Republic of Ireland, autumn 2009
I got put off the bus in the middle of the countryside near the Kilkenny-Tipperary border in a little village called Ninemilehouse. I'd been caught using a disabled pass that disabilitypass somebody had given to me. More accurately, I was given the opportunity to get off the bus, and I took it.
I was traveling from Cork, where I was living, to Kilkenny, where I had lived before, would again -- and where I spent most of the time that I was in Ireland.
With two stops in-between, I had to show the pass three times. In Clonmel and in Cahir I had brief conversations with the bus drivers. This was the downfall of my time with a disability pass that didn't belong to me bad planning due to a gimpy feeling, probably.
A capped uniformed guy boarded in Carraig-on-Suir, and began asking everybody for tickets, front to back.
He asked me, as he did of everybody with a travel pass, to write my date of birth. Oddly, I knew the proper answer and didn't give it to him.
He went sat back of bus, calling the dates in to Dublin to cross-check against recorded travel-passes.
This travel-pass, which I'd had for a few years but had then only recently decided to use, had an especially tawdry provenance. It was "pure gold," from one perspective but it also never did feel right, which is probably pretty much why I got caught.