Driving safety announcement! 

Driving safety announcement! 

So as I sit here waiting on my car tires to be rotated I have time to ponder the last few weeks of driving on Atlantas messed up road system. With the bridge collapse on i85 making the traffic even worse its a pity the people in a lot of cars are complete and utter idiots. 

And so onto to the public safety announcement, car manufacturers go to a lot of bother to make cars safer, mainly because of the idiots, but years ago lights on cars became compulsory and turn signals form a very important part of the lighting system on a car. So a bit of advice to the idiots out there that think they are a fancy colour decoration on your car, feckin use them and don’t just fly from lane to lane as if you are invincible. 

Firstly you aren’t invincible and you will either be killed someday or cause someone else to die on the roads needlessly. Secondly, turn signals should be used in conjunction with that other amazing device on your car, mirrors! They are not just for looking at your ugly mug in, they help you see other traffic, you know the other people you share the road with. 

Oh wait, you don’t share the road with anyone, because you are to important. Well let’s stop the presses just there, you are not important, you are a feckin idiot. Other cars have to slam on their brakes because you do something else stupid. So do us all a favour, please just stay at home, sell your car and feck off so we can all get to where we want to be safely and without having to deal with you. 

Driving me around the bend

Driving me around the bend

I know I have commented on this before ( Driving Post ), but driving in Atlanta can be one hell of an experience. Some drivers think they are invincible, or invisible, I am not sure which. Car manufacturers went to great lengths to place indicators on cars, but a note of safety should be placed on the dash board of cars. Putting on an indicator doesn’t mean you just fly across 4 lanes of traffic at 70mph. If you do that you are a complete gobshite and nothing else.

I have driven down 285 twice in the last 2 days and both days had 20-25 minute delays due to gobshites not knowing how to drive crashing into the side of another car while changing lanes. No sign of them indicating, looking, checking and then going. It’s indicate, put on invincible cloak and go for it.

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Approaching Atlanta on busy highway

I enjoy driving, and delays don’t bother me to much as they are part and parcel of driving in a big city. The open roads here are great but once you get close to the city you need to have your wits about you. I have to concentrate nearly at full level while driving in the city . I have to make sure I am in the right lane, making lane changes in plenty of time and safely, and just be aware of traffic on all sides moving quickly.

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Concentration levels are high (Oh and I was stopped)

Driving in Atlanta, and probably anywhere in the USA is the same, and Dublin doesn’t get off scott free either as it has it’s fair share of gobshites in cars too. How about instead of pointless driving tests, all drivers should do an aptitude awareness test first. Not everyone can use a computer, or tools, or fly a plane but we give everyone a car!

5 Months

5 Months

Just as the title suggests, today marks the day that I left Ireland and traveled to the USA 5 short months ago. I had an idea that life here would be better than back home, for starters I would be sharing it with the love of my life and my then wife to be. 5 months later and we are over 3 months married and having fun together.

So today’s post will be a little recap on the first five months of my life here in the USA. It has been good but has taken a fair bit of readjusting and even though there are some similarities between Ireland and the USA, it’s quite obvious we are 2 distinct cultures. When people here say customer service, about 90% of the time they mean good service because that’s what is expected and received. Now only if Ireland could get that memo and even though you work in a service industry, there is no need to be a grumpy fecker. If you are one of those people that hate your job, hate people coming into your shop or business, well then leave the job rather than take it out on the customer. It wouldn’t be tolerated over here by customers for a minute.

Onto driving, at first that scared the hell out of me. Driving my first day part of the way from Orlando to Atlanta was probably the least confident I was in a car since my very first lesson back in 1990. In 5 short months it has got better, even though I do still use GPS and ask Leanne to just confirm I am in the right lane.

I have had interesting conversations with people as a lot of people just know Ireland from movies or photos or visiting as a tourist and not seeing the ‘real’ Ireland. I do my best to tell them about the real Ireland, like how it’s ok for us to hate U2 and to slate them, but not for them to slate them. They are ours so even though we slate them at home, we will defend them across the globe. It’s an Irish thing. One thing I have noted and maybe Guinness should make a note of this too, bar staff cannot pull a pint of Guinness. I have been served some nice tasting Guinness, but it is basically just poured like a beer. Please bar staff, stop it or join those grumpy feckers in a new career. Some of the enjoyment in a Guinness is waiting and watching it settle before it’s topped off.

Now food, wow how much choice do people want. You can have a simple burger done about 100 different ways in 1000’s of places. And then what is on the menu is changed by people saying they want a particular burger but with something either added or taken out. If you are lover of salads, well then the USA is the place for you. I am not a salad eater for main meal, it belongs between two slices of bread in a sandwich as far as I am concerned, but some of the salads served look fantastic and come with foods I never heard off.

And finally onto family and friends. I done a few posts the other day about family and the pets as well as Robert, my son. I will reiterate that now, I am a lucky guy because my family and my newly extended family have been wonderful in their support for my move here and helping me settle in. My friends back in Ireland send me messages via Facebook, Viber and WhatsApp, and every single message is greatly appreciated.

This is probably the only post that doesn’t have any pictures except for the header photo. That is a deliberate choice as I wanted the words I am writing to stand on their own and to share my thanks to everyone who has been part of this journey so far. There is lots more to come so keep in touch and drop me a message anytime.

To wrap up it wouldn’t right of me not to mention the one person who helped to make my journey here possible, my darling wife, Leanne. We met in 2001, waited 13 years before having a conversation about our future together and here we are now, a happily newly wed couple. To Leanne I say Thank you for starting that conversation, thank you for the last 5 months and thank you for making me so happy.

Go on red light…… Only if turning right!

Have been asked a few times recently what I miss most, what I like best, what is the hardest thing and a few other questions along the same lines. Today I will answer what I find the hardest. And the simple answer is driving. Not the skill of making the car go forward or awareness on the road but the sheer volume of traffic, different rules and amount of lanes on roads.

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Spaghetti Junction, Atlanta

I have been driving nearly 26 years now and all of it has been in Ireland. So we drove on different side the road, the roads are smaller, the cars are smaller and journeys much shorter. The drive from Orlando to Atlanta was 7 hours and I drove half of it but overall the drive was possibly the longest drive I had taken in milage in a car. Oh I have been in a car longer, especially when serving overseas or in the 70’s going anywhere in Ireland could take hours in the days before motorways found their way to Ireland.

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Georgia Road Signs

Another huge difference is the turn right on red law. At the majority of junctions it is allowed to turn right on red once it is safe to do so. It’s a bit like a yield sign at home but it certainly does take a while to get used to. My pet hate is traffic lights hanging across the road up in the air. I can understand why, junctions are so big and wide, having them in the corner on a post would make little or no sense as they couldn’t be seen. But for a split second you have to look up and take your eye of the road and it only takes a split second for an accident!

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Interstate 285

So onto 285, the dreaded Interstate that is like the M50 at home. 285 circles Atlanta completely and even though it’s officially called the Atlanta Bypass, everyone calls it 285. For me, who drove the M50 at home everyday going to work for the last 2 years, 285 isn’t so bad. The hardest part about it is the amount of lanes and lane indiscipline shown by drivers. And now to introduce a new word to my American friends, on Irish roads we call them sort of drivers Gobshites, well I am sad to say Atlanta and Georgia has its more than fair share of them too.

Drive safely, drive with consideration and get to your destination and allow others to theirs safely and don’t be a Gobshite!