I have been in Edinburgh now for a little over a week!
I arrived New Years Day at 8am, late enough to miss any lingering Hogmanay celebrations and early enough to ensure all stores were still closed following the evenings celebrations. I’m quite sure I looked like a little kid on the bus ride in, with my nose smashed against the window. We whipped past stony apartments, little primary schools, countless tesco expresses, barber shops, and cafes. At the second to last stop the entire bus got off. Assuming this was a test on my likeliness to cave into peer pressure, I stayed firmly in my seat and rehearsed my stop in my head. The bus driver quickly burst that moment of individualism.
“Lass, ya got tah get off. Streets are all closed from here!” He called back to me.
“Oh right. That’s right,” I called back in an accent very obviously conveying that this was news to me.
I quickly stumbled off the bus, complete with a tote purse, packed duffle bag and 48.6 pound luggage in tow. It all felt like the opening scene to a rom com; overpacked American hobbles off in a best-guess direction, suitcase rattling across cobblestones, a phone restricted to airplane mode. I mean, c’mon, it was even raining.
Fast forward a week and things have definitely become more settled. We had orientation for the first few days, where we covered everything from Scottish film to futbol rivalries to university grading scales. (If you’re looking for movies: skip Braveheart, watch Trainspotting). I moved into my accommodation, a student housing center where I have met many of my friends so far.
So far the culture shock hasn’t been overwhelming at all. Obviously, though, there are differences, of which I have begun a list.
Those are a few little first impressions. Next week I’ll have done a few more of the common tourist-y stuff, and be able to give an insider’s guide to the most common Edinburgh travel lists. Stay tuned!