After arriving from my flight, I was questioned by the Glasgow airport security to the extent I had to tell them what subject I did in high school with the person I was staying with. A seemingly stupid question, although I can see how that would trip someone up if they were lying about who they were staying with. The busses and trains are actually really simple which I was surprised about considering how confusing they made it out to be on their website.#
I had forgotten how well designed and large european train stations were. I mean Perth central station has a few little shops and a book shop, and that is the biggest train station there. In Edinburgh the train station has bagel shop, a Burger King, hone boxes and even a bottleshop! Boarding the train, I was surprised to see a man go up and down the isles selling drinks and snacks. Now in Perth, eating or drinking on the train is officially ban, although you can get away with it. However, drinking alcohol on the train – don’t even think about trying that one. In the UK, not only are you allowed to drink alcohol on the train, the dude with the cart sells it to you!
When I got back to the flat I was staying at I went up to the roof for a view over the area I was staying at. I think the picture tells it better than I do. It was a beautiful experience and an amazing start to my first few days.
It has taken me the first few days to rid this jet lag and get myself into the feel of Edinburgh, I love it, I really do. It has so much culture to it and it has so much depth. Nothing here feels artificial or fake, it has the sense of genuine culture and antiquity to it that I haven’t properly experienced before. I mean a castle in the middle of a city, with an overlooking mountain is certainly something unique.
Scottish Culture is still something I am trying to learn the ropes of. My friend Elliot told me that there is a stone heart on the ground that people spit on as you walk past. I assumed this mean an opprtunity to clear the lungs and apply liberally. So after a few coughs I slobbered all over this heart. I noticed Elliots /facepalm when I did this and I wondered had I done something wrong. Only after my slobber and phlegm was scattered over the heart did I realise I took it a little too far; although as Elliot said “If someone saw you doing that, they would have thought you were Scottish for sure…”
The drinking culture here is huge, and is certainly something I can get a hold of. Wine and beer is served everywhere from a local corner shop, to the kebab shop to the super market. Its accessible like nowhere else I have been. It is not just that it is everywhere either, the beer selection here is truly amazing, the shops always have a beer that can tickle my palate.
All in all I have yet to go inside many of the major tourist attractions, but I have definitely had a feel for what true Scottish culture and life is like. I think this trip has made me think so far about what culture really is. So many people go travelling to a new place, see the sights and a strange place, but don’t experience just a day-to-day life of someone living there. I do look forward to hopefully seeing the castle, but just having walked around some amazing Edinburgh routes, I feel pretty amazed by this beautiful city already.