I’m in a vastly different time zone, but time still seems to fly at the same pace. I’ve already been here for like six weeks! I feel like I just got here. I’m still not even used to the whole “drive on the left side of the road” thing. I only have a tad over two months left here, and it bums me out a little bit. But on a brighter note, that’s two more months of having very fun times actin’ a fool in Scotland. Here’s what I did this week:
The first few days of the week were mainly spent catching up on reading. I had a couple essays due in week five, as I’m sure you loyal readers recall, so I neglected a lot of the reading I was also supposed to be doing at the time. Fortunately, the books were pretty good, and the large volume I’ve been forced to read here has actually made me a significantly faster reader. So now I’m actually on track, and don’t have to sit in class afraid to get called on, which is a relief.
On Thursday night, I went to my first Scottish house party. I was invited to the hall soccer team social despite the fact that I’ve gotten injured in the grand total of two games that I’ve played, and I gladly accepted. You will probably not be surprised to hear that house parties in Scotland are not very different than in the US. A bunch of dudes awkwardly stood around holding drinks until someone suggested a drinking game. The games we played were pretty similar to the ones you might come across at any US school, except for several that we played that involved lots of memorization. Luckily for my liver, I proved to be a quick learner, and spared myself any outrageous amounts of drinking. Don’t worry, mom!
On Friday, I left for Edinburgh with my friends Jeff and Collin. We got there at around 6, got dinner, and went to a few pubs. Edinburgh’s a real beautiful city, and it was cool to see it at night all lit up and whatnot.
We all slept terribly because I swear the guy we shared our hostel room with was possessed or something. He kept grunting and yelling in his sleep, both in Spanish and English. He was probably a crazy person, but I guess it was kind of neat that he was a bilingual crazy person.
We got an early start to the day, and headed down the Royal Mile, an old street in the middle of most of Edinburgh’s historic tourist destinations. We toured St. Giles’ Cathedral, which was beautiful, and then headed to the top of the Mile to Edinburgh Castle. It was a massive place, not too dissimilar from Stirling Castle last week. I enjoyed touring it, but preferred Stirling Castle a bit more because it seems like it’s been re-done quite a bit more than Stirling has. But who am I to critique castles? They’re both pretty cool.
We then walked down the Mile and then headed over to the Elephant House, the café where JK Rowling wrote her first few Harry Potter books. Like the rest of my generation, I’m a huge Harry Potter nerd, so it was a pretty awesome spot to see. I am, however, still bitter that the Harry Potter website sorted me into Hufflepuff. I hold Ms. Rowling personally accountable for that.
We then hit the National Museum and the National Gallery. The main highlight: a skeleton of a Megasloth. Seriously, Google it. Way back in the day, there were sloths in South America that were like 20 feet tall. The world is amazing.
Our last stop in our very productive day was Caldon Hill, which has a beautiful view of the city and a few neat monuments, including the Nelson Monument, built to honor Admiral Horatio Nelson, but probably also me. After surveying the town and resting our weary legs, we headed back down to the bus station.
I sat next to a lovely old lady from Glenrothes, just one in a series of many dope old people I’ve encountered in this country. Then, the bus broke down, which was irritating, but we hopped on a new bus pretty quick. It was a very enjoyable couple days, and I was very impressed with Edinburgh. If I have a free day or two later on, I hope to go back.
This upcoming week is a big one. I leave for Paris on Friday for a week, so the next couple days will be focused on preparing for that trip. I’m meeting my very good Whitman pals Hannah, Taylor, and Dylan, and we are going to run roughshod over the town. I’m stoked. Also, my golf clubs are arriving on Tuesday, so hopefully I’ll get some playing in before Paris. It’s a bummer that six weeks have gone by so quick here in St. Andrews, but so much good stuff is happening it’s hard to stay mad for long.