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England, September 18, 2000

Sunday, Boring Sunday in Belfast

Belfast does not party on Sunday

Like Esperence, Port Stewart is beautiful
What a rock face!
Guess I shouldn't expect a ride here, eh?
Big Toys for Big Boys
You think the lighting made up for the silence?
The sandcastle mold form
Can we at least see London from the plane?
Bigger than a Wuhan Air plane
How the hell do I get myself into these situations? You would think by now, that after a few thousand miles of traveling under my belt, I would not be caught short as I have today.

I should be practicing my bartop to mouth arm curl with a fresh Guinness in Belfast, but instead I am standing by the side of a random Northern Ireland road, with a little cardboard sign, doing the hitch-dance to the same caravan that I passed twice already today.

Yesterday I crawled out of Jingmei's warm bed in Oxford and bussed, trained, and planed from Southern England to Northern Ireland to meet with the founders of about my involvement with their site and a few other projects they have going. Not experienced with this funny set of islands above France, I decided to spend an extra day rather than flying back to London last night.

At first, it was a good idea. I relaxed in Port Stewart, the home of one of the founders, and breathed in fresh Atlantic Ocean air for the first time in a few years. Come Saturday night, I even went so far as to get on the bus to Belfast, but after a few minutes, the pull of the beautiful sunset and an odd desire for a swim dragged me off, and back into town.

I did manage that swim, though not after the pub, which I'd expected, but early in the morning. Okay, early in the morning for me, since after my swim and a shower, somehow it was already noon and I'd missed the bus to the train station. Not wanting to wait until 5pm, I decided to hitch to the train station. I was not waiting a minute before I got a nice lift to the station, in the next town.

There I found that no buses ran to Belfast on a Sunday, and the next train was 5:30pm. Again, wanting to see a bit of Belfast living while in the neighborhood, I struck out for the road again. This time I walked a few kilometers before finding the way, for road construction created a series of annoying detours that confused traffic and prevented a decent hitching opportunity.

Finally on the right road, it took me three hours to get to my present position, on the turn-off for the highway to Belfast from the main road leading from Port Stewart.

What I don't know now, and later I will wish I did, is that Belfast on a Sunday is very boring. People here actually go to church, which might explain some of their problems and sure does kill a good Sunday afternoon boozer. Instead of spending the afternoon reading in bars, I should've walked a few meters to the turn-off for the airport and just flown straight home.

Well, towards home anyway, for the airline I took, easyJet was dirt-cheap but lands at Luton/London airport. Luton/London is a London airport in the way that Dulles is a DC airport: you could theoretically get there on one tank of gas.

It took one hour to get from Belfast to Luton/London and two hours from Luton/London to Brixton. Nice if it wasn't a midnight flight to begin with.

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