|Source:||A Pocket Guide to Northern Ireland [.mobi (Kindle), .epub (iPad, etc.)]|
|Author:||War and Navy Departments, Washington, D.C.|
IRELAND is an Old World country where woman’s place is still, to a considerable extent, in the home. In the cities, to be sure, modern trends and the pressure of the war itself have liberalized social attitudes. But in the rural sections—and it is quite possible you will be billeted in areas that are rural beyond your expectations—the old ideas still exist. Irish girls are friendly. They will stop on the country road and pass the time of day. Don’t think, on that account, that they are falling for you in a big way. Quite probably the young lady you’re interested in must ask her family’s permission before she can go out with you. In the old days when a girl was seen in the company of a young man more than two or three times, it was as much as announcing an engagement. Or nearly as much. The couple was said to be “clicking,” and the unwritten code demanded that the rest of the girls turn their eyes elsewhere.
If you’re interested in dancing, you’ll find partners without difficulty in Belfast and the other big towns. You’ll hear American popular songs, and recordings by American bands. But in the country, dances are comparatively rare, and jive is unknown. Occasionally, however, you may find a rural frolic in progress. The Irish jigs and reels and the “valeta”—a square dance—are strenuous and sweaty fun. One point: cutting-in is frowned upon. Watch the other men and follow their example.
A word of warning about the rural areas: Sewage disposal is unsatisfactory in some places, with resultant water contamination and soil pollution. Boiling your water is recommended when you are not sure of the water supply. Incidentally, the water for tea is always boiled and hence safe. Also, you won’t find much coffee and what you do won’t be like the coffee you are used to. So you probably will find yourself drinking more tea in a week than you have in all your previous life.
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|Next:||Ulster at War|
This book comprises a selection of articles from the (British) Army Bureau of Current Affairs' WAR and CURRENT AFFAIRS pamphlets, all relating to America and, more particularly, to the relationship between the British and Americans during the Second World War.
"Our enemies are trying to make trouble between the British and the Americans during the war; they are certain to try it after they have been defeated, in the hope of escaping once more from the consequences of their crimes against humanity. It is our business to understand and work with the United States now and in peace-time; that means for us all at least to like and understand the Americans we meet."