Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Early morning during the first week of November, 2002.
See those red phone booths? That's where I'd called my parents the evening before. I was illuminated on a 1/3 of a bottle of absinthe, more lucid than sober consciousness allows, aware of the texture of every sound that entered my ears or left my mouth.
Down the street a bit, to the right in the haze, was a little grocery. I'd stop by, once or twice, each day to pick up a can of beans, a bottle of water, and two small fresh crispy croissants.
Around the church, in the background on the left, there were a bunch of flyers advertising the night tours of Edinburgh's underground, emphasizing the crypts.
Further down the street was a potato jacket restaurant. I'd order a potato and have them fill it with beans and cheese and chicken, or maybe a little curry instead.
Past the church, a Tesco. Past the Tesco and over the bridge to the left was a place called, by locals, Dodgy Pizza. It was open all night.
The day before was lovely. Though the rain hadn't paused for my entire stay, I went out hiking near, around, and up Arthur's Seat. Hours of mist and mud. A little blood on my hands from rock scrapes. I came back in the late afternoon, shaved off my adventure beard and took a hot shower in the tiny hostel bathroom. Then I walked to Tesco and bought a bottle of Le Fee Absinthe. I brought it back for my drinking buddies.
One of the best parts of hostel life is the international drinking crews that form randomly. That night, a South African, a Pakistani Glaswegian, and I drank the green contents of the bottle. THEN we went out drinking.
While they grabbed cigarettes, I placed the slightly enthused call to my folks. Afterwards, we three then went down to the lower streets to the pubs. There were pints. There was a place that called itself a heavy metal bar. It wasn't a heavy metal bar. I had no issue with their music; I stood on tables, shouting the lyrics to The Yardbirds and The Who songs. But we made a point to tell everyone in the building that this was not a heavy metal bar. We were escorted out of the establishment.
We went to a couple other pubs. There were pints. Lots of footie on the screens. We ascended back to High Street. Each of us finished an entire Dodgy Pizza before finding our(?) bunks in the pitch black hostel dorm rooms.
I slept for a couple hours in my clothes. Upon waking, I slid out of bed, crept out of the room, then up the stairs and outside. Morning awoke before me, but not by much. The rain never slept. The restaurants and cigarette shops were putting out their sidewalk boards.
I realized I'd forgotten to take pictures during my travels. Or maybe I'd chosen not to. My disposable camera had at least 20 photos left in it. Edinburgh was beautiful, even my $6.99 cardboard Fuji could see it.