Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Scotland: Wandering Edinburgh

While I didn’t write a formal blog post for my Summer 2016 European adventures, I thought it’d be fun to share some memories I initially stored on Facebook.

Edinburgh is so charming and vibrant, and every interaction I’ve had with local folks has been so nice! Yesterday was all about getting acclimated to the Fringe ticketing system, selecting potential shows, figuring out where the pick-up places are, and getting better accustomed to the orientation of the streets and landmarks. Today Hanns and I walked the Royal Mile to Holyrood Castle and Abbey where, among other things, we toured Mary Queen of Scots’ chambers and learned more about her dismal life.

After a walk through the castle gardens, festooned with glorious flower arrangements, we hiked up Arthur's Seat for a grand view of the city, bolstered by bracing wind and hints of rain. Having earned our lunch, we grabbed a table at World’s End for burgers, beer, and hard cider. Of course after so many sausages, potatoes, and deep brown sauces, I think our next meal had better contain some leafy green things. We wrapped up our afternoon with a walk through the Greyfriars Kirk graveyard, being sure to commune awhile with Greyfriars Bobby, the Skye Terrier who supposedly guarded the grave of his beloved owner for 14 years. What shall we do tonight? Don't know yet, but I'm feeling optimistic.

Later on...

It's the little things: Go to Tesco to get a SIM card for my phone. Purchase the card, eject the old card, pocket old card for safety, realize I need to fiddle with the plastic to release the super-tiny-mini-card. Fiddle, fiddle, fiddle. Snap. Release. Now it's time to eject my card tray and insert the new card. Press paper clip into hole, press paper clip into hole, press paper clip into hole... Nothing. Calm, focus, keep pressing. It's getting loud in the Tesco and I'm starting to sweat. Gather my stuff and haul back to the apartment. Sit down at dining room table. Breathe in and out. Slowly insert paper clip to eject tray. Push, push, push. Nothing. Look up video for "can't eject SIM card." Notice on video that the guy has the entire tray in his hand. "The entire tray comes out?" I ask. "What the hell?" Hmmm. Maybe... Walk back to Tesco. It's drizzly and cold. I feel stupid. Start gazing up and down the floor, drawing attention of helpful security guard. Scan for a tiny piece of metal that surely won't be on the floor. No tray, no tray, no... There's the damned tray, beaming up at me. "Where have you been," it asks me in a silvery, mocking voice. "Gotcha," I exclaim. Savor walk of pride back to apartment. Who cares if it's rainy? Sit down at table, insert the tray, slip the card, type in the code, fire up the service: everything works like a charm. Now I'm sipping some Glen Moray, feeling rather pleased with myself.

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