Friday, November 19, 2010

Are Ye Sco'ish, Lass, or Are Ye Naw?

I tried to have haggis this morning for breakfast.  It comes with the "Full Scottish Breakfast" from the Southern Cross Cafe next door to my hostel.  It's not bad, actually, but after a few bites I can't stop thinking about what it is I am actually eating, and it becomes too revolting to continue.  So I stuck to the other greasy high-fat delights on my plate instead, after just a wee bit of haggis.

The older Scottish fellow at the next table was disappointed in me.  He had started chatting to me when I sat down and had been thrilled to learn I was a "MacLellan" (and hence an authentic Scot).  But the haggis left on my plate made him question that:  "Are ye Sco'ish, lass, or are ye naw?"  (Are you Scottish, or not?  That's my attempt to render the accent in written words.)

Not, I guess.  At least if one of the criteria is eating haggis.

They do have some good Scottish cuisine, though.  This is the country that invented the deep-fried Mars bar, after all.

Yes, I'm in Scotland -- Edinburgh to be exact.  I came up on the sleeper train from London yesterday, so arrived about 7:15 a.m. into the cold and dark of an Edinburgh morning (it was nearly 8 by the time the sun came up).  I was more or less awake, though, since the train wasn't at all full so I could snag two seats for myself and lay down to sleep.  Quite civilized, really, even if rail travel here is much more expensive than I remember!

Hostel is just off the Royal Mile, so it's an easy walk just about anywhere tourist-y.  Gloves and hat may be required tomorrow, though -- it's definitely colder than Toronto.  Surprisingly, though, it was also bright and sunny today, so very pleasant to walk around.  And thanks to my expensive unplanned Chilean jacket purchase, I was quite warm (and after checking prices in a NorthFace shop for the same jacket here, the vast amount of Chilean pesos I paid doesn't seem like such a bad deal compared with the number of British pounds I'd have to fork over.).

At some point I am meeting up with my English ex, who is now married with two kids and living in Edinburgh.  I'll let you know how that goes once it happens, but it may be a little weird.  Especially if he's picked up any hint of a Scottish accent -- now THAT I really can't picture.

Still a little confused about what time it actually is, and the fact that it gets dark so early here doesn't really help.  I think I'm mostly over jet lag, though, thanks to a lovely relaxed visit in London (Steve and Sarah are wonderful hosts -- let me know if you're ever going and I'll put you in touch :) ).  And if I'm not, it doesn't matter all that much, except that it'll be good if I manage to be awake during the limited hours of daylight available.

Must go in search of dinner now, then possibly a walk around downtown Edinburgh.  Or else just hanging out in the hostel with the Australians.  (How is there anyone under 30 left in Australia?  Everywhere I go in the world, there they are ... not that it's a bad thing.)

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