Adventures in being a tourist.
I hate being a tourist.I hate being corralled around a museum or historic site like cattle, remaining at the mercy of the tour guide or exhibit limitations.I also hate having my personal space encroached upon by other clueless tourists 'situationally' unaware of who they're bumping into.I hate the feeling of drifting over, around and atop something but not being a part of it.I hate being a tourist.
That being said, experiencing a big and fast city like Edinburgh was and is dizzying.There is noise everywhere distracting a person from really feeling or thinking anything.I can see what the allure to that is all about when you'd rather not think about yourself or real life for a while. But the problem is… a person can get stuck in that state of mind and not see how much life they are truly missing.I know.I used to 'thrive' on that kind of loud living.I put thrive in parentheses because it was a false sense of moving forward balancing on very loose footings.The energy is addicting - it is fun, exciting and engaging… the life of the mover and shaker.I was surprised to find myself feeling suffocated and confused.My attention was being pulled in every direction and fast flickering of the people all around threatened an epileptic seizure.Although the tours, festival walking and various performances were entertaining, it all left me feeling more exhausted than filled.My new friend and I ended up leaving it all instead for a pleasant drive through the coastal country and towns south of Edinburgh.I say pleasant, but that's relative.We were driving upwards of 100 miles an hour at some points in our foray.But I myself still find driving at breakneck speeds to be quite pleasant.Which is good because it shows I'm not turning into a complete prude… not yet at least.But seriously, I again found that I've grown to enjoy very different things.I've grown to prefer being around genuine life rather than the façade of what cities can sometimes be.I prefer open spaces so my thoughts have room to breathe.I prefer the richness of simplicity - not the emptiness of excitement.I prefer the quiet.
Nonetheless, I am so very glad I got to see this city in all it's noise.Aside from a very long history, it is moving forward fast in the direction of progress and progression. The arts are alive in this town!I commend that greatly.An actor can thrive here during festival time in Edinburgh.So many shows there isn't enough time to see them all.The stories are diverse and the talent varies widely.Everywhere you turn there are street performers, costume-clad actors promoting their shows, vendors peddling their hand-made crafts and people in throngs just coming to see.My favorite site was all the bagpipers standing on random corners letting that beautiful instrument sing.My favorite was the old lady on the other corner smiling broadly as she played her heart out on the according.Or Will, the copper sheet artist who passionately talked about how he made the engraving on the journal I bought.Simply beautiful.And then their was the food… One would live their entire life under the threat of heart disease out here.Everything is fried.I do not like fried food, but when in Rome… Deep-fried Mars bar; Deep-fried Brie cheese; Fish and Chips (fat fries); Iron-Bru (a local bubblegum-tasting caffeine soda); haggis-stuffed chicken; Tatties (slightly fry-flashed potato balls); peas and gravy… the list goes on and on.And still… I am having no problem digesting this stuff compared to what I have to eat where I work.I guess all of that made for an iron stomach… But anyway!
And then there are the people.I met a group of local Mormon boys and spent an evening with like-minded individuals.That is very refreshing, having someone to talk to about things I've rarely gotten to talk in depth about for a long time.There is strength in numbers, and for that I am grateful.Another group of people I'm grateful to have crossed paths with are those who've floated in and out of the hostels I've stayed in.I met some people that were just gems of inspiration -creative, intellectual or adventurous individuals who are all there for different and unique reasons.I met one woman who was a psychologist and we talked about psychoanalytical things. Another girl and I the other night conversed about writing and theorizing.Last night I met a girl who was there with her new husband on their honeymoon - in a mixed gender dorm room - on their way to go hiking where I'd just come from.All sorts of people come and go.It has been a very rich experience I will always cherish, but one I'm actually ready to let become a memory. This has been incredible, but I miss home.The faster I can get back to work the sooner I can get back home.But not yet.I've got a few more very important things to do before I head back: church and temple.I've rested the body and mind, and now I must fill the spirit.It's just my way of doing that and thanking the Lord for all He's blessed me with during these past three weeks, especially.
I'm grateful for the adventure.