I’M HERE! IN SCOTLAND! Woah. I’m in love. I mean…I have felt exhausted, completely overwhelmed, terrified of how expensive everything is, and lonely. I did have my first good cry last night. So don’t let all the pretty pictures and fun things fool you. It’s a hard and wild transition, but it’s also a total dream.
Week 1 happenings:
– Taking a baby wipe shower in a Heathrow airport bathroom after I had lugged over 80 lbs of luggage on my own for what felt like hours. That airport is freaking ginormous. I had rashes, blisters, and many sore muscles. But I made it after another cab and train and car ride! Did I mention that I also spent 10 hours in the Des Moines airport before I even made it to Chicago? I at least slept the whole way from Chicago to London (shout out to my Ambien-giving friend!)
– Spending a few days with my dear friend, McP at the castle YWAM base in the quaint village of Kilbride. We walked through wooded glens, drank wine by the sea, took a day trip to Glasgow where we went to an amazing art museum (with an interactive exhibition called, ‘Paintings Tell Stories’ which allowed you to narrate the works of art, play dress up, and take quizzes. I geek-ed out just a bit.), ate a delicious lunch at Bloc+ (this place felt like a grungier Zombie Burger), and shared a pint at Brew Dog. McP was a life saver and helped me carry my luggage, move into my dorm and show me around Edinburgh. I don’t know how I could have done it without her!!
– Taking a tour of the Edinburgh Castle with two lovely Italian friends and proceeding to walk very far in search of sushi, only to find that the sought-out restaurant was closed. After walking/being on our feet for 4 hours, we settled on fish and chips. Missed a train. Took a bus. Came back to campus for a walking tour of Musselburgh (the closest town to school) that lasted 2.5 hours. After 6 plus hours of walking, I had one of the better sleeps of my life.
– Starting life on a campus again! My University is only a 6 minute train ride from the city center, but it feels like a strange modern village in the middle of nowhere. I have 5 flat mates and we make up Bulgaira, Taiwan, Ireland, England and Scotland. They’re all very lovely people. We are all 24 and either Art Management or Art Therapy post-grads. We each get our own room and share a kitchen. This school is incredibly international. I’ve been amazed at how many people from all over the world I’ve encountered in one small place. I start my courses next week and I’m realllllly excited! Classes finish in May and then I’ll have a full-time summer placement while I write my thesis. It seems like most students end up working for one of the many festivals that take place in the summer here.
What’s been weird:
-Not knowing where to look when crossing the street
-Trying to understand why we don’t have a universal electrical outlet system
-Being around freshmen/under graduates in their sloppy outfits, table dancing to Ke$ha makes me feel like a mom
-Having a Student Union that is a bar and it being perfectly legal to drink just about anywhere on campus
-Apparently the word “spunk” here means cum or sperm…so describing someone as “spunky” will get you a look of horror
-Everyone who tries to do an American accent does a cartoonishly Southern accent
-Seeing Ben & Jerry’s pints that cost $8
-The size-to-amount ratio of the coins here makes no sense whatsoever
-Scotland might be independent by the end of next week?!?!
-One guy told me he had “traveled America before” and when I asked him where all he had been, he listed off 4 cities in Florida…
-Having to explain the difference between Idaho and Iowa on a pretty regular basis
Cheers, friends! Thinking of and missing so many of you already.
P.S. Many of you have asked for my mailing address, so here you go!
Student Residencies Block C, Flat 3-4, Room E
Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
Musselburgh East Lothian
Scotland, UK EH21 6UD