First impressions

I’m trying to stay awake for another 45 minutes or so and then I can finally go to sleep. I only got about an hour of real sleep on the plane, and two hours of in-and-out semi-consciousness, so bear with me.

  • So, I made it. I woke up Monday morning in mild-panic from a dream in which I had left my cooler of medicine behind. So I made especial care to have it all ready to go. And then I left it. Fortunately my dad got us to the airport early enough that we could check our bags while he went to fetch it.
  • I watched Prince Caspian 1.5 times (the .5 being in-and-out of awareness). I was fully convinced that my movie was more exciting that my mom’s, which was some political movie, because mine had swords and trebuchets and chivalry and centaurs. It’s easy to see how Lewis’s medieval background influenced Narnia. And, well, the Middle Ages are just darn cool.
  • Then we almost got stranded in Manchester, my mom and I and a few other Americans (who were also students this year, and we were all on the same flight to Edinburgh), because United didn’t give us boarding tickets for the third leg of our journey.
  • My bags almost got stranded in Manchester and I had to identify them planeside because they weren’t “in the system.”
  • My first sight of Scotland from the air was a pond shaped like a heart. Then as we landed in Edinburgh, the great wisps of cloud bowed down low to the ground, as if heaven were attempting to touch the earth. In some places it did with long fingers of featherlike fog.
  • It’s weird to be in the UK without Sarah or our other housemates from the Vines. In some ways it doesn’t feel quite real yet because of that.
  • Edinburgh, from what I’ve seen, reminds me a bit of North Oxford, a bit of Cardiff, and a bit of Dublin. Weird, huh? Definitely not London-feeling. It’s the architecture and hilliness.
  • We took a taxi from the airport to the B&B. What I like about taxis is that it’s a simple way of transport and you get to see the above-ground world. That’s when it started to sink in a little that I’m actually here. Seeing people living their lives: a man stepping out a door talking on his mobile phone, a woman sitting at a desk in her flat, an artist setting up his easel. Real life happens here. There is a story behind every door.
  • Glenalmond is no St Margaret’s Hotel, but it’s got its own quirks. The lampshades look like Hagrid would own them, and the shadow cast by the overhead light onto the wall looks like a Dr Seuss character.
  • I insisted that we walk the 1.8 miles to the National Gallery, where we spent most of the afternoon. Doing so brought some normalcy. It was very refreshing to be in an art museum, especially one with red walls.
  • Today I have been reminded of the UK’s fondness for stairs and small spaces. And odd shaped hallways. (Unfortunately, my knees are feeling it now. We’ll be utilizing the bus more tomorrow.)
  • This afternoon I had a cup of tea at the B&B and realized that I hadn’t had a decent cup of tea in two years. It was wonderful.

I had hoped for all these to be compiled in wonderfully written prose but you will have to make do with ineloquent bullets. I am exhausted but hopefully after a good night’s sleep I won’t be as jet-lagged tomorrow.