18 January, 2009

Ten weeks left to go! Wooh!

Despite the pessimism of my entry title I really am very excited to be here. While I'm still getting used to the city and the life and everything, I've started to find my footing and I am already starting to love Edinburgh fiercely. I'm hoping that will make it harder to be homesick, but as I've only been here a little over a week I'm not surprised that the homesickness hasn't started to sink in. One of my flatmates said that just now it feels like camp, and she's right. Everything's new and exciting and beautiful but once it starts to sink in that I can't go home until the end of March (and I'm going home @ spring break; most of the kids here are staying through May) I'll probably go insane.

I cleaned my room today, in a marginal effort to make myself feel better, and bought a blanket, because I haven't been able to sleep without the quilt that I left back in the States. Last night I went on a "terror tour" of Edinburgh's High Street; I got to see where the Tolbooth used to be (as well as hear some pretty gruesome descriptions of how the Scots tortured and subsequently burned witches), saw a torture chamber which for some obvious reasons included a chastity belt, and got to see the very haunted Vaults beneath South Bridge. Apparently the Vaults is one of the most haunted places in the city, and I can see why. It's cramped and claustrophobic and apparently during a city wide fire the people who fled down into the vaults were literally roasted to death by the hot stone.

Yesterday I also saw The Elephant House, a cafe that was apparently the birthplace of Harry Potter, and I've realized, somewhat belatedly (i.e., I was here five years ago and never noticed this) that the city of Edinburgh shares a lot in common with the world JK Rowling created. It's all cobblestone and old stone buildings and narrow, crowded streets; you walk around Old Town and the sensation is one of something phenomenally ancient and magical. I'm starting to see why this city inspired so many writers. It's like it gets into your head.

I'll write more when I have a better opportunity to do so, but I should probably be working on some homework right now. Hopefully by the time I write my next entry I'll actually understand some of the issues of the various Jacobite rebellions.

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