Travel Journal: Northern Ireland
Of course, when he pointed me down a narrow “walkway” with a giant barrier in front of it, I was slightly skeptical of his helpfulness. Nevertheless, I squeezed through the barrier with my giant suitcase, overloaded backpack, and fiddle. As I walked along the windy alleyway, a five-foot-deep pit of disemboweled asphalt that stretched almost from wall to wall gradually came into view. There was an Irish guy reading a magazine in the machine, which had, presumably, wrecked this havoc upon my walkway.
I couldn’t think of anything to say to him. So I just stared with a look of mild incredulity.
“Hold on.” The motor roared to life and the arm inched its way away from the ledge that remained, allowing me passage. I inched along the ledge and thanked him for letting me through. After squeezing past another barrier, I started walking along what appeared to be the “only road” the bus driver had referred to, occasionally asking people if I was going the right direction for Queen’s.
And finally, perhaps an hour and a half later, I saw a beautiful structure, which proclaimed itself to be Queen’s University. Elms Village was, supposedly, a “short walk from campus,” so I was almost ready to get into my room and get settled. I asked a student coming out of the Lanyon building which way to Elms.
“Oh, it’s just about 15 minutes down that way. Cheers.”
Short walk my ass. Twenty minutes of thinking I was going the wrong way later, I finally rolled my giant suitcase past an Elms Village sign. And, in front of me I saw a shuttle that had just arrived. Full of people with American (or otherwise not Northern Irish) accents. Soaked to the bone, I came into Elms reception, and fell to talking with one of the other American students who had just arrived on...the Queen’s shuttle from the airport. I suppose I should have read the Queen’s emails more carefully.
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