You’re an onion. A big, fat onion with one hundred layers. And sometimes you make me cry, but I still like you.
I judged you from the moment I met you. Like hard core totally unfair Simon Cowell type judgment.
Earlier that day, your distant neighbor, Edinburgh, welcomed me down from a big jet plane with gentle rolling hills and a giant ancient castle and I was quite contented. You, on the other hand, were less of a gentleman.
Alright, fine, that’s not fair. By the time the train dropped me off, I was tired, and tired of traveling, and, if we’re being honest, I wanted to be greeted by Ryan Gosling holding up a bouquet of peonies and sign that said my name. And I wasn’t. Which is no fault of your own. I think.
What I am trying to say is, my first moments here weren’t exactly rainbows and butterflies. I was seeing everything through a pair of tired and moody eyes. Instead of seeing a beautiful old jute mill converted into a long string of apartments, I saw an old, dirty warehouse and I was the warehouse mouse. Instead of seeing a street lined with historic buildings and cobblestone paving, I saw scaffolding piled 5 stories high and traffic that stank and made a lot of noise.
The window of my flat offered me a lovely view of concrete walls and small windows making up the city police station across the road and all I could hear was the relentless zoom of cars accelerating from the nearby stop light. Living away from home is nothing new to me, but I was getting the feeling that I wasn’t wanted here, and feelings of wishing I was anywhere familiar were rushing over me.
The next day, I ventured out of the little self-pity bubble that I had created. It was like I woke up in a different city!
You get my point.
A trek across the Tay bridge, a walk through campus, a hike up to the Law, a stroll through Overgate Mall, suddenly your whole city pieced itself together, I was oriented and I felt welcomed.
Turns out I feel like a brat for taking your blue sky, sea breeze, and cobblestone streets for granted that first day.
So, Dundee, I owe you credit where credit is due. You’re lovely. A lovely onion. I’ve chiseled away at your layers the past few weeks, and I must admit you were hiding something special. You put on a poker face that made it really hard to want to get to know you, but I am so glad that I did. There is more charm among your city streets and river walks than I could even begin to explain to anyone who hasn’t been here. I have quickly learned that you are a city that reflects what ever attitude I choose to have. That’s a cool thing.
That gets me thinking, maybe you aren’t a flaky onion after all. Maybe more like a delightful chocolate wonder ball. Ask me in a year.
Oh, and PS: Thanks for being so kind and compact, you saved me from having to spend money on a bike.
Happy to be here,