I (we) have a new car! Now I don’t have to worry the car doesn’t have working breaks I’ve finally started driving on the wrong side of the road (i.e., left). However, a far bigger concern than keeping on the left was remembering there was more car to the left of me rather than to the right. A good tip from N: don’t focus on the left edge of the car (as I would were I driving in Portugal), focus on the right edge of the car, which is now the driver’s side.

I still don’t understand what I’m actually doing when I’m driving from East to North Belfast on the motorway, but some of the usual routes do make a tiny little bit more sense now.

Where is the snow?

When I moved from the Algarve to London I was told the weather would be bad. It was a good prediction. I was expecting the weather in Belfast to be even worse. Now I’m told it’s snowing in London. Where’s my snow? I feel cheated.

Missing home

Since I moved to Belfast, I’ve already had to leave twice: one time I went to London, on my own, for work and I was gone for 2 nights; the other time I went to Nottingham, with N, for a conference and we were gone for 3 nights.

When I was living in London, whenever I had to go away, I would start missing the city very soon after I left. But that’s what I missed: London. These last few times I had to travel I missed something different: my home. Even when N was with me. I still don’t feel any strong attachment to Belfast, the city, but there’s definitely something here now that I want to come back to.

In the next 5 weeks, I have to travel away from home 3 times, on my own, and even though I always look forward to seeing my friends and colleagues, I’m not looking forward to missing home.

Il Pirata

There’s a nice restaurant in Ballyhackamore, walking distance from my house, that I think is worth paying a visit to. They make nice Italian-type food in form of tapas. The service is friendly and super-quick, and the prices are pretty decent. It’s a nice place to go to when I need some fresh air and to stretch my legs from staying home all day, and to eat something other than left-overs for lunch. They have a Twitter account.

Two weeks later

It’s been two weeks today since I moved to Belfast.

The first 5 days were spent putting everything in its right place. The rest of the time was spent working from home, cooking, going to IKEA to buy more stuff to put in its right place, and going to Tesco to buy more food to cook.

I have learned some things during these two weeks though:

  1. There are no John Lewis stores in Northern Ireland (I knew there was no Waitrose, but no-one warned me about this)
  2. If you don’t know the streets of Belfast like the back of your hand, don’t bother trying to figure out which bus zone you live in
  3. The buses in Belfast go into the direction of the city centre, you can’t get a bus to the big Tesco (or so I’ve heard)

I haven’t left the house except to go buy furniture and food, so, once I do, I hope to report with more exciting news.


On 1st December 2011 (in just over a week), after living in London for a little bit over 3 years, I’ll be moving to Belfast—East Belfast, to be more precise.

Even though I love London with all my heart, I can’t wait for the move and to start a life somewhere else: I’m happy, excited and terrified. I’ve been visiting Belfast quite frequently in the past year, but visiting is not the same as being a resident and I am sure I will have a lot to comment on the new experience. Here is where I’ll register my observations about my new city.