My first official night in Belfast- fresh off the plane- I went for a walk after moving into my housing area, figuring I could find my way back, stupidly thinking it would be quick and easy.
I got lost.
I found my way back, but I did get lost.
My first official day in Belfast- today- I spent the majority of the morning going back and forth between the Student Guidance Center and the Library. I got as much as I could sorted out, from the Immigration Document check to picking up my BRP (Biometric Residency Permit) to setting up appointments with both Danske Bank and Ulster Bank to possibly open a bank account at one or the other on Monday.
I then went in search of Ms. O’Brien from the U.S. Federal Loan Programme, who’s been helping me with the finance aspect of school. After wandering around campus for a good ten minutes, I finally discovered that she’s in the Graduate School building. She’s a very lovely woman, very friendly and was as excited to meet me as I was to meet her. We chatted for a bit; she asked me if I needed anything else, and I told her that I think I’m doing okay so far, that once I find work, I’ll be better, because I don’t know how to not work and go to school at the same time.
I’d picked up a little heart-shaped key chain with Reno written on it for her before I left Nevada as a thank you. I told her it wasn’t much of a thank you, but that it was the best I could do, and she said that it was wonderful, that she’d put it on her desk, and if there was anything else I needed, to get in contact with her.
After leaving Ms. O’Brien, I wandered over to Spar- a small convenience store similar to the Winner’s Corner that closed in Yerington after I graduated high school- and picked up several cans of soup and some chips, enough that will get me through the chaos that this move has caused my system; at least two to three weeks’ worth.
I stopped by Blackwell’s Bookshop; this small little bookstore that sells everything from pencils to psychology books to board games. I ended up in a fifteen minute conversation with a girl named Louise who works there; we got to talking about the different accents and how so far, everyone has been very nice, which was a surprise for me.
I spent an hour or so in a small, modern-ish coffee shop named TownSQ, watching through the window as people walked by. It was raining pretty heavily when I left, but eventually it turned into a lite rain. It's mainly been cold the last couple of days. It's been nice, and while this may not be my regular hangout, the people service was nice and the people friendly.
More to come on my first official evening in Belfast...