Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A misst ye sae muckle!

Guid mornin, hou ar ye?

Welcome to my wrap up of the Land of the Gaels, the country which in fact shares the same island with Britain (yes I sealed my MENSA application yesterday), is abundant in ginger-topped outcasts and chlorophyll, and deep fries everything from their mars bars to their first born children.

Well before we kicked off on a lengthy, uncomfortable, and little-planned eight hour bus trip, my partner in crime Jenni of the Sky, Thane of the Pavement, and I and a few others embarked on a night out on town. Like many other of our cultivated nights in London, it started with cheap cocktails and free kebabs, and ended at a people-powered revolving dancefloor at a heavy dub and bass underground club at Shoreditch, where the only evidence of orderliness, staff, or security was a man at the door holding a shovel. Somewhere between these two extremities we danced on a bar while our friends in a band played. Totally not gloating though. But it was a bar. And a revolving dancefloor. In a club. Revolving. Ingenius.

After a swift recovery, some speedy packing and some nifty negotiating, we were soon on our way to SCOTLAND. Where the main exports are sheep, silly accents, and WHISKY. All of which I’m pleased to say we experienced in our weekend abroad. Arriving in Edinburgh in the middle of the Fringe Festival was mind blowing; I can’t believe I ever tried to defend Brisbane as ‘cultured’ and ‘refined’ when I arrived. Flyers and pamphlets were flung into our faces left right and centre in the most inventive of ways, while castles lined every skyline; and what excited me most of all was that I finally found where all the young people are hiding. Not in London, no, everyone’s old and worrying about tax and the economy and Katie Price’s new scandal. All the young people are busy in Scotland being ridiculously good looking art students. Though this is not true for everyone, we (in our good faith and sense of adventure) witnessed a bunch of unfortunate looking students performing improv for one of the most painful hours of my life. We were seduced by the witty title of ‘Edinburgh Fridge’ however it takes more than a pedestrian pun to pull off an hours’ improv about ‘The Esoteric Superior Paradise Process’ and ‘Michael Jackson Mischevious Harry Potter and the Troublesome Teletubbies’. Luckily our spirits were soon lifted by some classic Bells’ Whiskey and musical comedy. The walking tour was also really good. I thought Australia’s 200 year history of convict settlement and bogans was pretty impressive until I heard about Scotland’s history and the Scottish Enlightenment. Yeah there’s heaps of stuff about English Rule, pirates and Vikings, Loch Ness, Crown Jewels, haunted castles, and giving the keys of the city to a dog…but most importantly and notably in Scottish history (though has been overlooked on Scotland’s Wikipedia page…this may need fixing…) Scotland is where Harry Potter was imagined. AND WRITTEN. So there was pretty much no other option for Jenni and I than to spend our afternoon trawling through the cemetery where JK Rowling found names for her characters, dining at the cafĂ© where she wrote it, and wondering what spells would keep us warm from the cold.

The next fine sunny day we made our way to Glasgow, which I found to be hardly as impressive as Edinburgh as it chiefly reminded me of Brisbane and Queen street too much. I think we definitely saw the ‘best of’ Glasgow though – that is, the ‘best of’ the inside of a pub where 10 pounds (10 Scottish pounds mind you) got us five pints and two cocktails. That said, two of the pints were bought for us ‘because it’s nice to see a new face in this pub’ (read: we haven’t seen a female in this pub for a few years)(the pub was similar to a TAB)(yes we drank cocktails at the TAB, what are you looking at?). But then, our main agenda in Scotland: BLINK 182. With a median age of 14, the crowd was made up of fat, sweaty, Scottish emos who seemingly hadn’t showered in a few days and all ate Chinese for dinner. It was pretty rough, a few people fell on me from the sky and I have quite a few bruises, but my God blink were awesome! They played all the classics, and for the encore, Travis Barker played drums UPSIDE DOWN. That’s like, revolving, but in a whole nother direction. Revolving. Again. Ingenius.

With that we spent the rest of the night at the very cold Buchanan Bus Station Hostel before an eleven hour bus ride home. Which was followed by an hours’ bus ride home, an hours’ frantic packing, another hour on the tube to Heathrow, a dramatic and somewhat uncalled for staged scene at the security gate, and then an eight hour flight to Singapore for young Jenni as she leaves this wondrous country of Tea and Scones. Though good effort for her, three countries in one day. She’s a woman of nerve that Jenni.

As for me, I did get fired from my Earls’ Court job. No matter how much I tried to be posh, my inner bogan shone through. You can’t polish a turd. Or you can take the girl out of Wynnum, but you can’t take the Wynnum out of the girl. But on the positive side (of my being bankrupt and unable to afford rent), I have a new job at The World’s End and the club underneath called The Underworld, where some really small local-you-probably-haven’t-heard-of-them bands have played like Nirvana, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Babyshamles, Goldfrapp, Pete Doherty, and others. Really underground, really indie. You wouldn’t understand. Though it’s mainly an extreme metal club – this week on of my favourite bands Motion City Soundtrack are playing which is I dunno TOTALLY AWESOME! Not being good with names, plus working with a bunch of generic hardcores, I have been identifying my co-workers by their earring size and distinguishing tattoes. There’s Spiky Stud, Gaping-Holes-In-Ears-Mike/Mark, Middle-Nostril, Fat Man with Naked Girl on Arm, Fat Man With Long Grey Hair, and Dreadlocks from Melbourne.

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Mainly getting fired, running away to Scotland, and working in a hardcore pub. And also being extremely disappointed and worried about the lack of certain and stable government in Australia. At least with a hung parliament I kind of feel that my vote actually counted in the bigger scheme of things. My vote which I threw into the ballot box while singing Khe Sahn. My vote which I may or may not have been decided by a Magic Eraser. My vote which was definitely below the line. Australia, aren’t you glad I vote?

Well keep me updated, yeah? And as they say in Scotland,


My vote needed to be well documented to properly count.

Like hurling in Ireland and eating in Germany, Quidditch remains Scotland's national sport. This is the training pitch.

Casually trawling through the cemeteries of Edinburgh.

Oooh...aah....well I never!

In one of the best stories I've heard in years, this dog was given the keys to the city to save him from being murdered. A real life Lassie. As you can see, hundreds of years later, people from all over the world take a pilgrimage to this statue to pay their respects to a beacon of hope in a world full of misery.

MMM DEEP FRIED HAGGIS.. marginally better than Meadow Cakes

If you're gonna buy it, deep fry it!

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