. Sounds like it could have become a good mystery novel. <br />
Thank goodness you made it out well. <br />
Paco35:)

Hmmmmm "Two Crazed and Happy Road Warriors! :)

This is exactly why you are the one I would take a road trip with. Adventure all the way, except without the "Two Crazy Available Widows" banner. So what would our banner say?

Sean told me there was a bus not that far from the house....I took the bus into Dublin, went to an office where you can book bed and breakfast, booked the room,,,and spent only 2 days in Dublin...met a distant relative, saw an Irish play and just generally toured around, mostly on foot....<br />
I didn't know I could trust him...but on the plane I decided it was the lesser of 2 evils...getting out of Belfast was key....there was no way I could wander the streets or even take a cab to find a hotel.<br />
Perhaps it was quite foolish...I just didn't want to go home without seeing Ireland.

What an adventure. So after you ran from the house, where did you go? How long did you stay? I'm glad Sean took care of you. You certainly took a risk... I mean, how did you know you could trust him? Oh, to be young again when we went where the whim and wind carried us.

It was really scary Soursweet...by choosing to get on that plane I literally "bit off more than I could chew."

Gryfnn thanks for the very kind words...I think it would have been a very different story had it not been for Sean...yes a true "mitzvah!"<br />
<br />
RavenDelcor, wow you sure have relatives all over Ireland...the Fritos are from the West coast...Mayo and Sligo....thanks for enjoying my story and it sounds like you'll be sharing some more of your heritage here.<br />
<br />
Jojewel, it was quite an adventure...one I didn't really anticipate or want....And I sooo hope Sean's kindness was richly rewarded....he could have looked the other way but he really did take care of me when I couldn't.<br />
<br />
Thanks all. :)

Wow, spine-chilling story!

Quite an adventure! Thank goodness that you ran into an angel named Sean. I hope that his kindness was amply returned throughout his life.

What a great story. Someday I hope to get to Ireland. I'd like to spend the entire 11 weeks there, walking as much as possible and visiting places where my ancestors once made a living. I want to go to the west and see where my friend's granddad was arrested for teaching children how to read in a field. I want to go to the south east where my ggggrandma married the man who would wisk her off to america (if I have the story correct). I also have to go north into the free north hopefully to see where the controversy is with my ancestors in Antrim - the Scots want to claim us as having come there from Scotland; but we all know that the Scots came originally from the South of Ireland too.<br />
God bless you for making me run at the words here. By the way, from where are the "Fritos" in Ireland? (The Ravens are all over -- key word -- Cor)

What a great story! It gives me a cold chill...When I was young, I was fearless and reckless.....you are a person of courage.....I so admire and appreciate people of courage...the young man who gave you his key was also a person of courage...he put himself at risk to perform an act of kindness---a true mitzvah.