I believe the beginning of any new journey or learning is always the most difficult. I mean, I shifted to Edinburgh on 9th September 2018 and it is now, 14th November 2018 that I have finally decided to sit down and start writing — in the midst of all my assignments, projects, presentations and so on (read procrastination).
But on a serious note, I did think that I would be able to pull off this stunt of capturing every single experience by writing, clicking pictures, posting on social media and then blogging about it. Alas, life rarely happens to me the way I plan it- even though I consider myself as a highly organised individual who likes to arrange everything in some invisible symmetry.
So, without any further ado, please have a glass of wine (if you are lucky) and sit down to read my exclusive content!
The first question I get asked mostly after my name and place is-
Question 1 – So, how is Edinburgh?
Answer– It is a dream come true, with its string of difficulties. Edinburgh is beautiful and majestic in all its senses. If I hear the Scottish pipes being played out of nowhere and then find a kilted man playing the bagpipe, it feels- comforting.
When I cross the Princes Street- an area that I would happily get lost simply because it buzzes with cafes, restaurants, fancy boutiques and shops of all kind that you can imagine. With the commotion of people on streets- up on the hill across the Princes Street, you can clearly get the view of The Edinburgh Castle. It’s a love- at- first- sight kind of historic monument.
I haven’t yet begun my sightseeing journey since I am either bogged down with cold or with course work or work in general. But I intend to visit every single place before my course gets over.
It was surprising to see how polite people are in general. The N number of times they use words like ‘sorry’, ‘thank you’ and ‘nice to meet you’ was mind-boggling at first. When you call and say hello to someone over the phone- the response is ‘Hello, are you ok/ are you fine/ are you doing good?’
I really don’t know how to answer that, to be honest- it’s a deep question.
So yes! The place is gorgeous beyond words can capture and people are lovely. So what is the problem?
Dear lord, I must have done something terribly wrong to tackle such a weather! I haven’t seen temperature rise above 12°C ever since I have stepped my foot in this place. I come from a very humid region located in eastern India and that place has rarely seen winter. So you can imagine how poor I have been in handling my body temperature. If someone asked me what my arch nemesis is- undoubtedly, severe cold. Interesting that my second name literally translates to cold. Most of the time you will see me covered from top to toe with all the warm clothes that I could find and not look like a giant bear. Not kidding.
Cold, rain, wind and grey are the keywords to explain Scottish weather.
Question 2- What about food?
Answer– I was taken aback by the sheer amount of food available that was ready to heat and eat. Sometimes you can definitely skip on the heat. But I am also blessed with a huge kitchen and all the kitchen appliances that I can ask for from my university provided student accommodation. I share my flat with seven more people each from different parts of the world- Italy (Sardinia to be specific), Netherlands, USA, Germany, Ireland and Norway. Five men and two women. So sharing a kitchen with sofas and a TV is quite an experience. Till date, I am extremely thankful for such a vibrant mix of cultures I get to live with and share my days over food and wine- especially when I get to try different kind of cheeses from my Italian friend! I love my gorgeous Dutch girl for being so warm and funny. But I will keep those introductions for a later date.
So most of my days, I eat something store bought and cook if I have no class the next day. I love cooking but it is next to impossible when I am down with exhaustion after an entire day at library and university. Indian food in restaurants here are expensive, and many a time disappointing since the spice quotient in the dishes made here is next to null for me. But recently I have managed to find proper green chillies, so hooray! (Thereby strongly confirming Indian stereotype of surviving on curries and spices, proudly! )
Question 3- You have to wait for my next article.
In part 2, I will try to cover my academic life at the university and emotions that I go through as a foreign student trying to balance her work and play see-saw!
Until then, stay calm and drink wine.