A wee bit of Scottishness or the discovery of a culture.

Hi there, and welcome back!

Only two weeks have passed since my last article but I feel like Alice falling down the rabbit’s hole into a completely new and magical world. Upon my arrival, I’ve been thrown in the middle of the hustle of life in the city. After staring in amazement through the window of the taxi going from the airport to my halls of residence, I bumped into my three flatmates who were just about to go out. I then dropped my bags on the floor without unpacking anything and followed them, trying hard to catch what they were saying while avoiding the threat of death at every crossings. (Don’t worry, you’ll quickly get used to the “Sco’ish accent” and to looking right THEN left when crossing the street).

Freshers’ Week was an uninterrupted flow of events, from walking tours of Edinburgh to parties and activities fairs in which to discover so many societies and clubs.  It’s hard to settle in when you don’t know what to choose from the wide variety of events proposed by the university. You’d like to do everything but as much as Edinburgh is a magical city, I am sorry to inform you that days are only 24-hour long here as well.

20160911_185745
The oldest purpose built students union: basically Hogwarts just for us.
20160913_145123
Falling in love with Edinburgh part I.
20160913_145318
Falling in love with Edinburgh part II.
dscf6988
The classic view from Calton Hill
dscf7047
Walking along the Crags.
dscf7089
Peaceful Dean Village.
20160922_171351
Walking to and from class through the Meadows.
20160922_171418
Walking to and from class through the Meadows.

The practical aspect of settling in is also a big part of the first few weeks:

  • Where to buy kitchen supplies and random stuff? Answer: There are many bargain stores (on Nicolson Street for example) which sell literally anything. I mean it. You’d be surprised.
  • How to buy so many expensive textbooks? Answer: Charity shops! There are loads of them around the city and you might find that literature anthology in six volumes for half the normal price.
  • Now that you’ve bought them, how to read so many textbooks? Answer: I still don’t know, mate. Everytime you’ve got five minutes, just grab a book. Take a book with you everywhere.

This semester, I’m taking English Literature, Linguistics Theory and Scottish Studies. So far, I’ve found my lectures engaging and the lecturers considerate. Your classes may be challenging, but I swear you won’t feel abandoned here.

Scottish people in general are the kindest. I’m lucky enough to share my flat with three Scottish lasses who already made a point of teaching me some wee words around a glass of Irn Bru (Scottish fizzy drink whose taste even the Scots are at a loss how to describe. The only way to know is to try it!) I’ve also tried a Tattie Scone wrap (potato wrap) with black pudding (a type of blood sausage), which was surprisingly delicious.

Then, rugby being a popular sport here, I didn’t miss my first chance of supporting the university of Edinburgh in the highly anticipated varsity match against St Andrews university. We were all seated on one side of Murrayfield stadium – hence the emptiness of the terraces on the pictures below – and cheering our team. The women won with the impressive score of  97 to 0. The men lost 24 to 12 but still offered an admirable performance.

 

 

I have so much to discover and learn about Scotland in the coming months! I intend to make the most of it and share it with you guys. I also hope to travel a bit, as I have joined the Hillwalking Club, as well as a running club with which I can take part in races out of Edinburgh. I’ll tell you more about that when the time comes!

See you later,

Inès

Advertisements