Flying across the world takes a long time. I figured out that by the time i stepped off the plane in Edinburgh, nearly 30 hours had passed. Whew! One of the weirder bits was flying through Reykjavik.
My plane from Seattle landed at about 3:30 in the morning and i had a two hour layover. Everything was closed and i had to go through FOUR security checkpoints to get to my plane (the last two i had to wait and hour for because they wouldn’t let us near the plane till a half hour before the flight.) I’m sure Reykjavik is lovely, but at 3:30 am and without anyone else to talk to, it was pretty freaky.
By the time i got to Heathrow in London, i was starting to go off from sleep deprivation. Heathrow is kind of like Los Vegas, flashing lights and ads everywhere. While i tried to stay awake i sat between two men arguing vehemently in Italian and some kids fighting over whether Spiderman was a mutant or not. (Yes, girl in the grey jumper, you were right, he’s not.) People there were really nice and a cute guy said he liked my purple hair. I was almost disappointed when i didn’t have to do the “naked scanner” thing.
I didn’t think i’d like Edinburgh as much as i did. I mean, sure, i thought it’d be nice, but, God, i love it there! I miss it already. I’d originally planned to land in London and bop around by train, but my good friends Heather and Gethin live there.
Heather and Gethin went above and beyond. Housing me, feeding me, showing me around. They were perfect hosts.
I could have spent another week in Edinburgh. The city has a lovely old and modern feel to it and a good chunk of my memories were wandering the streets, looking at amazing old architecture and listening to people.
About that: Did i hear someone use the word “fooking” within five minutes of landing? Yes, yes i did.
Actually, most people had pretty understandable accents. Edinburgh is diverse. I heard Italian accents, German accents and 300 dialects of Scottish. The Scottish accent spans from “oh that’s adorable, say something else” to “wha?”
One night, we were coming back from a party and had just missed our train. With an hour to kill, Heather Gethin and i started playing hacky-sack on the platform. Because i suck, i inevitably kicked the thing down into the tracks. And because i’m an idiot i decided to climb down and get the damn thing. The second i hooked a leg into the rail-pit, a woman in uniform appeared like magic, yelling at me. So you see, some Scottish accents might as well be Tagalog for all i could understand. She was very upset, i got that, but i couldn’t translate a single word. Seriously, not even “is” or “you.” We got into a sort of rhythm where she’d yell at me, i’d smile and nod and then look to Gethin, who’d shrug. Then she’d yell more and we’d start over.
When not attempting to get myself arrested, i went to concerts. Most notably Balkanarama, which was a mad mash-up of video, costume and gypsy klezmer party music. The concert was my first night in Edinburgh, so i attended on a 48 hour sleep deficiency. It was awesome, but i made it till 2am and then started to go seriously fuzzy around the edges.
It took me about three days to get a hang of my sleep cycle. Well, i actually still need regular afternoon naps, but i seem to be mostly synced up.
I got a mandolin for my birthday! I was sad about leaving all my instruments packed away in Eugene, so i got something i can travel around with. I’m slowly learning chords and scales and my guitar/bass/viola background is helping. That day i also had veggie haggis at Urban Angel. That night the three of us went out for a pint (my God, i’d forgotten how much better beer is without pasteurization) grabbed some Indian take-out and watched Kiss Me Deadly with our newly acquired friend, Richard. Kiss Me Deadly is … well, it’s a pretty tight and clever noir until the end. After the TALKING BOX OF PURE SCIENCE, it gets pretty cracktastic.
Anyway, in Whitwell now, somewhere in the center of England, where it’s raining!
Much more to report. More to come.
Hugs all around,