When we were in Ireland this time we asked several times,(Patrice did, not me, I was being polite using “we”), for directions. It never failed that whomever we asked gave us directions. It was amazing how fast and firm the directions were given, and in simple terms we could follow too. It seems like the best way for an Irishman to give directions is from a Pub. A typical question for directions might be answered something like this when you get Pub directions…
You know where Foley’s Pub is? Well go there and turn right can go on down to Murphy’s pub and Turn left. Look to the right and there it will be.
Now if you are new to the town of say Dublin, like we were, you don’t know where Foley’s Pub is… Now that is were things can get interesting. Then the directional question might go something like this…
Oh you don’t know Foley’s Pub. Ok then, go down this way until you cross St. George St. You know you are going the right way when you see it. Keep on going one or two streets after that and then turn right. You will know when to turn because it will be a busier street than the others. Now, keep on going four or five streets and turn left. You know when to turn when you pass the stop light. It is the only stop light down there. Once you turn look on the right it should be right in there.
I asked an Irishman why any Irishman will give you directions even if they don’t know the place you want to go. He told me there is an old Irish joke about that. The joke goes like this…
Sure I can tell ya how to get there. But ya know, I wouldn’t start from here.
That kind of summed it up for me. The moral of that story is if you start asking for directions you better keep asking all along the way.
I saw a lady with a written address ask an Irishman in front of me for directions to the address. He said, “sure, just go up that way, (pointing), and you’ll see it”, as he turned and walked a different direction.
The alternative to asking for directions is the way that guys do anywhere in the world… Use pure gut instinct, which is statistically proven to be correct 97.3% of the time. The other way guys find things is reading a Map. When using both “pure gut instinct” and “Map reading”, Males are correct 99.9999999999999969% of the time. Just remember not to have her read the map to you. If you do have her read the map, statistically your correct percentage drops to 67.8%. So just keep that in mind.
Lets compare these to methods of arriving at the same destination.
Using the method of “asking for directions”, you end up walking around a lot and talking to a lot of people you have never met before. Sure you might find some new friends along the way but… Are you going someplace or are you looking for new friends?
Now what happens using gut instinct and or map reading. Odds are you will go directly to where you want to go and in a worse case scenario, you might walk a little more than you had to. But you don’t have to talk to strangers that usually don’t have a clue and the friends you have are good enough, you don’t need more friends.
One more thing, well myth really to bust here relates to Pub directions that I talked about above. When an Irish-person, man or woman, comes up and asks you were a bar is by name, and it is 10 am in the morning, it doesn’t mean he/she wants a drink. It means he/she was given Pub directions by another Irish-person and where she is really going is nearby.
So there you go…aren’t you glad we had this little chat.