Being defeated by land, air and long-distance travel before you reach the rental car counter was lesson number 2 this morning. We’d been traveling since 05:36am yesterday morning and my wife had only the briefest of naps along the journey. I tried persuading her into using an extra pair of ear plugs, or switching seats with me, but nothing worked. She stayed up instead of trying to sleep. Now, here we were standing in line to get through customs at Dublin International Airport.
Flagged over to a smiling customs boarder agent, she asked for our travel information, our passports and greeted us with a pleasant morning demeanour. A few minutes later we stood on an island awaiting the shuttle bust going to the rental agency building. Crossing through the threshold of the front door the early morning winds snuck in behind us going into the waiting area. We stood in line, barely communicating as we were both hungry and tired. Our different styles of travel catching up to us at the wrong moment.
A handful of minutes went by then we were flagged over to Liam’s area. Liam, at first seemed warm and friendly until he started gauging our moods, our dispositions and could sense she was in control of the decisions being made this morning. Before the discussions even began, Liam turned into a vulture ready to pounce, nip and nibble at the details barely holding the two of us together.
Ironically, the advantage in this situation should have been ours because we had purchased a package deal which included the car rental and insurance but instead this is where I received further lessons on traveling long distances with my significant other.
Liam pulled out the contract and started explaining several “add-on” options which is when I made it clear, that they were not required and we would pass. He asked if we still wanted the standard car? “Of course we do,” I said. Liam shot a glance at my wife, who shook her head. She was frustrated at my decision making. Liam was about to ask my wife, a question, when I turned around and gave her my own look. She stopped. He stopped. And eventually, I was handed a set of keys with the VW symbol on it.
Out the front door we went over to parking spot F69, to a shiny 2015 VW Golf. I clicked the unlock button as we reached for the back doors and dumped our bags into the back seat then climbed into the front seats. Before firing up the car, we both adjusted our seats. Key in the ignition, clutch depressed and fired up the little beast! Adjusted the rear and side mirrors then shifted into first and slowly crept forward out of F69, down the aisles past the cars and out towards the gate.