Europe - day 2: Edinburgh is not L.A.

Today, I tidied up my room before doing anything else. It was as if my luggage, after being crammed and stuffed and re-stuffed all day yesterday, in a fit of relief, had exploded once it finally reached this itsy bitsy little hotel room! After that, I went downstairs for a traditional Scottish breakfast. I didn't take a picture 'cause I thought that might be weird, but here's one from Wikipedia that looks just about the same.
It was quite tasty. Mine looked a lot like this but also had a tomato, 2 big slabs of bacon that looked way too, um, well, thick and greasy, and meaty to eat, and some scrambled eggs. Quite a breakfast. Anyway, you see that black thing off to the bottom left? My plate had that too. I kept thinking, man, this is so good! That was my favorite, along with the mushrooms. So much so that I even bothered to read the menu to find out what it was and come back and look it up online (which is unlike me, I never randomly Wiki stuff). It's called black pudding. Doesn't that sound harmless? It sounds like dark chocolate or something. It ain't dark chocolate. It's sausage saturated with blood! It's scabby boudin! Thank God I'm Cajun, and used to eating things like cracklins and boudin and alligator and frogs and crawfish so I'm not too freaked out by this little breakfast incident (I am a little grossed out though)!

It's rainy here. And cold. And dark. Sunrise at 8:30. Sunset at 4:00. But buses run all day and all night, the clubs stay open until 3am, everything is green, and somehow the weather is quite adaptable. Edinburgh is not L.A.

Today, I had to walk a ways to make change. I brought a bunch of traveler's checks, which I've never used before. It's cool that they're refundable if they're stolen, but from the looks of it, you can't really use them anywhere. I took a bus to the City Center and walked through a park up to the Royal Mile. I visited a few touristy shops and went to a couple of museums. Came back here and had a couple of Scottish beers downstairs, then went out to eat Indian food with my new friend Osmond who's the manager here at the hotel. Britain is definitely not known for its local food. But the Indian food in Britain is the best. Well, possibly second to India. Possibly.

We came back to the hotel and sat down in the bar, which is incredibly poorly lit, and closed, and hung out with a couple of other of the hotel staff. Guess what was on the 'tele'. American Dad. That was great. I've heard so many stories about "stupid Americans." Osmond kept telling me about how he used to live right by the Edinburgh castle and Americans would stop him right in front of it and ask him how to get to it. (Below, there's some pictures of it I took today, it's quite obviously the castle. stupid americans.)

We were telling jokes. I heard some Scottish ones and told some Cajun ones. And we all told some blond jokes. But I was thinking "there are no American jokes". Then I thought, oh yeah. All you need is stories about Americans. You can't make that shit up. We are funny enough as-is. (See black pudding, above).

Well, that's about it for today. But I've got to say, I'm really glad that you guys are reading this. These blog entries are my means of not being alone when I see something neat or think something's interesting! So by proxy, you're on vacation here too! Thanks!

PS, today I learned that gout used to be a sign of prestige because you had to eat and drink lavishly to get it. Humph!

animated gifs from Library of Congress photos

Kevin J Wier makes animated gifs using old photographs from the library of congress flickr account. ...