Back in the European summer of 2002, I was perched in the back of a
black cab in Belfast Ireland. The cabbie was regaling me with stories of
his home town.
He seemed very amused to recount that more baseball bats where sold in
Northern Ireland, than any other European country.
And no baseballs.
Apparently Louisville Sluggers, where a favoured tool of persuasion.
According to my driver, the kind of home run a certain kind of local
liked to hit. Had little need for a ball.
After coming up from the easy going South. It was a bit of a shock to
see how such warm, welcoming, generous people. Could turn and be so hard
on each other.
I have no idea how politics and religion are getting along in the North
these days. It was complicated enough back when I visited.
Having young kids chase your car down the street of a town, throwing
rocks at you. Was a unique experience for a young, naïve, happy go lucky
Aussie traveller like me.
A bit of a reality check.
Made me realise how anger and hate can be "gamified" and embedded in
young kids so easily.
Yet in most of the smaller towns I stayed in, the locals would welcome
you into their arms.
All those intimate, village pubs I visited would be full each night with
families. Playing music and singing together.
As long as you were happy drinking pints of Guinness, you where embraced
into the fold. (Of course you could order any drink you liked. But it
would come in the form of a pint of Guinness regardless).
One thing most Northern Irish seemed to be, is resilient.
Most just wanted to get on with their neighbours.
Give them a chance to party. And they embraced it with both hands.
And another helpful lesson they taught me, was the need for comfy
When you roll out of a "lock in" in the small hours. The locals
understood the importance of comfy shoes to walk home in.
There was no Uber around back then. It was foot power only.
So if you are interested in some party proof, "stand all night then
still be able to walk home", summer sandals.
You might like to try these snazzy, supportive wedges from Spain.
They are a little open for a cool Irish summer, but perfect for the warm
Sydney weather that is coming.
Here is the link
Yours "to be sure, to be sure"