16 August 2004


A lot of people remark that Edinburgh always smells of hops/generally alcoholic. I tend to think that Edinburgh always smells of toasted brown bread, but maybe that's just me and my innocence/slightly skewed sense of smell.

Yes, I'm in a city which many people remark as being one of the most beautiful cities in the world. When I look out across Edinburgh, I generally just see cobblestones. I may not be one for appreciating amazing architecture, but a cheap sexual thrill will always bring a smile to my face.

Again, I've found myself in a city where by comparison I start thinking that London's cold, unfriendliness where no-one looks at anyone in the eye is actually rather pleasant. On Saturday night, I was on my way to see a show at the Assembly Rooms and while I was waiting to cross the road, a coach load of tourists passed me. You could almost imagine that the tour guide up the front had announced "And in front of us, you will see a tall... gothicy... um, building. And if you look out the left hand side of the bus, you will see a lady in a wheelchair waiting to cross the road!" as every single person turned to stare at me as they passed. The coach was part of a fleet, as two further coaches also passed by, again, with every passenger turning to have a quick gawp. You can almost imagine mobile phones going off along the second and third buses as their mates on the first bus phoned to say "Look out to the left quick... a cripple!"

I'm staying in a youth hostel which, for the other 11 months of the year when there's no major festival going on is a university hall of residence. This means that rather than having to share a bedroom with 7 strangers, I actually get a room all to myself (depressingly it's about twice the size of the bedsit I live in). I get to share a kitchen and bathroom with the other three inhabitants of the "apartment". I'm worried that at some point, someone's got the purpose of those two rooms mixed up, as the stench of wee in the kitchen is unbelieveable.

In the bathroom, someone has left a can of deodorant by the sink. It's the Spanish version of "Sure", and despite all the logo's, fonts, and other brand tradmarks being identical, it's not called "Sure". It's called "Rexona". Interesting bit of trivia. The thing I found most interesting about my "something to read on the toilet" Spanish lesson was that Spanish for "anti-perspirant" is "anti-transpirante". At least know I know what'll be an effective weapon should I ever end up in a fight with the invisible man.

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