Sarah, London

Sarah is a junior majoring in journalism and art history in Meadows School of the Arts. During summer 2011, she is participating in SMU-in-London.

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Edinburgh, Scotland

A view of Scotland from the Edinburgh Castle.

As the train rolled away at 7 a.m., I pictured in my mind a vast countryside with rolling hills and an old-fashioned city at the bottom. While Edinburgh is a picturesque city with medieval cobblestone streets and buildings, it has a lot to offer. Aside from the beautiful castle that was built on an extinct volcano, the city of Edinburgh has a rich history, not uncommon for a European city.

Here are some fun facts I learned about Edinburgh while I was there:

  • It has 19 Starbucks (guaranteed a winner for me!)
  • Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, was born there
  • Sir Walter Scott was born there and has a monument built for him
  • Every year they hold a boot festival from July to August (If you want some boots, I suggest you pack your bags and head on over)
  • They have underground tunnels where people were sent in the 17th century if they were infected with the plague
  • John Knox’s house is there (leader of the Protestant Reformation)
  • Every street has at least two hair salons (or so it appeared). However, I think they need to replace every other salon with a dentist…
  • It is still custom to wear a kilt in your wedding

Liz (right) and I with a bagpiper outside a park in Edinburgh.

For those of you who are P.S. I love you fans, you’re gonna freak out. As we were sitting in an Irish pub on Friday night (random, because were in Scotland…), the live band started playing “The Galway Girl.” In case you forgot, or haven’t watched the movie in a while, this song plays when William (Jerry’s friend) meets Holly. Highlight of my life. Not really, but close enough. If you ever have the desire to hear it, I recorded it.

However, the one thing I found most interesting was the Scottish people’s concern of immigration. While the United States is currently facing the issue with Mexican immigration, Scotland is facing the same issue with Polish people and Asians. After talking to some native Scots, I learned that they like the Polish immigrants because they work hard but do not like the Asians because they are taking over their jobs. Not too different from the way Americans feel about Mexicans. I also found it humorous, yet incredibly interesting, that the Scottish people think it is absurd that Americans can get ticketed for jaywalking. According to two people, the government should not be able to tell us where and when we can and cannot walk. It is our responsibility to look to see if a car is coming. And, if we get hit, that is our problem. I just don’t think they understand how America works…they think it is funny that we drive our car to the grocery store instead of walking. If they ever come to America, they will probably opt not to rent a car because they think they could walk. Good luck.

This week is filled with lots of school work now that I am back in London. Tuesday is Founder’s Day…which means we will be celebrating at The Hard Rock Cafe. Tony Pederson, former editor of The Houston Chronicle and our British Media professor here, speaks highly of the Hard Rock’s burgers. I’ll let you know my thoughts Wednesday.

I feel like I have barely explored London since we travel everywhere on the weekend. But this week I am determined to check some places off my list such as Buckingham Palace (and of course the crowned jewels there) and the Titanic exhibit. If it is pretty weather, which is highly unlikely, I’m heading over to the London Eye.

At the end of this week I will be seeing sunshine and the ocean in PORTUGAL!!!! Yippee!

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