Monday, October 15, 2007

Welcome Back To Me!

Hello. I am back. I just returned late last night. I had a great trip, great business trip and excellent, awesome sight-seeing tour with my mother of my soon-to-be new home city.

But let's just jump right in, shall we?

Dear People On Planes:

Seatmate: I'm trying to watch the goddamn movie. That means shut your goddamn window blind. In the short time that I've been watching the Harry Potter movie, you have flipped up the window blind no fewer than 5 times. This is on my second flight of the day, which means I'm already 7 hours in to rude plane behavior. You'll understand if I am a little irritated by, well, EVERYONE. Thank you for your consideration, and if I may? What you will see the next time you flip the window shade up will be the same goddamn thing you saw the last six times, which is, a bunch of white clouds and piercing, eye-burning sunshine. Because it is daylight, madam, and we're too far above the weather to see anything. By the flight-tracker at the moment, we are somewhere in the vicinity of Armpit, Midwest, USA. I think the sunlight and fluffy white clouds are the best this area has to offer. Please don't flip the shade up again, I'm feeling slightly murderous.

People across the aisle: Window-seat Husband. See previous note for what you can expect to see when you flip the shade up. Except that if you do it tandem with my seatmate again, I'm going to fly out of my seat and punch you. That might be interesting to you. But of course, you might not even notice, seeing as how you and your wife have been screaming at each other over the sound of your headphones for the last three hours. We have two more hours to go, and then it will be a full 14 hours that I've been dealing with rude people who have no class. Please don't become an air-rage statistic, sir. I can only take so much.

Dear wife across the aisle: Thank you! Thank you so much for jamming your suitcase into my backpack, over and over and over again, as you removed your newspaper, replaced it, removed it again and replaced it, all this time above my head because you're a pig who uses more than your fair share of overhead compartments. You are lucky that the specialty whiskey tasting glass I'm smuggling home to my husband is safely in my purse at my feet. Had you broken that glass, there would have been fisticuffs. You may have 20 pounds and a foot on me, but I have the heart of a lion, and it hasn't been fed in years.

I mean what I say,


Dear Edinburgh, Scotland:

You are so lovely. So lovely. Your city is breathtaking, and your history is something I am so proud of, not being from here notwithstanding. Your inhabitants are lovely people, so kind and so friendly, and your city has so much to offer. Thank you for making me feel so welcome, and for the lovely time you have shown my mother, who is more dear to me than I could possibly say. She loved you, and I loved you the more for it. If you weren't so expensive, I'd be thoroughly and completely charmed. As it is, you are very expensive, so I am only thoroughly charmed. Please lower your prices so you can win my heart with no restrictions.

I'll do my best to negotiate a substantial raise,


Things I did with my mother on this trip:
  • Saw the Edinburgh Castle: This is the second time I've done this. It is enough. All future guests to Edinburgh will have to do this on their own. Though I will say that David's Tower is a place I cannot go. I walk into these areas and my chest closes up and I panic. Ghosts or claustrophobia, I don't know. I've walked some castles in my life, and have never been affected by a place like I am right at these spots.
  • Saw the Holyrood Palace - royal residence and former home of Mary Queen of Scots. Awesome tour, richly restored. Fascinating, highly recommended.
  • Ate Haggis. Ohmygod. My mother had the real thing, I ate the vegetarian version. I did take a bite of hers, though, and the texture and phlegmy aftertaste is something I will try my damndest to forget.
  • Shopped. My tiny mother is a size fourteen in the UK. (She wears a 10 in the US and is taller than I am - I'm 5'8"). I have thusly decided to abstain from any caloric intake for the rest of my natural born life. I believe I would be a 50 in UK sizing. That coupled with the fact that I am a shoe size 8 in UK (the largest they go, ladies and gentlemen!), which loosely translates to a 10 in the US, makes me just want to curl up and cry. And when I say loosely translates, I mean that they don't fit exactly right, which is disheartening, because I love shoes more than life itself.
  • Took a very expensive taxi ride (but so incredibly worth it - the taxi drivers in Scotland are the greatest people, excellent sources of information and a great chat) to the Roslyn Chapel in Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland. Dan Brown has Roslyn playing a crucial part in the Da Vinci Code, which for all its detractors, was a fascinating (if not terribly well written) yarn. The chapel is absolutely breathtaking. My mother and I were transfixed by the carvings, which cover nearly every surface of the chapel, and contain significant meanings. The taxi driver told us that most people spend about 15-20 minutes in Roslyn Chapel. My mom and I spent time in the Chapel, read all the signs. I lit a candle as a hello and I love you to my Grandpa, and my mom wrote a prayer request for Lauren, and we walked into the crypt and then counted the stairs on the way back up. We kept walking over to each other and exclaiming about things. We were both so incredibly overcome by this chapel. If you have not seen it, you should. You must. I've seen some incredible churches, grand and fine, and I've never seen anything that is so arresting and affecting. We spent 45 minutes in the chapel, and both of us walked out promising to come back and spend hours. (when we don't have a taxi waiting for us, hmm?)
That is all for now. Can't give you everything at one time, what would you come back for?


Alison, Craig, & Isla said...

Wow, you did a lot in your visit with your Mum. You should've let me know you were coming...I'd have taken you to Roslyn Chapel :)

Next time.


Jonathan said...

I agree with all of your observations about travelling passengers - they truly can be the worst pigs in the known universe - and then some.

I think passengers with too much hang luggage should have it destroyed in front of them at checkin. They are warned. There is no excuse.

The same goes for people who insist on speaking in the cinema. They should be instantly fined the price of the tickets of everybody in the surrounding seats.

I think you and I would get on wonderfully in the real world lol

Alex said...


when is your actual move date to scotland? i would love to come to see you in seattle in very early 08 to catch up if you will still be there.

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog cuz I love your writing/friendship/personality/humor. SK