BY GARETH THOMPSON – Matadornetwork.com 

1. You get offended when other nationalities don’t understand our extremely complex political situation.

OK, we’re not going to get into some kind of political debate here as, despite the huge strides made towards a peaceful society, despite the near universal support for the power-sharing government, and general disdain for organisations like the IRA and the UVF, there are still some people who will absolutely flip their shit if you dare to suggest that Northern Ireland is an illegally occupied British colony or a proud nation loyal to Queen and Crown. Regardless of your political convictions however, each and every one of us has at least a working knowledge of which religious lunatics are representing us and who they are liable to piss off next. Where the problem lies however, is if anyone else doesn’t quite get it. Because how dare you not understand the minutiae of a conflict between two peoples who look the same, talk the same, and have almost identical religious beliefs, all of which happened in a country less than a tenth the size of Washington? Because you’re a moron, that’s how.

2. You have an obsession with “flegs”.

Although in recent years there have been a steady downgrading in the amount of flags seen billowing from the streetlights of Belfast, they still play a huge part in the character of the city and in the memories of her citizens. For decades the colours that decorated the kerbstones and alleyways of Belfast — whether that be the green, white, and orange of nationalists or the red, white, and blue of unionists — dictated where you could walk, how you could talk, and even who you could talk to. It was a survival mechanism, a declaration of our culture and a huge, unremitting headache all rolled into one. As such we have an interest in your country’s flag too. What do the colours represent? Why are the stripes horizontal and not vertical? What is that eagle trying to do to itself? C’mon dude, know your history.