Archive for September, 2009

Claire came into Edinburgh for a visit this weekend, but even though we hiked the Scottish landscape, drank pints in old pubs, rode double-decker buses, drank tea and spent an afternoon in the magical land of IKEA, nothing we did even compared to the deep-fried Mars bar we got from the fish and chips shop.


I’m not kidding. It was life-altering.

Fried, gooey, chocolatey, melty goodness. Thank you, Scotland.


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6:17pm clouds

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wednesday to do list:

  1. get up at noon.
  2. get dressed.
  3. do absolutely nothing.

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I forgot I’ve not yet given a tour of my flat.



Andddd that’s it.

Today is my first day of school, by the way. I conquered my building this morning, exploring the library… making sure I knew how the bathrooms worked… sneaking a wee peek at the cafe and the hallway where my classes will be.

Just to be clear- I love my library. It’s like my favorite section of the A&M library exploded. ALL of the books are art-related. I know… its an art college. But I am still really excited by this. I perused through a 1949 Matisse sketchbook and attempted to read the introduction in French, but could not comprehend anything beyond the first paragraph. I also found the 3 Hungarian folk-art books and got flashbacks from Berkes’s class. And then I hit the photography section, picked up a polaroid book, sat down at the table with a little lamp, and quickly got a burst of happiness as I realized it was the same book my lovely friend Katie bought me a few months ago. I checked that sucker out and it is now on my desk to bring me comfort. I remembered my favorite picture in the book and flipped through the pages until I found it.


That little boy’s face makes me smile every time. I imagine this photo session was quite difficult with his extremely short attention span.

In two hours, I’ll meet my director and all the people in my program. This is my confident face. 


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 Honestly, it is mandatory in this country to be hopelessly trendy. Claire and I stick out horribly- me especially, since my jeans don’t fit tucked inside my boots like everyone else’s. Horrors.

So Glasgow… Claire’s new home for the next year and the birthplace of the unintelligible Glasgwegian accent. We got lost quite a lot the past few days, but we did experience our first real Scottish acoustic folk band at Jinty McGuinty’s Bar and Pub, as well as free pizza slices and I Heart Vodka stickers on the University of Glasgow campus. 

Did I mention?… Claire goes to school at the Scottish equivalent of Hogwarts.


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The Dutch and Italian paintings were just kind of a snore. I’m not sure if I’m bias, but I honestly much preferred the Scottish wing of the National Gallery to the other European sections.

I remember thinking, “I don’t want to stop looking at this.”


John Duncan, Saint Bride 1913

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P9111806Today my new favorite thing in Edinburgh is the Farmer’s Market on Castle Terrace. A 5 minute walk from my flat, I plan on buying my week’s produce here every Saturday (even in the pouring rain– I asked). There isn’t even need to eat breakfast with all the free tastings of tablet, cheese, oatmeal… My flatmate, Mariko and I sat down on a bench with hot drinks and then perused the organic soaps, fruit, and breads. (I actually got really excited about the soap- don’t judge.)

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I had to literally hobble back to my flat because I spent all afternoon hiking to Arthur’s Seat! Umm, by the way… no one mentions the hike. It’s a hike. And for those of you who remember the Transylvania hiking excursion, you know I am not good with inclines. But I huffed and I puffed and I let the old man go in front of me and I finally made it to the top!


Hallllllelujah! Gorgeous. Look at my city. Isn’t it gorgeous? I treated myself to a victory pint… and stovies.  


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Today I learned I really don’t need to ride the bus. After waiting 45 minutes for mine this morning, I am thankful for this realization. After my half-Hungarian chiropractor informed me that Edinburgh ‘kicks ass’, I took his advice to walk home and saw this:


For a good portion of my walk home I had my head fixed to the left as I looked at Arthur’s Seat in the far distance and tried to figure out how to get up there. Then my eyes wandered down to the Salisbury Crags jutting out from the landcape and then when I saw Calton Cemetery below, I just stopped. Granted, Sigur Ros was in my eardrums making my walk to be more of a movie-like experience anyway, but this was a good moment. And I get to see this twice a week walking to the chiropractor. Hazzah!

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Just for your information, moving to another country by yourself is horribly emotionally difficult. Yesterday was a shit day. But today Edinburgh tried its best to make up for that. I had a pot of tea in what will hopefully become my regular tea house. I got a frequent “loyalTEA” card with extra stamps (because it was my first time). I sat inside an old cathedral, walked without using a map…  I slowly started to love Edinburgh as I sat on a grassy hill in Princes Street Gardens, looking at the castle I have only been looking at in pictures for months.

P9091797I stopped to watch a man in a black kilt juggle knives on the Royal Mile, and read a book in a park by my flat where dogs were running around, kids played soccer, and moms walked their children home from school with their oversized backpacks. Thanks, Edinburgh- I forgive you for yesterday. Please continue to show off for me everyday from now on, because I still don’t like this being alone thing. Maybe next time I’m in Princes Street Gardens, make me buy some ice cream from the cart. That might just fix everything.

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