Settling In

I’ve been asked several times in the past couple weeks, mostly by hopelessly lost tourists looking for directions, whether I live here. And I’m never really sure how to answer. I mean, I do live here, at least temporarily, although I’m not from here. I’m not Scottish, I didn’t grow up in Edinburgh, and I still sometimes have trouble understanding that (sexy) Scottish brogue. But in terms of giving directions, I know the city well enough now that I can usually help them out, at least a little bit.

Fall colours  Walking up the Salisbury Crags

This always gets me thinking. When people talk about study abroad, they almost always touch on “immersing yourself” in the culture (at least they do at a liberal arts haven like Pomona). And ever since I got here, I’ve worried about whether I’m “immersing” myself, however much you truly can in another English-speaking country. I may have not adopted a Scottish accent (yet) or met the Scottish love of my life, but when tourists mistake me for a local, I realize that I am no longer just a sightseer. I’ve reached that (slightly awkward) balance somewhere between local and tourist. I know my way around, I no longer have a desperate need to see all the sights, and I can get away with hiding my American-ness, at least until I open my mouth. I’ll never be able to call myself Scottish, but that doesn’t mean Edinburgh doesn’t feel like a home.

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A Little Bit of Real Life (Ugh.)

Fall in the Meadows

Reading this blog-of-sorts, you might be under the impression that I’m not studying abroad, that I’ve actually taken the semester off to have fun, meet new people, and see new things. And two days ago, I might have said you’re kinda right. Procrastination has been my best friend this past 6 weeks. Without any assessment or accountability for my work, it gets harder and harder to convince myself to do the work now rather than later, especially when there’s way more fun things calling your name!

Totoro and Finn!  Getting ready to audition for the next James Bond

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