08 January, 2009

Here at last.

It's been an UNBELIEVABLY exhausting day, which in essence began yesterday. I've had maybe three hours of sleep in the past twenty-four hours, but I'm forcing myself to stay awake so I'll actually get adjusted to GMT more quickly, given that I have to get up early on Monday to go register.

You would not BELIEVE how cold it is here; my only comfort is in knowing that a certain person who chose to go to Michigan is probably even more cold than I am, huddled in my dad's American University sweatshirt, sweatpants, and my red snuggle socks. The hotel/apartment suite my dad and I are staying in until he goes back to the States on Sunday is pretty chilly, but really spacious. It has a living room and a kitchen. My dad is apparently watching TV at the moment, but I can't tell from here whether or not he's fallen asleep.

Yesterday (at some point, I think around 9-ish) we boarded a British Airways Boeing 777 set for London Heathrow. It arrived at eight o'clock GMT this morning, at which point we stumbled, bleary-eyed, off the plane in search of our connecting flight to Edinburgh. It took a long time to go through customs/security, but I was both surprised and relieved when the officer glanced at my passport, stamped it, and listed me as a six-month student visitor--without even looking at any of my paperwork. I was half-awake, of course, but my poor dad was lugging my hundred-pound backpack because I just couldn't carry it anymore. It has my computer and my prayerbook in it, you understand, so of course it weighs a ton.

Our flight to Edinburgh was delayed, but I was suitably distracted by the Duty-Free Shop, which had like three rows devoted to Cadbury's chocolate. I normally hate chocolate, but for some reason that particular brand has a special place in my heart. So let that be a lesson to you all--Cadbury's chocolate can win over even the most adamant of chocophobes.

I didn't even have the energy to be afraid of the take-off on the plane to Edinburgh. I just pulled my sleeping mask over my eyes and tried to ignore everything, if only because the Airbus A2330 was pretty cramped and I had the bad luck to get the middle seat, which I loathe. We landed around 12:30, and found my luggage all right, but my dad's one bag was stranded somewhere at Heathrow. He's been yelling at British Airways on and off for hours, because they still haven't managed to send it the 300 miles north to Scotland.

Still, my dad's pretty calm. We went for an agonizingly long walk today, something like three miles uphill on cobblestone to the Royal Mile, and then we walked back in the dark. It's such a beautiful city; I'm taking lots of pictures tomorrow to post here and on Facebook--I've never seen a place at once so old and so splendidly contemporary. I'm entranced by everything here: the dialect, the stores, the stone. I know that at some point pretty soon my homesickness is going to kick in and I'll be crying but for now I'm just trying to appreciate what a great opportunity I've been given.

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