amalthya: (top of the world)
[personal profile] amalthya
I would imagine that many people's characterizations of me include my various travels and foreign exploits. I've been traveling all over the UK this go-round, and having a splendid time.

I finally got to meet [ profile] faeriecween!! I even stayed in her nice Reading house, and met her boy AND her Boys.

I got to spend more than a minute at a time with [ profile] woofa, a friend I've had since the Uganda days who travels nearly as much as I do!!
In actuality, we got to spend nearly a week together, at her house in Fordingbridge! And it was incredible.

I even got to see Elizabeth Grant, a friend I'd had at Chapin 8,000 years ago, who is so happy and healthy in Oxford, UK that the night with her and her fiance was extremely enjoyable, even moreso than I had anticipated.

Now I'm on my final leg of the journey, which is far shorter than my last longterm trek. Two weeks only! But I'm here, in Edinburgh, Scotland, for the last leg of my journey and the biannual International Primatologists Society Congress. If you'll recall, I helped organize the last one in Entebbe, Uganda.

Anyway, for the first time in a long time, I feel really off my game and out of sorts and sort of lonely and homesick and rather unhappy. It's a big jump; I loved being in Reading and Fordingbridge, and most people would be astonished to hear that the travel was wearing on me, but what I guess I take for granted is the chance to refresh in the evenings and a (clean) place to lay my head.

And the Scottish experience has thus far been far from refreshing. Really, it's throwing me off.

Ironic, considering I've NEVER seen more gingers than I've seen since last night here in Edinburgh. I'm here with my people! I've even been asked for directions 6 times in my 3 hours out on the street.

But yea, I discovered yesterday that the Cowgate Hostel, a place I'd booked for 5 days in March starting today, completely cocked up my booking. I'd called from Annie's sister's house to ask if I could come a day earlier (July 31st) and the idiot at the desk changed my booking to August 31st.

Ergo, when I arrived last night at nearly 11 pm, they informed me that there was no available room on Saturday night, but that I "could" move into a 6 bed dorm room and then move back into my old room on Sunday afternoon.

Of course, then they sent me on my way, up three flights of stairs (with suitcase) to a drab 2 bed room next to a shower with a view out an extremely large window to construction scaffolding and an alleyway. And no window curtain.

It was a restless night on seemingly filthy sheets and a squeaky, cheap bed. I kept waking up everytime someone went to use the sink or the shower, in a room right next to mine as every sound of the hallway echoes and rattles in underneath my flimsy door.

Short hours later, I awoke to the sounds of heavy construction, and peered groggily through my large window only to be greeted by burly, ogling Scotsmen.

Not what I signed up for, and certainly not a restful night. I got out of the hostel as soon as possible, and wandered around the town, getting a sense of the area and finally stumbling upon an internet cafe. With food, and drink!

Perhaps I felt so off because I'd had nothing to eat or drink since last night with Annie. Low blood sugar? Ogling Scotsmen? I find that my tendency for today is not to explore anymore but to get, as I coined it when talking to [ profile] justbeast, eSolace.

I will probably wander about again to go and look at the new accommodation I booked while AT the internet cafe. The idea of staying in a 6 bed dorm room with NO security lockers was just not appealing. I'm not a princess, and I've stayed in hostels and lodgings all over Africa and Europe, so you can imagine how bad this place is to be giving me discomfort. For £50+ a night, maybe I can't expect luxury, but they could afford a window curtain.

There's also the pending worry about money, since this new place is costing me about £77/night instead of £56 and overall, I'm spending about £333 for four nights. Imagine doubling ALL those prices for their American equivalents! Gah! The poverty is crippling. I'm trying not to worry about it, while also trying not to spend any money. An interesting contrast.

So here I am, uncharacteristically uncomfortable while traveling, and actually budgeting and worrying about money and also posting on Livejournal! The horror! Who is this person?

Can you imagine?

Tell me good things happening in your lives. It will add to my eSolace. Before I go wandering through town again

Date: 2008-08-02 09:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
hey you, sorry things haven't been going as well as expected over there. so last wknd i had an extremely busy time at work, b'c our big Finals took place, and while it was exhausting, it was also lots of fun. i really enjoy seeing who our big winner is. my work week was uneventful, but tonite i took the night off to go to my sister's and play cards with her, and my future bro-in-law. it was a fun nite all around and i just got home 1/2 hr. ago (4:30 a.m.) i have work tomm. and then more card playing, as it's one of my co-workers b-day, and she wants a bunch of us to get together to play cards. there's more coming up, but i just realized this is now getting insanely long.

Date: 2008-08-02 05:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
we had an amazing, perfectly surprising surprise party for my mom's 50th birthday last night. The air was cool, the guests endearing, and there was even an irish band. All in all, one hell of an evening.

Date: 2008-08-03 03:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aww, sorry to hear about your travel troubles. Anyways, I'm not home yet, but am feeling well enough to tackle the LJ backlog, so I'll call that good news. ^_^

Date: 2008-08-05 03:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Have you ever been to Scotland Dag?

(Pauses… and in a whisper) Once.

What was is like?

I remember it much as one recalls a dream… or a nightmare. I was on a budget flight to Norway, when a storm hit and forced us to ditch in Glasgow Prestwick. I was stranded, and it’s so hilly up there you can’t get any signal on your car phone. It looked bad – it looked like I was gonna have to spend the night in Glasgow.

Jesus Christ!

The cabin crew suggested we all go out and club it. I had no option; it was that or one of there B&Bs. I figured it’d be safer on the streets. For the first time ever I saw the Scotch in their natural habitat, (Jim looks horrified) and it weren’t pretty. I’d seen them huddling in stations before, being loud but… this time I was surrounded (Liz looks horrified). Everywhere I went it felt like they were watching me; fish-white flesh puckered by the Highland breeze; tight eyes peering out for fresh meat; screechy, booze-soaked voices hollering out for a taxi to take ‘em halfway up the road to the next all-night watering hole (Liz and Jim look more and more shocked). A shatter of glass; a round of applause; a sixteen-year-old mother of three vomiting in an open sewer, bairns looking on, chewing on potato cakes. (Pauses) I ain’t never going back… not never.

My aunt lives in Scotland, she says it’s quite nice.

Well she’s wrong.

-Garth Marenghi's "Darkplace"


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