An American Accent

Friday was the first day of class. It was somewhat strange to enter into an educational environment after spending the last couple of days solely enjoying the hospitality of Edinburgh, Scotland.
In order to get to our rented classroom, we walked through an affluent neighborhood that reminded me of the posh, Queen Anne neighborhood in
Seattle, except with houses made of stone that probably date back hundreds of years. The classroom space that we rented was in a quaint hotel across from a beautiful, stone church with a bell that rang on the hour- it was all very European.
In class, we discussed the unavoidable experience of feeling extremely displaced when first arriving to a foreign country- even a Westernized one like Scotland. People inevitably treat you differently, and that isn't always a good thing. It is also very strange to be the one with the accent-people often ask me to repeat myself, even when I am speaking slowly.
On Thursday, we spent a couple of hours on a walking tour of Edinburgh, the highlight being Edinburgh Castle. It was odd to explore the dungeon, and realize that the Scottish were quite feared in years past, and there was even an engraving of an American flag on one of the prison doors that was carved by an American prisoner (see picture). On the way home from our tour, Katherine, Kelsey and I got a bit turned around, and we ended up taking the scenic route. It is suffice to say that I don't know how many miles we walked, but we had a good appetite for dinner that night.

Here are a few more of my pictures so far:

The yellow flowers were growing all over downtown- they smell like coconut!
The little cottage was at the end of a large garden space downtown, I think that it may be the gardener's cottage- I took this picture for you mom!

Finally, the tower with the spires is Scotland's monument to the author Sir Walter Scott who was native to Edinburgh. Prior to Scott's writing, traditional Scottish bagpipes and kilts were outlawed by the ruling English, but his novels managed to popularize Scottish culture and heritage in England. King George IV was so inspired that he not only repealed the oppressive law, but also visited Scotland wearing a kilt himself.

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