last weekend in Belfast (2004-07-30 - 2:57 p.m.)
Last weekend in Belfast. I am very sad to be leaving, despite the things that I'll be happy to get away from (reports of sectarian violence, near-constant precipitation, having to dodge piles of vomit and broken glass on the footpath). But I will miss this town a lot.
Top Three Things I Will Miss About Belfast:
1). The people, of course. Especially Paulina, the only one who I don't know if I'll be seeing again in the near future.
2). The Rusty Zip, the best vintage clothing store I've ever come across.
3). Indie Spice. Amazing Indian food, and under a fiver for a two-course lunch! (Bee and I just got back from lunch there - I changed in all the pennies that John left behind at Dunluce and had enough money to cover lunch!)
I'll also miss having everything within walking distance. Definitely beats London, where you routinely have to add in an extra hour's travel time in case of Tube malfunctions. And taxis are cheap here. My housemates take them to work all the time, they're so affordable.
Bee and I had a dinner party last night. It was just pasta/garlic bread/salad, but it was fun and nice to see everyone. Aga brought some crazy Polish vodka with a buffalo on the front and a piece of grass in the bottle. We drank it with apple juice and it was really yummy. I will have to make friends with some more Polish people the next place I end up!
I found out Aga's real name last night, which is Agnieszka (ag-NESH-ka). It's a pretty name, but I think I'm glad she goes by Aga! Bee's real name is Boukje (BOWK-yeh). I think she gave up trying to get anglophones to pronounce it properly a long time ago. It turns out that my name is among the easiest to transfer from place to place - most countries seem to have some version of Anne or Anna.
After dinner we went out to the Empire. They had really great live music, blues and swing. Bee, Paulina and I danced all night (though I got mocked by Jorge the Spanish guy, who told me "Canadians don't dance!") I brought Gil from the hostel along. He's the guy who's in charge of the annoying American kids I was ranting about last week. Three weeks of keeping track of 50 15-17-year-olds - he needed a night out! That is one job you would have to pay me an AWFUL lot of money to agree to. Last I checked two of the girls were fighting over one guy. They made up when one of them started snogging some random French guy from the hostel instead. Argh!
I see in the Belfast Telegraph that there are more possibly race-motivated attacks being reported. The girls I worked with in the kitchen last week were from around that area of Belfast. It was interesting, they didn't seem racist exactly, more bemused by the existance of people of different races. For example, they were telling me about Victor (the black guy) getting voted out of the Big Brother house on the tv show. One of them told me, "I'm not trying to be funny or nothing, but they let his friends come meet him and they were all BLACK!" To them, this was strange enough to remark upon. I guess I find this attitude particularly weird after London, where most of my neighbors were Arabic, black or Asian. I think maybe Belfast will become more like this as immigration increases. I guess we'll see.
It's Bee's "leaving do" tonight. Her coworkers have organized karaoke, which she hates, so we've hatched a plan to go out afterwards so she can escape the coworker part early. It should be fun, although it will likely be an early night as Bee has a plane to catch tomorrow.
I saw Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban the other day. It was my favorite book in the series, so I was worried they'd mess it up. As it turns out, I thought they did a really good job. Nice and scary and atmospheric, although my favorite part was the Knight Bus right at the beginning. I killed myself laughing because it reminded me a lot of taking a real London night bus!
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