Episode 1: Settling In

January 13, 2016

in Aika Wojt, Europe, Scotland, Spring 2016

I’ve only been here one week, and yet so much has happened it’s hard to keep up. Fortunately, I’ve had plenty of time to explore this city, and gotten to know the area, or at least the west end, quite well. Classes start in a few days, and tomorrow my roommates and are taking the morning train to Loch Lomond.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about Scotland, but the weather has mainly consisted of rain and overcast skies. Chilly, but not nearly as cold as the weather I’m accustomed to having in the winter. The grass still manages to maintain a vivid shade of green, and rain continually accumulates, in what can only be described as small lakes, in the streets and sidewalks, sometimes paved in brick but more often in cracked and lumpy black pavement. Glasgow sprawls over both banks of the river Clyde, across the drumlins, and as such, you spend a lot of time climbing hills and steps getting from one side of the city to the other.

Kelvingrove art museum Glasgow

Kelvingrove art museum Glasgow

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Have you heard of Irn Bru? Its distinctive orange color and strangely medicinal taste (as one of my new friends describes it) is possibly unnerving to outsiders, and although I hadn’t quite enjoyed it at first, this soda has the strangest way of growing on you.

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I’ve had real scones now, which are closer to what we would call biscuits, and what the British would call biscuits, we would call cookies. Our fries are their chips, and our chips are their crisps. Once you’ve got that all sorted, ordering food is much less daunting. You can’t go wrong with fish and chips, and treacle, a caramel-y sort of syrup, is delicious. What we really need in the states is HP Sauce. It’s something like barbecue sauce, or tonkatsu sauce if you’ve ever had that, and is good on everything.

Having had a dark Caledonian Ale, I’ve come to the realization that I don’t particularly enjoy alcohol, though Girvan Scotch is better, and Cider is delightful.

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When I’ve tried haggis, and a full Scottish breakfast, I’ll report back to you.

Judging by what I’ve written thus far, you might think I’m only interested in food. But I’ll have you know that the history and architecture of Glasgow is spectacular as well, and can best be conveyed in photographs.

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Until next time.

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