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Burns Night, Fiestas, Pedi Cabs, and more

Posted by on Sunday, January 27, 2013 in College Life, Food, General Information, International Student, Student Life, Study Abroad, Traditions.

Hello again!

This past week was filled with a myriad of activities!

Wednesday: The food in Edinburgh is actually amazing (specifically indian, chinese, and italian) but the Mexican food is horrible (so they say). I was craving me some tacos and nachos, but did not want to make a taco platter for myself. So I threw down in the kitchen and invited my friends over for a Mexican fiesta! I am not going to lie, it was good. And it was even better in the company of my friends!

Here we have some vegetables, beef, cheesy nachos, black beans and corn, and an amazing salad filled with mostly avocados and corn.

Thursday: I had class from 2-6. After class I got together with a bunch of my friends from my program to hang out before we all went out for the night. The place we were going to was a solid twenty minute walk from the flat that we were at, so we all bundled up in our coats, gloves, and hats. A few minutes into our walk three pedi cab drivers came up to us offering a free ride to our destination. At first we thought it was a scam, but the drivers told us they were in training and just needed some practice. So we hopped in the backseat and prayed that we wouldn’t get run over by a car. It was definitely an unexpected highlight of the night, and it saved us all from freezing to death! I have learned that people in Edinburgh are really, really nice. The place we went out to was a lot of fun and it was great to spend time with some of my friends in my program. Cheers to not having Friday classes.

Before we got in the peddle cabs we found a cat. I was very happy to say the least.

Friday: Hooray for not having Friday classes and waking up at 1pm. After I got out of bed I headed over to Pollock Halls (basically the commons of The University of Edinburgh) to hang out with some of my friends.

Panorama Chillin. The view from the balcony of one of my friends dorm. Arthur's Seat is on the left.

Friday night was “Burn’s Night” in Scotland! It’s okay I didn’t know what it was until I got to Edinburgh either. But Burns Night is a celebration of the very famous Scottish Poet Robert Burns, whose birthday was on January 25th. On Burns Night families and friends gather together to have a Burns Supper, featuring traditional Scottish foods like haggis (sheep intestine meatloaf, essentially), shortbread, and whiskey. My flat had a Burn’s Night supper (fo free!) where all of these wonderful Scottish delicacies were present for consumption. As a tradition, the haggis is addressed with a poem and then cut with a sword (I can’t make this stuff up) and then consumed by the people. Luckily there was vegetarian haggis at this shin dig, which was surprisingly not too horrible. The RA’s even came around offering us whiskey shots…something I will probably never see at Vanderbilt (although I can dream). My first Burn’s Night was a lot of fun! It is always exciting experiencing another culture.

The Haggis Whisperer

Saturday: On Saturday I went to the “World of Illusions” museum with one of my new friends from London. The Museum was right in the center of town and had five stories of interactive fun. There were a lot of 3D pictures, optical illusions, interactive exhibits, and much much more. We may have been the only college students there amongst a sea of third graders, but YOLO. Or should I say YOSO.

Panorama Chillin: The museum had an awesome rooftop where you could get a glance of the whole city! Just look at that castle!
Can't remember what exactly this was, but it looks cool
There was this mirror museum that took up almost a whole floor. Had to stop to take a selfie.
This was in the infinity lights room. You basically just looked into it and saw lights on lights on lights on lights.

On Saturday night I went to out with a few of my friends. It was a really fun night, but scary enough, the roof of the club literally caved in twenty minutes after we left. Thankfully no one was hurt or anything. I live a life filled with danger I tell you.

I could not have asked for a better week here in Edinburgh! I am having such a great time exploring this city, meeting new people, studying and going to class, going out, and most importantly relaxing. I finally feel settled and at “home” here.

The other day one of my friends asked me what I missed most about Vanderbilt. It took me a few moments to come up with the appropriate answer. I feel like most people would probably say their friends, or the organizations they are apart of, or perhaps the beautiful Nashville weather. My response: fried peanut tofu from chef james (cold side) on Mondays. On Mondays during the school year I drop everything I am doing for lunch and dinner to get this Vanderbilt delicacy. One time I got there too late during dinner and it was all gone. I got emotional. I don’t think I have longed for anything more in my life (SOS: PLZ MAIL ME THIS ASAP @VANDERBILT_UNIVERSITY). I found myself craving it so badly the other day that I went and made my own. To my surprise I did pretty well! Well lets just say it taste a lot better than it looks.

Just call me Chef James

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