Editor’s note: This is part of a series highlighting student travel stories. Jack is a first year student at UCD and shares is newfound independence with his passion waggin!
In the summer of 2009 I did the usual post 6th year rounds, finished my exams, passed my driving test, drank a lot of beer, went to the debs and got my results. Once the initial shock passed that I actually survived the LC and got my course in UCD, it was now onto life in the ‘Big Smoke’. I managed to squeeze cash from close relatives for my big adventure and I decided to buy myself a car to assert my newfound independence.
What I thought was a large some did not provide great picking on my scrolling through DoneDeal. The only non embarrassing car I could (after much debate with my father) was a 1997 navy Ford Fiesta Classic with no radio antenna. So off I went, car loaded and eager to get to Dublin for Orientation week. Being from Kilkenny, I am well used to match day traffic to Croke Park but Sunday evening traffic to Dublin was a new challenge. My new Passion Waggin did considerably well to maintain 120 KPH, or at least I thought until I began to approach Newlands Cross. The engine began to make a horrendous chugging noise and next thing I know its dead right in the middle lane at the traffic lights of Newlands Cross! I rang my Dad and after much slagging he said he would try his best to get me help but it would be difficult to get breakdown service on a Sunday evening. I sat in the car mortified. The only noise was the ticking of the hazards, the constant blowing of horns and the repetition of the Black Eyed Pea’s ‘I Gotta Feeling’ from my CD player. After 2 hours the AA came and I gave a cash payment from my beer money to the mechanic. The car was towed away and I got a taxi to UCD.
Needless to say the following week, after much abuse from my family, I swallowed my pride and made the defeated walk to the Ormonde road in Kilkenny to get the JJ Kavanagh & Sons coach to Dublin. I quickly found it is more enjoyable to leave the hard work to the professionals, which I do to this day.
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