4 July 1995

Got up, packed, and drove down to SBS. Boarded the bus and drove for about 7 hours (breath-taking scenery) to Edinburgh.

I hurt from sitting. Checked in the dorms. Carried my luggage up 5 stories of narrow, crowded stairs then realized my room was on the ground floor. Ate rapidly, then drove to the Scottish dancing. It, for most of the time, was boring. Used the audience.

Watched fireworks put on by a high-school Indiana Student Ambassador. Drove back to the Univerzzzzzzzzzz snore zzzzzzzz. (11:30pm)

Similarities – dorms similar

Differences – traditional dances past on by generations.

English -> Scottish

Long = lang

Alley = wynd

Swamp = lea

Small = wee

Lake = loch

Boy = laddie

Girl = lassie

Sheep stomach = haggis

Toilet = loo

Meadow = heather

Future Ryan says: Sorry for the terse journal entry. As you can tell, I was tired and probably filled out my daily entry just before long-sought bedtime. I didn’t even mention the Scottish university cafeteria food, especially the black pudding thick enough to hold up a fork. As subsets of food go, both Scottish cuisine and university cuisine rank below that of normal standard food. We were eating a combination of the two, and I didn’t look forward to mealtime here.

I think this was the bus ride where one of the students passed around some candies he bought during his homestay. They were delicious rhubarb-custard hard candies, and I wish I could find more like them.

At no point here do I mention our visit to Gretna Green, famous for its anvil weddings and an unrelated yet horrible train wreck. Future self apologizes here for former self’s omissions.

During the Scottish dancing that evening, I got a full demonstration of the history and usage of a kilt, and explanations behind much of the traditional Scottish garb. During the group dancing, a scottish girl skipped up to me and asked me to dance. I was too shy to accept. If I am ever given an oportunity to go back in time, to occupy the body of my former self, I’d say yes.

To this day, this is the only Fourth of July I’ve spent outside of the USA. It’s weird, but I recommend the experience to all Americans to go through once. It shows you just how much Independence Day makes you feel at home, and highlights just how foreign your current place is.


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