+ Having a friend who calls me Saturday morning and says ‘Hey, do you want to go to the march protesting Israel’s siege of Gaza? It starts in 20 minutes.’
+ Being able to walk everywhere. I never need a bus or a cab to get where I want to go. (Bonus: this has turned me into the incredible shrinking woman. Downside: I keep needing new trousers).
+ There are a number of knitting groups I can join, and I’ve recently started going to the university one with my aforementioned friend, Lauren. My first one was ‘Knit Your Own Facial Hair’ night. I made a curly, old-man moustache.
+ West Nicholson Street. It has my super-hip hair dresser, the very tasty vegetarian restaurant Susie’s Wholefoods, and Word Power – my favorite (lefty) book store.
+ On any night of the week, someone is up for drinking and dancing.
+ My ‘World Wise’ group. I joined a class put on by the World Development Movement in the fall – it was about learning to campaign on issues. There’s only a few of us left now, but we’re planning to ask MSPs (Members of the Scottish Parliament) to set a positive example on climate change by cutting back on flying. We may inflate a giant airplane outside the parliament building in February, that says ‘Climate Change Kills’ on the side. Alternative plan: giant paper airplanes.
+ Joseph Pearce, my local pub. It’s just around the corner, and is owned by Swedish people; it’s funky, has good food, and serves Portuguese lager on tap.
+ Victoria Street. My favorite shops are on this curvy little street that leads to the Grassmarket. In fact, it deserves it’s own entry (mental note). It has my local yarn store, an various funky independant clothing and arty shops that I wander into often.
+ Nas, the man who runs the news agent shop I buy papers from every morning. He’s super-friendly, gives me extra receipts, and even saved Subway coupons for me the other day.
+ The old man I run into on a regular basis. I first saw him on my second day in the city, in Princes Street Gardens. He’d seen me looking at a photo exhibition and came up to comment on how carefully I’d been looking at it. I’d place him in his early 70s. He always wears a flat tweed cap, and has a round belly and a gap between his front teeth. We chatted about where I was from (when he noticed my accent), and what I’m doing here. He shook my hand as I left, and said ‘Now you have a Scottish friend’. I saw him again a few months later, outside St. Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile. He didn’t recognize me, and we had the same conversation again. A few months later: same scenario, Calton Hill. Lovely man. Terrible memory.
+ When the sky is blue, this is the most beautiful city in the world. When it’s grey, it’s still in the running.
+ I have some beautiful Scottish friends, and also Polish, Spanish, South African, Aussie, and English friends.
This list could go on ad nauseum, and will in the future. For now, here’s my current favorite thing about Edinburgh: Andrea will be here in two days. WOOHOO!!