As of Monday, I am done with finals. DONE! The last few weeks were painful to get through with projects, quizzes and exams to study for; I had no time for anything else. I literally spent all my time in my room revising fun stuff like, ummm…. drugs used to treat hypertension and how they work. When I finifhed with my last exam I went to bed and slept 28 hours. Now I have so much free time on my hands, I don’t know what to do with it 🙂
I’m using some of that time to upload photos from my lat few weeks in Edinburgh and sum up my last impressions from the city. Can’t believe it, but in only four days I’ll be leaving and this whole semester abroad experience will be over. There are so many things I’ll miss and a lot I’d rather forget about, and since I’m all about lists, scores and numbers, I have a top five chart of the best and worst things abour this Scottish city.
I’ll leave the great things for dessert and start with the top five things about Edinburgh I’d rather experience never again:
5. The weather: Man, it rains A LOT in here. How hasn’t this city sunk under water yet?
4. The organization: Or lack of it. Nothing gets done on time. No one knows what they’re doing and they don’t care. Good thing I didn’t care much as well, because there was little work to be done anyway.
3.The plumbing: Separate tabs for hot and cold water means you will either get second degree burns or lose a few fingers due to freezing when you wash your hands after you go to the bathroom.
2.The traffic: It was crazy. There was never a green light for pedestrians so every time you need to cross the street you say a little prayer and run… I’m still alive so I guess I’m lucky.
1. The lack of sunlight: This one’s a real problem, not a pet peeve for me. Not getting enough sunlight makes me lazy, cranky and depressed. During my last weeks here the sun would go up at 8 AM and it would be dark already at 4 PM. I’ve never been that far north before, so this messed up my already irregular cicardian rhythms and now I go to bed at 7 AM and wake up at 4-5 PM, seeing no sunlight at all. Great for partying, not so great for anything else. Let’s just hope my sleep schegule will get better quickly when I go back home.
Now with the good things about Edinburgh, which by large outweigh the bad:
5. The Ceilidhs: One thing you should definitely do if you ever visit Edinburgh (or any Scottish city for that matter) is go to a Ceilidh. It’s like a medieval dance party with lots of hopping around and goofy music. The University of Edinburgh held a few during its orientation week, and it was a fun way to meet new people. The dances are such that you exchange partners all the time and end up dancing with everybody in the room. If you have a hard time finding conversation starters, focus on the fact that you have no clue how to do the steps right. There’s a big chance that your dance partner won’t know what they’re doing as well, and in the end everyone just ends up bumping into each other. I had one dance partner swing me so hard I fell on the floor (no sexual connotation intended) and had to convince everybody in the room that I’m ok. I have high tolerance for public embarrassment and I LOVE dancing of any kind, so Ceilidhs were fun for me. Below is the best example I could find although the music is somewhat different than the traditional one:
4. The Christmas village: It’s a Christmas market with various toys, food and awesome decoration that was set up a few weeks ago in the center of the city. They even have a Ferris wheel:
3. The food: Healthy food here’s relatively cheap and easy to find.
2. Men in kilts: No comment on that one.
1. The people: Really, I was surprised at how friendly, laid back and fun is everyone here. I met some great guys and gals and even strangers are polite in a very sincere way. I’ve seen more than my share of fake smiles and meeting people who are so genuinely friendly and nice was a bit unusual at first. People affect me so much that over the months I gradually changed from being guarded, cold and reserved to being more cheerful and friendly myself. I’ll miss a lot of folks here when I go back home.