The festival season is coming to an end in Edinburgh. In August, eleventy-billion festivals happen in the city; this is the birthplace of the Fringe, and the Fringe alone has over 2,000 shows to take in over three weeks.
The pub where I work is on the Royal Mile, the stretch of street that extends from Edinburgh castle to Holyrood palace, where the Fringe street performers do their shows and show promoters force flyers into the hands of the throngs of tourists walking up and down the mile. I have a drawer full of them.
I’m glad I came to Edinburgh during the festival season, to see what goes on and take in some shows. I’m also glad I’ll be here once all the festivals are over, to see the real city, without having to fight through slow moving crowds to get down the street and being buried in flyers. I’m looking forward to feeling like I live here.
I will miss the inherent weirdness of festival. I’ve seen a man laying on a bed of nails and others juggling machetes atop tall unicycles. I saw the Guinness record holder for facial piercing wandering the streets. While I was waiting for my flatmate outside the beer gardens, a panda came up to ask me the time. I’ve seen lots of women on stilts.
I have a great flat and a great flatmate, Lindsay, who just got a puppy, Otto.