Well, ladies and gentlemen! It’s nearly been two weeks since my introduction to Northern Ireland and may I just go ahead and say, I’m having a blast. I’ve met a few good friends, made it into my apartment, and start classes this upcoming Tuesday. I’ve had my first Irish Guinness (delicious!) and met my classmates as well, all 9 of them.
The weather has been gorgeous- sunny, warm days, a little chilly, and boy is this place green. I’m slowly building my mental map of the city as I wander around, finding the grocery stores and markets and bars and all the other places I need and want to go. I’ve had my intro meeting for Belfast Roller Derby and I can’t wait for practice to start!
The rush of details is exhausting, but slowly and surely things are falling into place. I’ve registered for classes (only two days a week!), opened a bank account, and one of these days will get around to figuring out the best phone network provider (WHY are phones always my sticking point? Ridiculous). I rediscovered my Irish dancing roots at a ceili (pronounced ‘kaylee’) for international students and have gone out to too many bars too many nights of the week and enjoyed every minute of it!
People here are extraordinarily friendly- this may or may not be because of all the drinking. You can always ask someone for directions and know you’ll get the correct ones; people chat with strangers in lines, make small talk, and generally seem nice to each other. Suddenly being tossed into a new place and new school and having to be super social all the time to make friends is exhausting- but, thankfully, I got a break this weekend and have found people who are also a little bit introverted like me who get that this process is a bit uncomfy for many of us.
Most places close fairly early here, which is good for general living and bad for drunk munchies when you’re walking home from a night out. Thankfully chips (fries) are always in abundance! The accents are hard for me to understand but damn if they aren’t the best thing ever anyways.
Still waiting for loans to come in so I’m a bit broke, but that’s the life of a grad student. Sorry if the next few blog posts aren’t very coherent- so many things happening and I just need to write them down!