I am currently in Scotland, enjoying some downtime with friends and family in a new city, which means another community of bus drivers to piss off with my incompetence. Woot!
Located in the the region of Lothian, Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland home to the illustrious university, quaint and numerous local shops and eateries, and world class museums. With about 460,000 in the city itself, Edinburgh is a populated, walkable city great for students and artists alike.
Arriving here on Saturday, I dropped off my things at my sister’s in the suburbs and reunited with an English friend from UBC who I met whilst she was on exchange in Canada. Unsurprisingly, debauchery ensued! After some time at her friend’s flat, I slowly realized that my understanding of the various accents of this region is quite subpar. However, I am quickly acquiring the proper slang and have the glottalized ‘what’ down pat …
The main goal of the first evening was Cheese Night or the Big Cheese, which much to my chagrin does not involve actual cheese, (rather cheesy music) but is an Edinburgh student union club night of sorts, popular among people who ironically, or not so ironically, listen to really white music. The event takes place Saturdays at Potterrow with tickets costing around 3/4 pounds depending on time of entry. Be advised non-UK peoples; you will need a passport or documentation of equivalent status to be allowed to order drinks there.
Much to my chagrin again, they did not accept either state or provincial ID from the US or Canada for me. Regardless of my temporary prohibition, I still did manage to get “asked to leave” for my je ne sai quoi and possibly wild dance moves …
The night ended with kebab and fries and watching the Winter Olympics. I must say, American and Canadians also often mispronounce PyeongChang, but seriously, people – 평창 – pyeong.chang. – [a] as in father. Not like [æ] in change. It bothers me. Although, after watching Black Panther here as well, I am fairly impressed with Lupita N’yongo’s ability to learn Korean. Is there anything she can’t do?!
The next day, I attended the dream of dreams – a sausage walk! Known to wiener dog lovers as a means to congregate and share the wiener-love, dachshund walks are a popular trend in the UK and globally. I just so happened to be arriving at Edinburgh’s annual gathering where I met up with my sister after 2.5 years apart. We grew up with a wiener dog (still alive, but in the States), so the morning was very high emotion.
I honestly think if I had high levels of social anxiety, I would not have been able to handle the amount of stimuli in this place. I ugly cried.
Located at the base of Arthur’s Seat (which I erroneously call King’s Landing à la Game of Thrones), the sausages trotted and waddled with their owners up to the peak as a massive herd. We diverged before making it up the whole way, but most wieners made it to the summit past the Crags.
Next up, we went to a charming hipster-posh eatery called The Spoon where I tried haggis for the first time and enjoyed some kippers. My sister is doing her PhD here in something obscure and Shakespearean, so we next ventured to a sparsely designed craft fair near Waverley at the Fruitmarket Gallery and Stills (which are interesting places to check out regardless of if there is an ongoing crafts fair).
Later, we saw Black Panther, you know an activity endemic only to Scotland — which, 1) was amazing and 2) kind of odd to be in the UK whilst watching a movie that heavily critiques colonialism. Awkward to say the least.
The day ended with going to Teviot Row, the Student Union building, to meet up with my former roommate who is on exchange here. Drinks ensued as well as tea on Vancouver happenings. More to see and do in Edinburgh this week! Museum touring and, of course, dining is coming up next with a drag show and more nights out in tow. Get ready! Euro-tripping is back. BTW, I got into the exchange program in Sweden. Expect to hear more soon too about that …