Thank you all for waiting so patiently. It seems like ages since I bid farewell to my parents at Dulles Airport. During my overnight flight, I probably got about 4 hours of sleep – not bad! But, here’s a British Airways tip for travel newbies like myself. Don’t pick the inside seat because you think you’ll be able to use the window to lean on. I couldn’t reach it comfortably, and it turned out that each seat’s headrest has two parts for leaning on which come forward on either side of the passenger’s head. (Sitting near the window did not end up being a good choice. I had to use the restroom and I felt terrible about waking up my sound asleep neighbors. Alas…I couldn’t wait 3 hours more.)
I arrived in Heathrow on time at 9 am (4 am to my body. Jet lag has not yet set in…we’ll see how long that lasts!) London from the sky is fabulous. I enjoyed watching the matchbox cars below going the “wrong way” down the road. Despite going through customs at the wrong time, I got to my gate just fine. However, a difference from US airports is that the gate number is not revealed until quite close to the flight. The flight from London to Belfast was quite short, and I arrived around 12:45 pm in my new home!
At Belfast, my lovely “host momma” Margaret was there to greet me. Margaret and her husband, John, are a native Irish couple in their 60s. They are extremely kind and hospitable and took me to get a bus pass, to visit Ulster University and to get Subway for lunch. Know that you won’t find regular mustard (only honey mustard) in Northern Ireland (NI). “Brown sauce” is a popular condiment, being composed of apple pulp, molasses, malt vinegar, brown sugar and the like. It tastes a bit like a sweet Worcester sauce.
When I arrived at 2 Stoneypath, my new abode, I was impressed with its beauty and scenic position along the River Foyle. It is on the “river side” of the Foyle, while “uni” is on the city side. When Margaret took me to my room, I was thrilled to find it decorated in black and red, my favorite color combination.There, I found a sweet little gift and card welcoming me to NI. Then as I unpacked, Margaret cooked us dinner and we all enjoyed getting to know each other. The Irish are very kind indeed. I think I will be very happy here.