When I lived in the US I loved the drive thru. One of the benefits of living in a country which is relatively new and whose growth exploded at the same time as the growth of the motor car, is that places are geared to arrival and departure with the combustion engine. The US can be a very convenient way to do drive thru business.

Drive thru fast food, banking, liquor stores, car washes, and even drive thru mail boxes which are a fantastic thing; there are so many ways to get what you need done on the move.

Drive thrus never caught on as much in the UK and Ireland, probably because of the infrastructural thing I alluded to. Fast food stores like McDonalds abound in Ireland, but that’s about the only sector that has embraced it. I can think of one cash machine drive thru in south Dublin, that’s it.

Did I mention how convenient a drive-thru mailbox is? The alternatives for someone in a car faced with an inner city or inner town post box is to park and walk and post and walk and drive off, or else block the traffic and send a passenger or yourself to the post box for a few seconds which are agonisingly long for both you the driver and the vehicles behind you.

Of course, we’re being discouraged to drive less, walk or ride for a short trip, and generally take better care of ourselves and the planet, which I’m totally on board – rather than bored – with. Often, though, we bundle our errands and things to do into a single time-saving, efficient trip on the way to somewhere in the car, and for that the drive thru is invaluable.