One week ago, I set foot on Scottish soil for the fourth time -- and this time I had no ticket back arranged. I made a one-way reservation with trembling heart and got on the plane one week ago yesterday. And now I am here.
The week has been full, it seems -- full of getting to know a new place, a new city. I purchased a bus pass today, one that has my photo on it, and realized that I am here for a while. I knew that before, but with this purchase, it really began to sink in that this is where I am settling.
I have visited three banks to ask what it would take to open an account. I never thought about needing a passport for a bank account before, but I will need it here as proof of identification.
Tomorrow I will make a test run on the bus system to find out how long it will take me to get to the church on Sunday morning. They have a 9:00 a.m. family service, so I may have to leave quite early to make it with the reduced weekend schedule.
My search for a pet-friendly apartment continues. I had set up a viewing for one today that probably would have overlooked the water -- but had a call this morning cancelling it because I had been beaten to the draw. Someone had made a holding deposit already. Then I found one that is situated between Edinburgh and the rural parish I will be serving during my second six months. If they take pets, the location would be just about ideal -- close to the city, but in a smaller town. I think I would like that a great deal.
A couple of observations from today:
I began the morning watching a Scottish squirrel taunt a Scottish cat. Some things look the same wherever you are. The squirrel didn't seem at all concerned -- no tail-twitching or chattering. It would come just close enough for the cat to think there was a hope of capturing it, then scamper away on the railing of the fence on which it was hanging. You may guess how this episode ended. The cat was left with hope and nothing else.
The second thought has to do with umbrellas and wind-blown hair. One should never, ever leave the house here without an umbrella attached to one's body. If you don't have one, you should obtain one as quickly as possible, because you WILL need it. It doesn't hurt to have a pair of sunglasses, either, because you will be alternating their use with the umbrella on 10 minute cycles.
As to the wind-blown hair and questionable hair-dos? All I can say is that I am glad I have short hair. The wind blows enough and hard enough here that any hairdo you have is going to be a wind-blown style whether or not you meant for it to be that way. And if it is flat, it is only because you have put a hood up to stay dry because you forgot to bring your umbrella.