March 21, 2009

To Doug the tour guide

This post is a shout out to Doug the tour guide, who refers to himself in the third person when he stops outside of my window everyday around 1:00pm. Thank you Doug for educating me about the "shiny" swords in the only armory in Edinburgh, located across the street. Thanks for telling me over and over that the Hub at the top of the roundabout is a converted church that now houses the ticket office for the Festival in August. I appreciate it most when you ramble off the list of how many festivals Edinburgh hosts in the month of August. How do you remember them all? And then you so cleverly tell your group: "I didn't say come in August, don't even come for a week in August, come for the WHOLE MONTH of August". That never gets old. I cherish knowing that in August, the population of Edinburgh doubles, and that's taking into account all of the many locals who flee the city, fearing the invasion of tourists. Without Doug, I wouldn't know that during the festival some pubs stay open until 5:00am while others re-open at 6:00 in the morning, which means that I can stay out drinking for 23 hours for one month straight (if I had the desire, the stamina, or the money). I just want to say well done Doug and give you a pat on the shoulder for finishing your dissertation last August, while going out to the pub "every damn day" and still being able to see 27 shows of the Festival! That's quite an achievement. Doug, I feel like we've grown really close over the past seven months. I can always count on you to holler the same speech two stories below my window in that high-pitched whiney voice, every day, without fail. You never mess up a line, and your timing is perfect when it comes to your jokes. So, here's to Doug, the reliable aspiring comedian and his wealth of Edinburghian knowledge. To Doug, the man, the tour guide, the legend.

*I caught Doug on camera today! I've posted it below for your viewing pleasure. He did change up his speech slightly. He didn't refer to himself in the third person (which makes me sad), and he forgot to tell us how late the pubs stay open, and how many shows he went to see last August when he finished his dissertation! I was about to yell down these things and then thought it might not be wise. I should probably build a report with Doug before I correct him on his own tour.

He kind of looks like a young Dick Van Dyke, with his long, lanky arms and legs, and the way he takes awkward, straight-legged bird steps side-to-side, and clasps onto the straps of his backback. It reminds me of Bert from Mary Poppins. Also, the way he stands with his legs together and feet turned out reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. I also loved his hat. He was looking very European for the tourists.  

Meet Doug:
 
video

March 2, 2009

Battle of the burgs

OK, yes, I am in love with this city, but recently I’ve been craving the familiar things of Bucknell and Blue Bell, specifically the food and shopping. Laura came to the rescue with her spectacular discovery: a 24-hour ASDA Wal-Mart Super Center within the city limits. It’s just 25 minutes by bus from the center of Edinburgh on the Jewel line (2). Nothing says Lewisburg like an unnecessarily large Wal-Mart that stays open all hours of the day so that you can buy hand towels and handguns, stickers and shampoo, a flat screen TV and fresh fruit! Naturally, we made an afternoon of it, strolling up and down every isle. It was fantastic – a taste of home! (Even if we couldn’t shop in our favorite section: the £5 DVD bin). I bought a Betty Crocker marble cake mix and vanilla buttercream icing, and made the most fantastic cake later that night while I watched “Another Cinderella Story”. It felt like a typical Sunday in the burg… well, the other burg.

Home away from home