Chance of Cold
I have officially arrived and lived in Edinburgh for 2 and a half days! The first striking part was the cold. It's a very dry cold, but it feels invigorating (sometimes) to be outside. Other than that, we've encountered rain and wind, but when in Edinburgh...
Day 1: lack of sleep. We arrived in the airport around 8 am on Tuesday morning, and we were exhausted. Of course, we had to stay up the whole day in order to adjust to the time difference, but it was worth it. Edinburgh, for all of its chilly (and dark) weather, is a very architecturally beautiful city with many colored shops and warm, inviting lights. The Old Town and the New Town distinction is quite drastic also, but it's great to be in a place with that juxtaposition. Once we got to the middle of the city (coincidentally right by The Elephant House Cafe, where J.K. Rowling wrote the beginnings of Harry Potter), we took refuge and had tea and oranges before departing for our flats.
How British do I sound when I use the word "flat"? We were slowly adjusting to the accents and the different words that first day, but "flat" definitely sounds fancier than "apartment". Ours has an AGA (or a Swedish stove), three different bedrooms, and a beautiful living room. I even have a bookshelf in mine and a bay window! The bay window has always been a dream of mine.
The rest of the day was spent getting new SIM cards or UK phones for our modes of communication, and then we explored Princes Street, one of the main shopping streets here. We visited Primark (similar to Forever 21) and Waterstone's (similar to Barnes & Noble). Then we went to a pub called The Rose and Crown for dinner, where I got mac and cheese and chips, and it was great! Needless to say, we had a very long day, so we ended up getting back to the flat and going to bed soon after to be ready and alert for our day of induction (or orientation) for the university.
Day 2: Edinburgh Napier University. We tried the bus system for the first time, which was a little nerve-wracking. We visited the Merchiston and the Craiglockhart campuses, and again, the architecture was so interesting.
The old vs. new is very clear in the picture above, and we had our first induction session in the egg-shaped room in the middle. We learned about life at the university, and we were able to select classes. Compared to Furman, the class selection process is very different (and a little more confusing). You essentially write down what classes you want, and they assign you ones based on availability and prerequisites. I'll be taking a class called Scottish Culture and Society, and the other one is in the approval process.
After spending most of the day at Napier, we went for a late lunch at Pizza Express, which is on Victoria Street, the double street in Edinburgh. It's very pretty, especially at night, and all of the building colors are very vibrant.
We also went to Blackwell Books last night, and I purchased my first Scottish book, which is The Comforters by Muriel Spark. I will update soon about how it is, but I was excited to put a book on that bookshelf in my room. It was a pretty casual night last night because we were again exhausted from all of the walking and still the time difference. The pace of life here moves a little slower also, so I'm not exactly used to that.
Day 3 (first half): This morning, we woke up to go back to Napier to get our student ID cards and get some more information about classes. We were able to navigate the bus system and even purchased our monthly bus passes. When we returned to the middle of the city, we went to lunch at Yes Sushi, where I got green tea, miso soup, and crab and egg fried rice.
Day 3 is still happening (as it is almost 5 pm here). It's been a whirlwind of a week, from traveling, to walking, to bus hopping. Next week, we will attend classes and go to visit our internship sites, which I'm really excited to experience.
I'm still in a state of awe that I'm now living and working in a different place, but I'm grateful to have this opportunity. I think it will really teach me a lot about my own strengths as a a person and how to be independent in a large city environment. We pass restaurants and shops every day that I want to explore, so four months will be a great span of time in order to learn about Edinburgh. Thanks for keeping up with me, and more adventures to come soon!
Lucky Strike of the Day: We successfully navigated the bus system and back to our flat today, so I'd say that was an accomplishment!