November is almost over, the winds are getting rougher and temperatures have dropped (it even snowed for a good five minutes the other day!) but I’m still absolutely loving life in Edinburgh. I survived the first wave of essay deadlines in October, celebrated my first ever Halloween, have had some ridiculously fun nights out with my mates, and enjoyed many afternoon cappuccinos while breathing in the air of Scotland and being grateful. Since a little over a month has passed since my last post (and that’s a looong time), it’s really hard to serve all my experiences in a flowing manner. So rather, I’m going to chop up this post as I did my last one, and list some of the more interesting observations that I’ve made so far about the life and people here, as well as about myself, in a random order:
- I am a “list person”. I LOVE lists. They are on post-its all over my room, they are in my planner and in my iPhone Notes, they are in my head and now, apparently, they are even in my blog. (Lists just make everything so much easier and more understandable, no!?)
- Being Estonian, I thought I knew what strong winds were, but turns out I had NO idea. I had heard stories about the notorious winds of Scotland, but always thought to myself that it can’t be THAT bad, right!? Much to my surprise, it can. It’s THAT bad. So future exchange students – if you want to survive here, furnish yourselves with a parka, a hat, a huge scarf (or seven), an enduring umbrella and a lot of patience, because you’re about to be swept off your feet (and I’m not talking about the beauty of Edinburgh or the viking-looking Scottish men this time).
- People here are almost too polite for my taste. Of course every time a shop keeper asks “How has your day been so far, dear?” my cold Estonian heart melts a little, but if I’m standing at the bus stop with ten other people and let’s say it’s raining (it usually is) and the bus driver opens the doors and NO ONE is getting in because everyone is gesturing to let others go before them, then I get confused. Dear Scots – we’re all going to fit on the bus, so please just hop in and let me get in from the rain!!
- A lot of my international friends have no clue about zodiac signs. To me it’s so clear that that guy is acting exactly like me because he is also a Gemini, and obviously I get along with that girl because she’s a Scorpio and many of my best mates are as well, and of course things didn’t work out between those two love birds because their zodiac signs simply do not match!! Arghhh, how am I the only one seeing this?? And why don’t my friends seem to care?? Is that an Estonian thing?
- Before coming here, I always thought of myself as an open book. You have a personal question? I have no problem answering honestly. Even if I haven’t known you for very long. Turns out, there are many people willing to tell you their whole life story in the first five minutes you meet them. And if you put all of us on a scale of openness – I would be somewhere at the very end with the diaries with those cute little locks that every 11-year-old girl owns. But that, friends, is the beauty in meeting new people from all around the world – through them you always learn something about yourself!
- Exchange students are on a different time than other people. Time flies faster for them. Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s a fact.
- Before coming to Scotland, take the time to critically plan your finances. And I mean very critically. I knew it was going to be expensive but I was not ready for a lump to appear in my throat every time I check my bank balance.. And I don’t splurge! I have taken about 5% of the trips I have planned to take during my time here… I’m just living a normal student life.
- I cannot appreciate whisky. Yup, tried it. Yes, a couple of times. Uh uh, different ones. YES, even in a cocktail! Nope, still don’t like it.
- Halloween is a big thing here!! Shout out to my fellow Northern Europeans for whom it has always been more of a myth than an actual celebration. For the first time in my life I got to dress up (see picture below) and go to an actual Halloween party! Exciting times.
- Edinburgh does not cease to amaze me with its beauty (I know you were waiting for me to say that, he-he! Sorry, I just can’t help myself)! They are currently setting up the Christmas market in the city centre so I have a feeling it is going to be even better during the holidays!
- And finally – so why am I confused when I check my phone and it happens to be 22:22? Have you heard about the superstition that you can make a wish when the hours and the minutes on the clock “match”? Even if you haven’t before, now you know. And well the answer is simple – my dream that I’ve been wishing for for the past 9 months has become my reality ;)
Want to keep an eye on me living my dream? Stay tuned for future posts!