- On Saturday, I tried to go to Boots or Superdrug in the mall near my flat to buy a makeshift first-aid kit … and I ended up lost. In the shopping center.
- On Sunday, I tried to go for a quick run around the area where I’m living. I even took a couple of pictures of a map on my phone to ensure that I didn’t get lost … and I ended up lost.
- On Monday, my attempt to make it to the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures’ welcome meeting culminated in getting turned around and taking a side street by accident, even though I was about one block from the building I needed to be in … and I ended up lost.
- On Tuesday, I don’t think I actually got lost. I don’t remember, but Tuesday must’ve been a good day.
- On Wednesday, I was making my way back from an International Buddies event, got lost in city center, got on the wrong bus, got off the wrong bus at a stop I’d never seen before … and I ended up very, very lost. Luckily, I was with a friend and we called a cab to bail us out!
- On Thursday, I tried to make it to the Sports Fair at the university gym, which I’d never been to before… and I ended up lost.
- On Friday, I missed the bus up to the main campus where I was set to meet a new friend before we went to hang out with some of the Edinburgh University Ladies Rugby Football Club (EULRFC) members, so I had to power walk from my flat two miles away to our meeting point… and I ended up lost.
Are we sensing a theme here? It seems like everything I would normally not have a problem doing has suddenly become a draining adventure of bus lines, furrowed brows and sore feet. I’m unabashedly leaving my flat two hours early to every meeting to ensure that I have time to figure out the tangle of streets in Edinburgh. And you’d better bet I’m going to be spending all of tomorrow scoping out my class buildings before I actually have to get to them on time for lecture.
On the plus side, being helplessly turned around has made my flat almost instantly feel like home. Standing on an empty and unlit street corner waiting for a cab during The Wednesday Night Bus Debacle left me turning to my friend and exclaiming, “I just want to be back home in my flat watching TV in bed!” It was an odd moment when I realized I had just called my flat – my residence of all of four days – home. There’s almost nothing unique in my room to suggest that I even live there – a postcard from my parents pinned to my bulletin board the only clue. There are no books, no stuffed animals, no favorite pillows, no posters or well-watched DVDs. Even my mattress is uncomfortable – springy and a size I’m unused to. But right now it is my one anchor in this unfamiliar (albeit welcoming) city.
My flatmates are all lovely and hanging out in our kitchen, cooking and talking has made it feel like a makeshift home. There’s always a door open or someone lounging on a couch, ready to make light of our day’s adventures. I was worried about how I would get along with my flatmates before I arrived, but I am beginning to suspect I couldn’t have ended up with a better group of people.
The list of things I have to do next week is as long as both my arms, and most of it are tasks I have to venture into the city in order to complete. Don’t worry – I’m not going to post another run down of every time I got lost next Saturday, but think of me sometime this week, turning in a circle and squinting between my phone and the sides of buildings, trying to find my way. And know that I’ll get there eventually.