Overdue.

Another week, and still no internet! Luckily we have had a lot going on but our primal living environment is getting a little old and boring. We’re crossing our fingers we get some good news within the next few days!

This week was pretty busy with school, although our classes formally start on Wednesday. We were each paired up with one other student to do a short model project, which will wrap up on Thursday. After four years “off”, it’s been nice to make a model again and get my brain thinking in a different way from office life!

Over the weekend, I hung out with some friends around town, ate some delicious food at The Vic and Moskito, and went to the University of Glasgow on Saturday (about ten minutes walk from our flat). It is beautiful and feels like a traditional UK school!

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(That’s some proof I am actually here, by the way)

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Yesterday we took a daytrip out of Glasgow and went to Edinburg (or pronounced by the Scots as Edinboro). It was about an hour on the train from Glasgow and only £8.30 round trip, so around $13.50.

Edinburg is a very different city from Glasgow – it is less artsy but more ornate, academic, and touristy. First, we decided to climb the 287 steps of the Scott Monument, a decision I regretted once we reached the fourth and final platform at the top. The entire climb was on a series of stone spiral staircases that were VERY snug and claustrophobic – I’m not sure if any of my darling but 6’++ brothers could have made it very easily.

Once we were up, the views were amazing although I was much happier to be one level down where the platform was wider and less terrifying.
(Side note, I don’t like heights or small spaces. Climbing the monument seemed like a good idea beforehand but I can’t say I would do it again.)

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Level three of four. If I look scared it’s because I was.

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That’s the Scott Monument!

We were pretty hungry afterwards so
we ate a traditional Scottish lunch and I had cottage pie. Not sure how this is different from shepherds pie but it has been delicious every place I’ve eaten it so I don’t need to ask too many questions.

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After lunch we went to the massive National Museum of Scotland, where the undeniable highlight was their roof deck. The weather yesterday was incredible: no rain but very dramatic clouds so the roof was definitely the place to be!

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Once we finished the museum we decided to tackle the Edinburg Castle!
It makes sense that the castle would be at the highest point of the city but the hills in Edinburg are just. so. steep. As if the Scott Monument wasn’t enough vertical movement for us, we got another workout just hiking up to castle and around the grounds.

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After THAT we went to a brief whiskey (informative session?) tasting at the Scottish Whiskey Experience which incorporated a 10 minute ride in a giant barrel around some very basic special effects and video screens – it was very educational though. Afterwards we were able to have a whiskey of our choice in a room filled with thousands of bottles which made for a very nice photo op.

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(That’s supposed to be yeast)

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When we left and began to head back to the train station, we caught the last fleeting moments of this amazing sunset!

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All in all it was a long day, and we were happy to be back in Glasgow at the end of it!

ps – looks like my photos are still uploading slightly out of order! So much for my captions!

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sun and fun

It’s been a few days but we still don’t have internet in our flat although hopefully that will change soon!

On Sunday I ventured into Kelvingrove Park, conveniently located right across the street from our flat. The park is beautiful and will be especially nice once the leaves start to change colors. I was in the middle of taking photos when a dog came up to me, sat by my feet and invited me to play fetch. How could I turn down a face like that! We played fetch for about ten minutes while it’s owners sat on a nearby bench.

For dinner, Claudia and I went to Dram, also right down the street from us. It was delicious BBQ, another thing I didn’t expect I would find here. +1, Glasgow!

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I’ve been somewhat busy at school this week, with more induction activities and workshops, and a small project that is due next week. I’ve had quite a bit of free time and even went to a beginner salsa class at school one night (my dear friend Alicia, I’m sure you are thrilled but our lack of Internet access has made some things more appealing than normal) The weather overall is sunny and cool, with still only a little bit of rain.

The other night, I tried to order a takeout cheeseburger at a nearby pub and was surprised to learn they “don’t do take out”. The bartender said I could order a cheeseburger but that I would have to sign a form if I wanted to take it home. I thought he was kidding – he was not!

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(They obviously didn’t have any takeout-appropriate boxes either)

Here are a few more shots from around my neighborhood:

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Glasgow says yes! Scotland says no thanks!

The night before the referendum vote, we went over to our product designer friends’ flat for some homemade sushi. There were several other international students from Italy, Portugal and Japan and not surprisingly, the sushi making became quite the photo op. I also really liked the wallpaper in the flat.

On Thursday night, we ventured across the Clyde River (not as intense as that may sound) to O2 Academy for the alt-j concert which was really sweaty but really fun. We decided to take the subway back and I was surprised at how small and compact the cars are!

SO. Maybe it was because the vote was “NO”, but I have to say I was disappointed by the lack of excitement after the results were announced. Our neighborhood, which had many YES supporters (evident by the flags and signs in windows all around) was very quiet the morning after. We wandered to school and ended up at a sustainability day terrarium workshop, which was fun and is a nice addition to my bedroom. We also took the terrariums to get Mexican food at Driftwood on our way home, because why not? We decided to take the terrariums home before going down to George Square and saw crowds of people from the YES camp, but no one from the NO side celebrating. People were revved up and optimistic that more change would be coming to Scotland now, but no one was violent or even very angry. (A good thing of course, but still surprising)

Today, it poured in the morning but became really nice and sunny! We walked all the way to the east side of Glasgow to a large market area called The Barras. It kind of reminded me of the Pennsauken Mart – perhaps some treasures to be found but mostly random stuff (cheap DVDs, books, packets of vinegar for 1p, etc)

Tonight, our M Arch class is going out with some recent grads from the program to bond and apparently learn some traditional Scottish dances.
Should be interesting..(?)

ps – somehow my photos uploaded slightly out of order below..hope it all makes sense!

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#school

It’s been a busy few days! On Sunday, after running more errands, we took a double decker city bus to ikea, which took about 30 minutes and had nice scenery for most of the ride. Yesterday, we had enrolment (spelled here with just one l) and I got to meet most of the other students in my program. Our class is very diverse and we have students from India, Germany, Czech Republic, and Greece. Everyone is super nice and we were given a tour of the studios and Reid Building by some recent graduates who just happened to be on campus returning some library books and got sucked into showing us around.

We had lunch in the new cafeteria and ran into two recent sculpture graduates who were very jealous to hear we were just starting our time at GSA. One of them lost all of their work in the fire, but they both loved their time here so much.

After lunch, there was an induction for all international students, followed by food and drinks at the student association. It was fun to meet students from all over (although I haven’t run into any Americans just yet) and we hung around until “The Fat White Family” concert just upstairs at the student association. It was surprisingly packed and a larger venue than I would have imagined – probably similar to the Bowery Ballroom in New York. I think we’ll probably end up going to a lot of shows there because they are all pretty inexpensive (if not free) and the location can’t be beat.

Today we had an induction for postgraduate students and then a fair of all sorts of local venues/services/art stores that we may need in the city. We got a ton of giveaways and cool posters, and they even had beer on tap from a local bar, although at 11am, I decided it was too early to start on that.

We just got back from an artist discussion at school and we have some free time before another event tonight, then we are going to dinner at a friend’s flat.

Lastly, take a look at these hills! I had no idea it was so steep here! (Although I guess it makes sense.) Definitely getting my daily workout even though I no longer live in a 6th floor walk up 🙂

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Woodlands living

We didn’t do too much today – mainly just errands and more laundry in an attempt to get our flat settled before school activities begin this week. Speaking of school, it is only a 15 minute walk away which is amazing. I had to commute to school and work for all 8 years that I lived in New York, so being able to have a short, beautiful walk twice a day is going to be great.

For dinner, we went to Chillies West End (no, not like American Chili’s), right down the street from us. It was delicious and afterwards we walked around our neighborhood until we got too cold and had to go back in!

Please take note of the heather plant we bought to make our flat a proper Scottish home! The misshaped biscuits were on sale for £1 at the pound shop, but I decided not to get them today.

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YAY

Today we moved into our new flat! It is in the west end of Glasgow, in a neighborhood called Woodlands, which is beautiful and full of students. The couple who own our flat are so so nice and not only helped us bring our massive suitcases from the hotel, but they drove us to buy sheets and towels and groceries today, which was so awesome and considerate.

We’ve spent most of the day trying to get the washing machine to work efficiently although it is small and functions as both a washer and a dryer so it has been difficult to get our new bedding washed all at once. We were super busy getting settled today and finally took a break for a nice meal at The Old Schoolhouse, which is right down the street and seems like a place we will frequent often.

This is our trek with our “small bags”

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These are the plants in our stairwell!

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This is our place!

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Steak and ale pie for a job well done:

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