My week in Paris was amazing, so amazing that I almost forgot I still had another week of spring break left. Because I like to have free time and also because I am very disorganized, I had nothing planned. So, for the first few days, I played golf. A lot of golf. I am a poor golfer, and I golf very rarely, but I really went to town. After playing about 18 holes over the past year, I played 45 holes in four days. Now, golf and I have had a difficult relationship for many years, so this was a somewhat significant moment in my life.
My dad loves golf, and he has always wanted me to enjoy it as well. Not in a pressing way or anything, but he always encouraged me to play, and play with him. I’ve told myself a lot of reasons why I don’t like golf; it’s too slow, none of my friends play, it’s for country club white kids, etc. But really, it’s sort of a perfect game for me: it’s quiet, it’s relaxed, it’s independent. These are all things that I like. The real problem is that I don’t like to fail, and specifically, I don’t like to fail in front of my dad. It’s not his fault or anything; I just get very uncomfortable even considering disappointing him. And this is a feeling that I associate with playing golf with him, even though he really doesn’t care if I’m any good at golf. This has kept me from playing golf very much, and because I don’t play golf very much, I never get better. It’s a bad cycle.
So to go out by myself and just play, not think about anything, and enjoy walking around by the sea in Scotland, it was a big step for me. And I’m excited for my dad to get here in May so we can play together.
After my little golf marathon, I headed up to Inverness, the unofficial capital of the Highlands. I wanted to take at least one trip by myself during my semester, and this seemed like a good candidate. I took along the book I got in Paris, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and went exploring.
The first day I arrived, I took a little ride to Fort George, a very cool old military fort near the small town of Adersier. I chose this day trip not just because of the fort, which was very cool, but also because it required a couple mile walk along the shore of the Moray of Firth to get there. It was a nice sunny day, so I wanted to take a walk.
I walked, read, and went back to look around Inverness. It’s a nice city, not very big, but very scenic, especially by the River Ness, which cuts through the middle of it.
The next day, I headed to Loch Ness so I could see Nessie, which is pretty much the only reason I came to Scotland. I was unsuccessful, and considered flying back to the US right then and there, but I got over this crushing disappointment. I checked out Urquhart Castle, which is a dope ruin by the Loch, and walked along the shore some more and read.
I got back to town, checked out Inverness Castle, and watched soccer/football at a pub. I got to talk to some nice middle-aged Scottish guys, and we got along really well. Now if only I could learn to talk to college-aged girls like that.
I took a train back to St. Andrews on Friday. It’s sort of a tedious journey because you have to change three times, but the landscape is so beautiful that it was a pretty enjoyable journey. I spent the rest of the weekend playing more golf, reading, and drawing a lot. I think all the museums in Paris made me want to doodle.
Now the dorm is filling up again and classes have started back up. I have about two more months here. I think I’m going to play a lot of golf.
Side note: you’ve probably noticed that I never post photos. That’s because I don’t know how. If you want to see some of my pics, check my Instagram (@quinstagram___).