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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Day 3.

Today Dad left 😦 and I had to switch to a tiny hotel a few blocks away for one night with my roommate, Claudia. The bathroom is like a cylindrical tube about the same size as a fridge.

Seriously, tiny:

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We spent the afternoon wandering around and figuring out where to buy things for the flat once we are settled in flat tomorrow, although it comes furnished.

This evening we stopped for a quick dinner at The Art School, which is a really cool place/ bar/music venue/restaurant/gallery and also the GSA student association. After, we went to see a fashion show of works by the textiles students at the Reid Building. Felt just like being back at Parsons!

Now we are back in our micro hotel room trying to take it easy before the big move tomorrow! Eek!

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THIS IS MY NEW FLAT!

More photos to come when we move in on Saturday! Yesterday we viewed the most decrepit, terrible flat which made me really miss my beautiful New York apartment and its structural integrity. (No joke.) Today we found this place which was like a dream!

We also had a delicious meal tonight at Ox and Finch, recommended to us by some very VIP friends. The highlight was this amazing buffalo mozzarella with prosciutto, peaches and mint.

On hold.

I was supposed to be waking up in Glasgow today.

Instead, I woke up in New Jersey.

My visa has not yet arrived so I had to cancel my flight on Friday and am currently waiting for any news from the UK Consulate and/or fedex.

Meanwhile, Dad is in Glasgow, trying to make the best of the situation – I just hope I am able to get there before he has to come home!

I feel I have subconsciously always known I would end up in Glasgow and I’ve been trying to make this dream happen for so long, that it almost doesn’t totally shock me that there is one last hiccup along the way. I know in a little while, everything will work out and all of the stress and anxiety will have been worth it.

Like John Lennon said (and Mom reminded me after I cancelled my flight), “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”