Monday, March 25, 2013

Castles... Castles everywhere!

After I got back home from London -see previous post- I had to get ready for the next admissions in Scotland and in the Netherlands. Luckily Edinburgh College of Art didn't have any home assignments, Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht on the other hand, had a quite massive one compared to my situation.
Admissions day of the HKU was in around two weeks but my flight to Scotland was in five days and I wasn't going to come back home before flying to the Netherlands. That meant I had to do the task in four days instead of thirty. Why? Because I didn't have a laptop to carry around all the programs needed. On the contrary I didn't work for the next two weeks, so it really felt like a vacation with a tiny bit of stress.
But let's keep all the details on my experience regarding the HKU for another post. It's time to talk about Scotland!

First impression
My first significant experience in London was not long after arriving to the airport. I quickly found my Easybus with no driver, but a guy sitting on the seat next to the driver's place, reading a newspaper or a magazine. The moment he saw me, he jumped out of the minibus, let me in and sat right back on his seat. I couldn't figure out why the bus driver wasn't there yet. Suddenly, the guy in front starts the vehicle and we set off. It took me half an hour to figure out that it wasn't an exceptional minibus I was sitting in, but that the steering wheel is in fact on the other side in each and every vehicle in this country.
Well, arriving to Edinburgh I forgot all about that. I even attempted to walk onto the roadway, because I thought maybe the bus has it's door on the other side.
After a while I noticed there are no signs on the bus that would announce the next stop, so I had to ask the driver to warn me when we get there. He had such a strong Scottish accent, that I made him repeat every other sentence. I still had no clue of what he was saying.

Where I slept
Just like I know someone from London, I have an acquaintance in Edinburgh as well. But not just any acquaintance, we were classmates in secondary school and most importantly, she is one of my closest friends, Emmy. Funny thing is that one of her roommates attended the same secondary school we did.
Not long after my arrival, exhausted from working on the home assignment for the HKU and from the flight itself, I went to sleep. We indeed did some catchup talk beforehand, but Emmy had essay deadlines and had to pull an all-nighter. The next morning I awaken to her still typing on her laptop, not much later she went to sleep...for a half an hour. I'm starting to doubt whether she is human at all, because apparently, she doesn't sleep much.

After receiving an invitation per e-mail, I immediately answered I'll attend the admissions day. Later I found out there was not going to be an interview, just a tour around the school. I was quite sick, so I couldn't pay much attention, but I did get a good amount of information on their education, and the students they have are really good at whatever they are doing.
There is no news about the outcome yet, but I'll make sure to write about it either here or on facebook.

What I saw
Ok, so at first I was pretty surprised that the capital of a country could look like a friendly little town with castles. I mean, I get that cars and buses are exactly the same here as in England, but there are some things I just can't leave out of this post. In Edinburgh there are castles literally everywhere! All the hotels are castles, all the restaurants are in castles, shit even the schools are in castles. When I stepped inside one of these schools I felt like there was a crown missing off my head. It's that serious!
Another thing is the kilt. I truly thought that they only wore kilts on formal occasions and weddings, but that's absolutely not true. Every single day, I saw at least three or four men wearing a kilt just because. I also found out that they aren't supposed to wear anything underneath.
As I mentioned before, I can not understand scottish accent, which disappointed me, because I believed understanding each and every word of this years Academy Award winner for best animated feature film 'Brave' would mean I'd be alright in Scotland.
What I truly was excited about though, was seeing red beards. I even saw two of them and have no idea why that made me happy, but it did.