Stranger in a strange land

19 December 2006 11:49 am

Even with a detailed map straddling the steering wheel, I failed to find the correct turn on the anonymous asphalt of rural Kildare. Outside, a dense, dank fog consumed my car.

Out of the grey, a pulse of blue light blinked, followed by an unexpected yellow flash from a hi-vis jacket.

Knowing exactly where I wanted to go, and broken English aside, which he unnecessarily apologised for, this man from a small town near Budapest, Hungary, directed me back on a journey almost abandoned.

I brought him a few miles down the road to a posh hotel, where he works nights, and we shook hands outside the pompous-pillared entrance.

As I drove on into the night, I wondered who was really the foreigner.

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