Good morning, Land o’ the Scots

If the Scotch knew enough to go in when it rained, they would never get any outdoor exercise. – Simeon Ford
For most of you, the sun is just beginning to peak its grey head above the horizon. Here in St. Andrews, it is nearing afternoon tea time of 2pm. It is also one degree Celsius. As far as I can tell, that’s about 34 degrees American. We (the 19 students + our professor and his family of three boys) just landed in Scotland yesterday after traveling all day Sunday and Monday on big planes and small planes and buses oh my.
Last week, I traveled to Texas for an early start to my journey. I figured I wouldn’t want an additional five hours tacked on to my flight time to London, then Edinburgh. Pat on the back for a good idea.

Last American meal of Fuddruckers and a Sam Adams.

I packed my bags, couldn’t fit everything, so I repacked my bags, then bought a better rolling bag, and packed them again. Suffice to say, I am an expert packer by now. I said cheers (the chic goodbye in Scotland) to America on Sunday afternoon. Wait, no. Evening. Yes, that is right, my friends. Our gigantic, packed plane was stuck on the tarmac for three hours. We couldn’t unload because we were technically on international turf, and many passengers would have to go through immigrations just to get off of it.
The handsomely British pilot said that minimal damage had been done to the luggage section and that Boeing was looking at pictures to ensure its safety. The hours slowly ticked by. Then the news came. The engineers at Boeing approved us for flight! But wait! We need signatures. We had to wait an additional hour for those darned faxed signatures to come through. Classic hurry-up-and-wait. After the lovely delay, we arrived late in London, then Edinburgh. We were just in time for afternoon tea, which was unfortunately forgone for the next bus trip we took to the small coastal town of St. Andrews. Twenty hours later, our bus entered the picturesque hamlet.It was dusk when we arrived on the green hills and cobblestone streets of the town. First thing I noticed, even in the dark, 

Ah, the first meeting is but the sweetest. Really, you didn't have to rain for me. But seriously.

was how tiny everything is. The sidewalks are as thin as slivers. We were each dropped off at our dorms individually, and told to meet at a pub called Little Johns in two hours if we wanted free food. In that moment, when I stood in the blustery cobblestone corner watching the bus roar away into the dark, I was thankful for my wee bit o’ confidence that I was born with. Imagine how much MORE frightened I would be if I didn’t have the natural arrogance of the Bensons. Psshaw.

So, after finding my room (it’s a corner room at the end; I have to go through eight doors to get there. I feel like Alice in Wonderland falling through the hole) and unpacking, I wandered into the darkened streets of St. Andrews, my hungry belly urging my tired body forward. I got lost, of course, and was found by my fellow Baylorites wandering directly out of town. They righted me, and we found the pub that serves ‘the best British bangers’. Ironically, the Scottish pub was closed and so we had to eat at the only Mexican food place in town. So much for escaping Texas.

OPPOSITE sides. Have to mix the water in the sink to get warm water (not too hot, not too cold, thank you Goldilocks)

After a freezing night huddled in slippers, long johns, a turtleneck, and my signature ‘Squeeze Your Cheese’ sweatshirt, I woke up to find myself slightly more rested and definitely more stuffy than the night before. I eventually found the old fashioned wall heater (painted the same color as the wall and hidden behind my absent roommate’s desk, DANG YOU) and learned that Hot and Cold tabs are on opposite sides. So far I’ve spent the day a) looking for the elusive internet, b) buying all the cough medicines I can find for my annoyingly sudden cold, and c) trying to understand the locals when they speak.

This looks like the ad for "American tourism in Scotland".

The last endeavor hasn’t been too successful, but I did meet a lovely American girl who works in a quaint cafe with an excellent cup o’ hot chocolate. Funnily enough, her family is from the town I went to middle school and she went to the same high school as my brother Christian High School. Funny how small this world really is.
Can’t wait to prey on the foods of this town. Rest, then arise to discover the hidden treasures that the rain leprechauns are hiding from me.

Classic coat-and-'brella scene. Very common here.

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