Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First Few Days

Been pretty busy and very not sleep adjusted. Here's an update.

My flight was cancelled due to snow in London, so I switched to a flight through Newark. I arrived in Edinburgh at 8:00AM on Saturday. It was snowing when I left Boston and snowing when I arrived in Edinburgh. I took an airport shuttle to Waverly Bridge in New Town, which is a couple of miles from my flat. My first mistake was to assume that the roads would be all on the same level; in this particular area it is rarely the case. I ended up going under the road I wanted to get on the first time I tried. Then I dragged my suitcase down a long main drag that changes its name every few blocks: I travelled North Bridge, South Bridge, Nicolson Street and South Clerk street, all in a straight line. My main problem was that the inch of new snow on the sidewalks kept clogging the wheels of my suitcase, but I eventually made it to my flat.

My room is oddly shaped, like an L-room in Merrill, except more so. Even if I propped my door open I couldn't see out of my room from my desk or bed. The kitchen, which you don't have to go through in order to get to any room, is also behind a door that closes mechanically. As a result, I don't often see my flatmates unless I hang out in the kitchen for awhile. They are as follows:

Tijmen is Dutch but speaks with a perfect (to my ears) British accent, and has reddish-brown hair and blue eyes. He plays guitar and is a bit of a joker. His friend Hugo lives next door and hangs out here a lot. Hugo is blonde and posh; he arrived at university with quail that his grandfather had shot on their estate.

Clément is French and has black hair. He likes sports and is fairly serious.

Daniel is from Belarus. He has brown hair and a beard. He is quietly friendly and smokes hand-rolled cigarettes (but not indoors).

I was supposed have my first course on Monday, but it was cancelled because the lecturer was stuck in the States due to weather. Then I was supposed to have my second course on Tuesday, but I didn't set my alarm because I didn't think it was necessary—somehow I ended up sleeping for 14 hours and waking up five minutes after it began. So I actually started my courses today. This morning I had Lexical Semantics at 9:00 and then Figurative Language (which is really a course in the study of rhetoric) at 11:10. The classes are small by university standards, with only 40-60 students in each. Both lecturers seem quite good; my Lexical Semantics lecturer in particular is quite funny. I'm very excited about these classes.

Between classes I went to register with the University. The registry is located in Old College, which is a quad of very old (I believe 16th century) and beautiful grey stone buildings (most everything pre-19th century in Edinburgh is grey stone) enclosed on its fourth side by a giant arch and gate. In order to get my university ID card I then had to get passport-size photos taken, which I did in a photobooth in Potterrow, which is a sort of student center.

I've been to a couple pubs: Brass Monkey, which is just off Nicolson street, serves a nice local pale ale and has strange seating in the back room where you take your shoes off and there's a cushioned floor and pillows around the edges. The Library Bar is a University pub in Teviot House; it has cheap drinks and old books behind glass on all its walls.

And that's about all I can think of.

1 comment:

  1. Think of more. I need to be constantly inundated with information.