It's a Love-Hate Relationship

The more time that I spend living in Europe, the more I realize how much of an Oregonian I am at heart. As much as I love living abroad (Vienna was amazing and, I find it safe to say, Edinburgh is even better), I will always return to, and feel a special connection to, my 'home' in the Pacific Northwest. Though this is true and will always remain a fact, I have compiled a list of reason why I love and hate (or severely dislike) living in Edinburgh. I could do this with Oregon as well, but for now we'll stick with the current situation.

Reasons why I love Edinburgh:
1. I love Scotland in general. The countryside is absolutely gorgeous and it's a great place to live. The Highlands have, by far, been my favorite physical attribute which the country has to offer. I only hope to see them toward the end of summer in order to witness hills that are completely and fantastically covered in bright purple heather.
2. Scottish people! I have come to the conclusion that Scottish people are the NICEST people one will ever meet. They are quick to smile and start a conversation. Quick to help and offer a kind word whenever. It's a pleasant thing to be standing in line at Tesco and have a random conversation with the old man/woman behind you over the weather...even if you can't understand a word they say.
3. Free Museums! The fact that museums do not charge admissions is fantastic as it allows more people to see exhibits that are being presented and does not exclude poor Uni students who would not be able to afford to see the treasures within otherwise. Bravo to the Brits for this one!
4. Edinburgh's architecture, history and culture that is present in everday life. The city is saturated with all three...and more!
5. The fact that you can walk down the street anytime of the day (business hours moreso) and see at least three people playing the bagpipes dressed in traditional Highland garb. The sound of the bagpipes echoing off the concrete buildings always brings a smile to my face.
6. Enjoying a pint (or several) in a pub next to the fire with a bunch of local older men while a football match plays on the telly on a Sunday afternoon.
7. Black Medicine Coffee Shop and the fact that its identity is torn between that of a tribal Native American decor and a reggae Rastaffarian lounge. The coffee's great and the staff are fantastic as well!
8. The Spicebox! Curry is freakin' phenomenal and it's by far the best in, they deliver!
9. The charity shops that are on every corner (and in between). Similar to a Goodwill or Salvation Army in the States, but proceeds go to Research foundations for everything under the sun. There is even one for animals across the street from my flat. The best is when you find one that sells books for extremely cheap (i.e. paperbacks for 1 quid and hardbacks for 2 quid).

Reason why I dislike Edinburgh:
1. The disorganization of the Uni in general. From the administration, to the registrar...all the way down to the program management. You'd think that the Uni was new instead of a few hundred years old.
2. How bloody expensive life is in the United Kingdom.
3. The treacherous ice on the sidewalks at 1am when trying to trek uphill from New Town to Old Town. You do this at your own risk and accept whatever consequences are thrown your way with a slight grimace and a self-preserving laugh.
4. The sheer and utter lack of good peanut butter! Can not be found anywhere in the city.
5. Pigeons! Flying, disease-infested rats with wings that wake me up every morning despite the 2 pence pieces that people chuck at them out my window.
6. The fact that it's pitch black by 4:30 in the afternoon. Thankfully this is slowly changing as the days go by.
7. The GHETTO in which I live. For how much I flippin' pay, you'd think that it would be slightly better than it is, but such is Uni housing.
8. My terrible sleeping habits. I don't think that they've ever been so haphazard and insomniac-esque in my entire life...yet I do nothing productive whilst in the throes of my insomnia episodes.
9. The Uni library! It is not condusive to studying in any way. It is constantly overrun with loud undergraduates and there are NEVER enough copies of the books you need or they don't even carry what you're looking for. This makes it extremely difficult to do the reading for class.

Upon completing this list, I've come to the conclusion that the good outweigh the bad by miles! How many opportunities do you get to study at a top Uni in the United Kingdom? Honestly! Although I may say I dislike several aspects about living in Edinburgh and attending the Uni, I wouldn't trade it for anything...but I will still return to Oregon when I'm finished. Oh I yearn for your hay-fever inducing valleys and downpours that rival the rainfall of Scotland (true fact!). I'll see you in due due time.


  1. no peanut butter? oh the humanity...

    I've heard about the pigeons--harpies!!


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