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The Writings on the Stall

Tuesday, 2003-01-14

still here

Despite all curiosity out there as to my whereabouts (I am only kidding myself) I am here. Back in Austin. After a grueling 24 some odd hours of traveling, I got home. The past two weeks have really just blown by. Probably because I have been going to bed at a decent hour. Only to wake up before 7, though.

As with school, which has started, I'm very pleased with every one of my classes. This however is subject to change. Hopefully I will do better this semester (having had my grades tank in the Fall). I'd say my outlook is pretty positive right now, because I will be taking classes that I am very interested in.

I am, however, a little nervous as to how an interview I had today went. Hopefully it went well. We'll find out tomorrow if I make the first cut.

Friday, 2003-01-03

leaving scotland, coming home

Very soon I will be heading home. Myself and the rest of my extended family will be picked up at 0800 by a "people-moving" company. At which point it will most likely set in that I am going to miss Scotland (even more so than I already currently do).

This isn't a tear-filled goodbye though. I honestly can't wait to get back to Austin, school, and a lil' pup by the name of Sigmund.

Thursday, 2003-01-02

thanks scotland

Scotland isn't only breathtakingly beautiful (that alone would have been enough to satisfy me). It is also a non-biased macroscope which enabled me to see my country and home in a different light.

Here's a very basic list of ten of the many things I learned during my stay:

  1. Electrical outlets are configured differently.
  2. Smoking is common. Very common. I honestly witnessed a 12 year old (based on my own guesstimation) requesting a cigarette.
  3. Cars are smaller.
  4. Petrol (a.k.a. gasoline in the States) costs almost three and a half times the amount it does in the States.
  5. I could have legally drank at the age of 18. Probably earlier.
  6. American beers are imported to the UK. What tha?
  7. Mel Gibson has been found on many occasions to be William Wallace's model for the creation of statues and t-shirts. This "What tha?" definitely trumps the previously mentioned one.
  8. British news is better than bloodthirsty state-side news (British Pop does still suck, however; work on that).
  9. Europeans think that we Americans are all gun-toting non-voters. Guess what? They're right.
  10. The United States is truly The New World, comparatively.

Scotland has been a welcoming host and teacher. And I am extremely grateful to the many people who have shown this American both kindness and good times. Cheers!

Wednesday, 2003-01-01

an unexpected form of precipitation

I have been drizzled and rained on. A couple of days ago I was pelted by sleet. But I woke this morning to something that I didn't think I was going to be lucky enough to see: snow.

At first I wasn't phased, being somewhat tired and pessimistic (only because the "snow" we have in Houston never sticks), but then I was awakened by Catherine. She told me and Gemma that the snow was sticking. I jumped up to the window to a view that I think I have seen on a postcard somewhere: houses and evergreen trees blanketed with snow.

After throwing on my clothes and grabbing my camera, Gemma and I ran outside.

A barrage of snow? What's this all about. Oh, right...Catherine. I should've known she had an ulterior motive in waking us up. This meant war. She asked for it.

David finally made it out of bed and down to walk around in the snow with us. We all headed to the park. Our mission: to make a snow man. The snow packed quite nice and easily, and we formed a snow man big enough for anyone to be proud of. Now for the fun part. Tearing it down. I lunged at the middle section (the belly of the beast) and came out sliding on the snow on the other side. Catherine took a picture mid-flight (hopefully it will turn out). Only afterwards did I think of the 3-5 second movie recording feature on David's digital camera. Hopefully it snows again tomorrow. If it does, we shall build another snow man and I will repeat my death-defying stunt.

new years

For Scotland, the year 2003 has already began. Six hours earlier than for Austin. Hogmanay has come and gone (which I had never heard of before this trip). And so has karaoke, which cruel Time kept me hostage to. Hopefully you weren't in Scotland or anywhere else in the UK for that matter. Because somewhere nearby a dog started howling at my rendition of "American Pie." Thus causing a chain reaction that is spreading as I type.