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Monday, January 6, 2014

More Than Just a Taxi Ride

by Dawne Davis 

Since I have arrived in Northern Ireland, I have taken several taxicab rides.  Rides to and from hotels, train stations and restaurants.  During my short journeys I have found that the drivers are interested and knowledgeable about the US in some way or another.  There is awareness of US current news and a pretty good since of the various US states and their locations. Some have even traveled to the US and/or had family there.

However, most enjoyable are the myriad of topics regarding the swift current of the Foyle River, local city attractions, history about the building of the Titanic in Belfast, gentrification of parts of the city and the challenges encountered during the process and so on.

Above all, I am beginning to see these rides as an extension of our learnings in this course.  These drivers are mini-historians and passionate about their city.  One driver contributed that he had heard of speculation that the Pope had supported, financially, William of Orange in the Battle of the Boyne for fear that if James II had won, he would have overthrown the Pope. Consider if this were true and had a occurred, what an impact to the world.

While the drivers seem to do most of the talking during these rides I find that each little piece enriches my understanding of the people and complexities of Northern Ireland.  I truly look forward to my next cab ride and what I will learn along the way!

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