We arrived at Kerry airport and drove to Killarney. All very easy, just a left turn from the airport then straight ahead. Then came the one way system around the town, on a Sunday, and a Bank Holiday weekend, and a drive by of Harley Davidson motor bikes through the town……I came up against a stream of cars trying to get into the city and drove into a side street to figure out how to get to our hotel. I have no sense of direction so what to do? Ask a local of course.
Fortunately the local I asked was James. He had just parked his car and was walking back towards us when I wound down the window and said I was lost. No worries (or the Irish equivalent) James said. He would jump in the back and direct me. Maybe I should have been less trusting. He was carrying a bag after all. He could have been an axe murderer but he wasn’t. He was just a very kind man. He introduced himself and directed me to a car park opposite our hotel and told me it was free parking on a weekend and to wait for a few hours until the crowds had gone and then explained how to get to the hotel parking. He made my day.
James was just one of many people we came across each day in Killarney who were pleasant, courteous and considerate. Killarney is a tourist town. Tourists are its life blood. But the locals genuinely seem pleased to see them. I compared the welcome we received with service industry employees in other countries. There was no comparison. We have all been met with the grump, the unsmiling and the rude. Yes, it’s our tourist dollar that keeps them in jobs but do they care? Do they go out of their way with a ‘Now ladies, what can I help you with?’They do in Killarney, and I think they mean it.