My third week in Belfast has been filled with unexpected finds.
This week has been my first real chance to explore the daily life
of the city, away from all the big tourist attractions and gift
Coming to Northern Ireland, I expected to find a lot of the traditional
Irish stuff, like the pubs, the fish ‘n’ chips restaurants,
and the jolly old men with their funny accents. All of that is here
and it is really fun, but I also found a few surprising spots along
Surprise number one was a hot little underground salsa dancing joint.
Salsa was probably the last thing I expected to find in Ireland,
but here it was. I’ve learned that there is a strong international
flavor in Belfast, and the locals love experimenting with exotic
trends. The salsa craze was no exception. Upon discovering this
gem, I ran home to tell my housemates and insisted on a Friday night
Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t do the
dance correctly, but that was half the fun. We later found out that
the university actually offers salsa lessons! It’s a definite
To go along with the international theme, I was equally surprised
when I stumbled into Belfast’s Chinatown area,
only a 20-minute walk from Queens’
campus. Chinese restaurants, along with Thai, Japanese, Indian,
and other cuisines, were all packed into a few blocks. I couldn’t
believe the variety.