Sir, – Frank McNally’s experience of participating in the virtual World Journalism Conference (An Irishman’s Diary, September 16th) and being placed virtually between Iran and Kuwait echoes an experience I had over 20 years ago.
I had made an unplanned journey to Orlando, Florida, to visit a sick uncle and, on arrival, could not rent a car because I had not booked in advance. So I settled for a night in the hotel adjoining the airport. The check-in clerk was unfamiliar with the check-in database and he asked me for the code for Ireland. So, I produced my driving licence and showed him the cover which said “IRL”. “Oh, heck,” he said, “this screen only wants two letters”. I suggested to him to input “IR”.
The next morning I checked out and succeeded in renting a car. On stopping for a coffee at a rest stop on the interstate I looked, for the first time, at my receipt from the hotel. It gave my address as “Dublin, Islamic Republic of Iran”! – Yours, etc,