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Caught fraudulent and put off the bus in southeast Ireland

August 2009 —

I was caught using a free-travel pass meant for a disabled person, and I was put off the bus in a little village called Nine Mile House on the Kilkenny-Tipperary border.

An acquaintance had given me the document a few years earlier. I'd hesitated for several years to use it. That's a statement that sounds different in Ireland than anywhere else.

I noticed the snappily-dressed official standing in the aisle talking to somebody just after we'd left Carrick-on-Suir.

He told me that if I could not give him cash, he was going to call the gards — An Garda Siochiana, the Irish police.

The woman in front of me offered to pay. This was after the capped man had gone forward to ask the driver to pull over. I thanked her, said that was very sweet, but that he'd given the chance to get off the bus, and I was going to take it.

The driver pulled over; I got out.

I started walking toward Kilkenny, about 32 kilometers away.

A young well-dressed man in a clean late-model car stopped and gave me a lift. He was, as others, non-judgemental that I'd given it a try.

We passed the bus at Callan and got to Kilkenny city before it.