Monday, February 12, 2007

Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

As you may know, I visited Northern Ireland for the first time last December. I thought it was an exciting and welcoming place, and although I really only saw parts of Belfast and the surrounding area, I felt like I got a feel for the city.

I was amazed by how friendly a town it was, and it seemed that almost all of the people I spoke to tried to make me feel welcome. I was particularly impressed by the services for people waiting at bus stops - for just fifty pence and a cigarette, a man will entertain you with earthy tales and salty curse words.

Well, that was until yesterday, when I sat down to watch Ireland take on the French in the football. Not only was it by far the most violent game I've ever seen, they also showed no respect for sportsmanship whatsoever, committing handballs and illegal challenges left, right and centre.

Not even that prepared me for last night's travel documentary on quality broadcaster Bravo, "Britain's Toughest Towns" - suffice to say that my idea of an enjoyable night out involves a bit more whisky, romance and music, and significantly less knee-capping or beatings with baseball bats.

I'm just glad I didn't accept the offer to go out for a drink when I was there - I'm always up for a bit of a laugh and a joke over a drink, but this business with the hammers is too much even for me.

Northern Ireland - It's all fun until somebody loses a kneecap

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