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21.8.16

Leaving London, Beginning Belfast Part 1

'What's the craic?'

It's been 7 weeks since our big move from London, England over here in the Northern Ireland. Big adjustment, new start, it feels a non-stop roller coaster ride but yet it's been barely 2 months. 



Funny how many times friends would ask if the Northern Ireland is still part of the UK, or explaining that I am NOT in the Republic of Ireland. (I feel like a natural Northern Irelander already just trying to be politically correct!) We've visited here in the past numerous times, and it just felt comfortable out here each time. No, not referring to the weather. :)

As an Asian, living in 'Norn Iron' is certainly different than living in London or most of England. I love both and certainly both special to me personally. There are tons of pros and cons in the big move here to the north, but that will be for another post.

Here's some of my wee observations:

  1. The fantastic accent. It sounds sing-songy and nice to hear and listen, but you don't necessarily understand it the first time. 
  2. They are all mighty and proud of their heritage. I have witnessed their biggest which is called 'The Twelfth' in commemoration of the 'Battle of Boyne.' 
  3. Norn Iron is what the locals fondly call Northern Ireland, probably based on a strong accent. 
  4. Politics and religion are like underpants. Whether you have them or not, you don't necessarily discuss them even if someone asks. You can read more about Northern Ireland's history to understand (or even confuse yourself) further.
  5. Almost everybody greets everybody. They smile, nod, say 'hello','hi' most of the time. I try to avoid to use the term, but they all seem friendlier for some reason. (Sorry Londoner mates!)
  6. When the weather forecast say it is going to rain, you better believe it. 
  7. Driving a car is not just a luxury, but a need. Almost every job description would want you to have either an access to a car or a license. I have neither. Thank goodness for the inventors of bikes and trains or else!
  8. The grass is definitely greener. Literally. The smell of the farms and the farm animals are just everywhere. (Wait, is that just me?)
  9. They are seemingly happier. I mean, have you not seen the Green and White Army fans in the Euro Cup 2016?
  10. On a related note, I am not sure if Will Griggs is still on fire.
  11. They really value their work-life balance. Whether they have their own families or just with their cats and dogs, it just shows work isn't about everything.
  12. They use 'wee' a lot. Sounds ironic, but true.
  13. A 'dander' is a wee walk. I found about it awkwardly when a workmate asked if I wanted a dander, and I said no. Just because I didn't know what it was. =/
  14. When they use the 'f' word as an adjective or an adverb, it sounds hilarious and not really offensive. Most of the fookin time.
  15. I don't think 'nature-tripping' is a thing here, they're known as 'weekends.' The lush greens, mountainsides and waterfronts are just pristine and surreal.
  16. Biking around Central Belfast is doable in a rush hour. Hint: I am still alive and evidenced here in this vlog. I tried biking through London rush hour 1 time, and I almost got my leg under a car. 
  17. Belfast and Northern Ireland sponsor tours related with Game of Thrones. Now who's the king of the north?
  18. No one knows what the craic is, and that's not too bad at all.

I don't think I will ever get their accent.
But I'm pretty sure I'm always in for a good craic!

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