Just our luck!
Trip Start Jun 16, 2008
27Trip End Ongoing
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We had over an hour now to wait for the train, so we went for a drink in a nearby pub. Lydia likes to try different beers she comes across, and the pub we went to sold Tennants - which is a Scottish lager...hmmmm...."That's what my dad drinks" I told her, "It's minging" I added...didn't put her off though - she tried it, and liked it. My dad will be so proud.
Anyway, we're sitting there, and suddenly I heard a 'familiar' sound - the tune of an "orange band" (I apologise if that's the wrong expression to use these days, but that's what I know it as). I hadn't heard one since I was growing up in Scotland, and my association with it is a nervous feeling, which comes from my granny's reactions on hearing it whenever I was with her when they were happening. Lydia didn't know this - having grown up in Malaysia, to her, it was just a marching band, and she wanted to go out and take photos - I was quite hesitant and suggested she didn't. She asked me why, and do you know, I couldn't provide her with an answer. I kind of tried to explain, but I don't understand the full politics, religious reasoning and history behind it, to have been able to give her a full accurate & honest answer. Having grown up with an open-mind, I have friends of all religions and backgrounds, so to me, the fact that the sound of that music unnerved me now, confused me.
When we went to get the train, we found it was delayed by 20 or so minutes - then 12 armed policemen came down onto our platform...I've seen that in Scotland too, so assumed there had been a football match or something...then the platform manager came along and told everyone we should all stand at the wall until everyone got off the train...Lydia pointed out that he was moreso saying it to young guys, which I hadn't noticed...
The train pulled in, and it was practically empty! However the carriage Lydia and I chose was more empty than others, containing only 2 guys and 1 girl. Turned out there was a reason for this - one of the guys was wired to the moon on drugs (not that he needed to tell us, but he did confirm that). He tried engaging us in inane conversation, and I could tell Lydia was uncomfortable, so wasn't surprised when she whispered to me that she wanted to move seats. I agreed with her, but told her we'd be better to wait until the next stop, as it wasn't far, that way we could move "as if we were leaving the train" without causing a scene with this muppet. In a rather sweet way, a local old man walked past us and asked Lydia if she was OK as he moved into another carriage.
After we moved, we found out that there had been an anniversary event in Derry / Londonderry that day, so this answered a lot of questions:
- why the train early in the morning bound for Derry / Londonderry had been so packed
- why we had heard a march in Coleraine earlier
- why armed police were waiting in Coleraine station for potential trouble
- why this guy may have been high as a kite in our carriage