Sunday, January 15, 2023

Derry Girls on Netflix

On the lighter side, I found this series on Netflix called the Derry Girls. It's hilarious. It takes place in Derry, Northern Ireland back in the 90's just after I served there. It's good crack so it is. When I first heard that expression in the North I was like yo we can't say that back home. Back then is simply meant good fun. It had nothing to do with the drug.

London Derry is what the English call it but the locals call it Derry. It was the city with heart divided by sectarian violence. Derry Bog side asserted it's freedom while the other side of the river were Protestants. Some of the graffiti at the time said West bank Loyalists still under seize, No Surrender. I felt more comfortable with the Catholics. Normally Halloween isn't that big in Ireland but when we were there everyone came to the city dressed in costume. No one could tell what side of the river you were from. It was somewhat profound. The Dubliners sang that famous song the Town I loved so well. It was about Derry so it was.

One of the reasons I find this show so funny is because I remember seeing the Protestant girls sneak over to the Catholic area of West Belfast to hang out with the Catholic boys. I'd walk past them and they'd look at me with fear in their eyes as if to say please don't say anything. I'd just smile and nod as if to say yo girl I ain't saying anything. If it doesn't matter to them it sure doesn't matter to me. I have two coworkers one from Belfast and another from Bangor. Their families moved to Canada because they were both mixed marriages. One was Catholic, the other was Protestant. They came to Canada because no one here cares.

Seeing the armored vehicles brings back memories. I remember seeing a cop car when I came home thinking what the hell is that? A couple of bricks and that thing would be smashed to pieces. One petrol bomb and it would be up in smoke. These were the Protestants.
I remember visiting a place in Ballycastle called Corrymeela. It was a neutral place they's have Catholic and Protestant kids meet so they could have a chance to get to know each other. Segregation makes that very difficult. They also held seminars for Jews and Palestinians in Israel. They do great work. Kind of like the Oasis of Peace in Israel.

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