It’s a rough life, being a blogger.
Well. Not really, but it’s tough when the internet shuts down for 10 seconds and your entry is deleted. All 500 words of it.Regardless of how many times you pressed ‘save draft’. It’s been a time, guys. I have anxiety. Issues. Quickly, apparently, accumulating more. You can add ‘distrust of the internet’ to the list – one day I might even be able to buy the expansion pack. You know what else gives me issues? Airplanes.
Cue me, a frizzy-haired, caffeine-deprived mess, awake for 24 hours on my trek to get to Scotland. I started in Moncton, New Brunswick, flew to Toronto, then to Dublin, and finally to Edinburgh. If I could have made the airport floor my home after landing, I would have.
Thankfully, the university had other plans. I was met at my terminal after collecting my baggage by a Dundee university student ambassador, who quickly took me under wing and told me all the in’s and outs of the university I’d been reading about for the last year and a half. Websites, they’re great, really, but let me tell you how amazing it is to be fed information directly from the source. Another student telling me about how much she loves the university, and how she considers it her home even after two years is nothing short of heartwarming. Even when your eyelids are heavier than your overweight luggage you somehow conned through the terminal gates the day before. And if anyone hasn’t heard of the Dundee Direct service to and from Edinburgh, I highly recommend it for both peace of mind and comfy seats. And the wonderful service and help- but its mostly the comfy seats.
As much as I would love to tell you how I was in awe of the architecture and sights on my to the uni, those damn seats got in my way. Remember those eyelids? So. Heavy. When I opened them, I was here, and being welcomed in before I could even realize it. Being a Canadian, you hear about how nice we apparently are – on a surface level, sure, but people here in Scotland? Warm. Lovely. Inviting – I can’t honestly say enough kind words to describe how easy it has been to acclimate to my new home. I think it has something to do with that delicious, delicious whiskey I keep hearing about, and as an avid researcher I might have to take some notes. Again, for research, of course.
My flatmates, girls from all over the world, are amazing people who I’m excited to get to know as the year progresses – we’ve all clicked easily, and have been on some adventures already in the short two weeks since we’ve arrived. I may have sold my soul somewhere along the line for how lucky I’ve been thus far, but I can’t pinpoint when.
We made it to The Howff (the Scot word for meeting place) a cemetery gifted to
Dundee by Mary Queen of Scots in 1564, with some of the oldest tombstones I’ve seen in my adventures so far. The flower gardens that encompass the graves are gorgeous, and add an otherworldly feel to the area, even as cars pass by on the roads around it.
This passed Sunday, we ventured straight down Perth to the Dundee University Botanic Gardens, a gorgeous collection of plants inside and out the greenhouses – they even have a highlands Eco structure, and what my friends and I have coined ‘the leaf igloo’ (we couldn’t find a description note on it anywhere, so until then that’s what it’s so
named). I’m excited to make my way there again when Autumn is in full swing, with the leaves turning red and orange and breath is made visible.
On the way to the Botanic Gardens, we passed another large cemetery named the Western Cemetery, framed by stone angels and the Latin inscription of mors vincit omnia- Death conquers all. As a CAHID student, anything with tombstones and ominous inscriptions makes me excited. And notes. They call.