Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Home in Scotland

Have you ever crammed a bath mat, pasta spoon, tea cups, safety pins and a jar of honey into your purse or backpack? Well, I have. My new life requires all shopping to be gotten home on foot and I only have so many hands. The art of squeezing household items into my purse like a kleptomaniac is only one of many lessons I have learned since arriving in Aberdeen 3 days ago. I have learned that granola is called “oat crunchy,” laundry soap is labeled “bio” or “non-bio,” and cute little old men dress up in suits to do their grocery shopping 1st thing Saturday morning. One dapper gentleman made sure to speak to every employee in the store and he seemed very popular. I wanted to ask him to be my Scottish grandpa. Maybe I’ll see him next week.

My walk to ASDA (Wal Mart) took me across the hill where Aberdeen Castle stood prior to its destruction in 1308. Now it’s a public square that features the Scottish version of a gazebo and lots of little shops. My trips to Wal Mart were never so attractive. I also got a look at the harbor with its many oil ships and fishing boats. The oil industry is king here, which explains why the locals took bets on who shot J.R. on “Dallas” in 1980. The best salmon in the world comes from the waters off the northeast coast of Scotland and I plan to eat my share.

My flat is more spacious than I had imagined. I have a double bed, loveseat, desk, fully equipped kitchen complete with electric teakettle, bathroom and two large closets. My window is a door that opens on to a faux balcony covered in ivy and overlooking a courtyard. There isroom to do yoga in here without hitting any furniture, which is more than I can say for my room at my family’s house. The only down sides are an electric blue accent wall and a mattress as firm as Aberdeen granite. Oh well. I’ll just have to “tak the bree wi the barm” (take the rough with the smooth) as they say in Scotland. Tomorrow I begin classes. Today I'm off to visit a thousand year old ruined castle built by my ancestors. More to come!

Here are photos of the castle quare, my new flat and the shopping that I managed to fit into my purse and 2 bags.

Song of the Day: Hey Hey Hey by Michael Franti. This has nothing to do with Scotland, but it was playing on KUT when I left for the Austin airport. It makes me happy.


  1. OK - technology failure there. You can hear "Hey Hey Hey" here:

  2. How exciting! Your flat looks great. Man, it just sounds fantastic.

  3. What a wonderful journey you have embarked upon. I look forward to peeking in at your adventures and learning experiences in the coming year.