Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

In Belfast

I arrived late...deliberately. My train wasn't slated to get into the station till after 9pm, so all I've seen of the city is dark buildings. It's very open, for the most part, and seems to be chugging along.

Getting into Dublin was so simple, I wound up having 4 hours before my train, so I sat in Connolly station and worked on some writing. Plotting out what I need to research at PRONI, tomorrow. I've got a nice long list...and hope they have the information I need.

I then hopped across the street to a pub for a Shepherd's pie that was to die for. Just beef and carrots cooked together and covered with mashed potatoes...but the sauce was perfect. Wow. And they had WiFi but it kept cutting in and out so I stopped trying to deal with it. Same for on the train; says wWiFi, but just try and get it to work.

Right now I'm in the lobby of a Travelodge in the city center, using the free wiFi here. If I do this in my room, it's 6GBP. Not gonna get into that. I've already spent too damn much money...and not by my own fault. Seems the airport exchanges truly ream you when they change out currencies. I was expecting a rate of $1.65 to the pound; once you factored in fees and their ridiculous rate, it's working out to more like $2 per GBP. Same for Euros! Which are cheaper!! Compared to this, what my bank was going to charge me doesn't seem so bad.

What the hell ever happened to American Express? I used to be able to buy currency there for decent rates, but they're closing all their offices. The one they had in Macy's is no more. Shit.

Fortunately, I don't mind buying a cheese&chive sandwich in a convenience store (for the equivalent of $5.50!!). Damn, how the hell do people make it in these towns?

Barely, is my bet.

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