Life In Edinburgh

Quick Reference

Why here?
Where is here?
Who is with me?
What am I doing?
Where else?
Do I have photos?

How I Arrived Here

By train. Which I got to by way of a taxi. Which I got to by way of a big Boeing 747 (as opposed to a small Boeing 747). All of which was courtesy of the British Government (meaning the taxpayer) and the Marshall Scholarship of which I am a recipient. It never really occured to me that I would spend two years of my life in the capital of Scotland, but here I am.

Where I Am

Another question that is best answered with the aid of a few links. Edinburgh, as I've just written, is the capital of Scotland, which is currently part of the United Kingdom. Honestly, I don't quite understand the various differences between the United Kingdom and Great Britain so I tend to use them interchangeably. However, as any Scottish lad or lass will tell ye, there's a wee bit a difference tween the Scottish and the English. So don't get the two confused.

Here's some help in gaining your bearings, an online tour of the city. To be more precise about my location, I've spent my two years here living in Mylne's Court, a University owned flat very near the Castle of Edinburgh. For the curious, here's the view from my window. Which is just up the road from Holyrood Castle, the official domicile of the Queen when she visits with her husband, who just happens to be the Duke of Edinburgh. You can locate the castles on this map, which requires a PostScript viewer to view. My classes are all in the James Clerk Maxwell Building on the King's Buildings Campus of the University. Conveniently enough, I also have a link to a PostScript map of that.

Who I'm With (And Who I've Been With)

Edinburgh is a lovely city (although the weather can get a bit windy and chilly at times) and I've been fortunate enough to live with two groups of great guys. I stayed in the same five person flat both years, not because of price but because it's darn convenient to almost everything in Edinburgh (except my department!). Durning that time I've lived with seven other people, as Joe stayed for two years as well.

For whatever reason, I readily recall a person's country of origin and rarely recall their last name. Probably because I learn about a person's country from them and don't really need their last name. Anyway, the first year in Mylnes I lived with Joe from Crete, Greece; Mark (on the right) from Ireland; Ken (on the left) from Kent, England; and Neil from Hemel Hempstead, England. Actually, that year places or origin were pretty important. If we couldn't make fun of where we were from then things might have gotten personal.

The next year, as I said, Joe stayed and the other tree blokes moved out. Moving into the empty rooms were Marcus from Hong Kong, Mostafa (on the left) from Egypt, and Sundram from Sctoland. A different mix of people, but we manage to survive quite well. Actually, we almost didn't make it! One vacation we had a bit of excitement.

One of the big events in our flat was Joseph's wedding. On 23 June, 1997 he married Vannessa, a Yank from Tennessee. The wedding was in Crete, a few friends went down for it (although I wasn't among them). I do have a couple of photos from the ceremony. The officiating priest is almost just what one would expect.

What I'm Doing

My routine is pretty much the same as it would be at Tulane, where I did my undergraduate work. Probably because I do what I like to do and tend to not take much advantage of the locale I happen to be in. Or else I choose to be in places where it's quite easy to enjoy the activities I like to do. In any case...

To stay in shape, I spend a fair amount of time working out or running. I've never been able to get buff or bulky during an academic year because the combination of a hectic and varying schedule and the availablility of so many other tempting activities (clubs, pubs, work, and research) tends to knock exercise a bit lower on my list of priorities than it is during the summer. The summers, becuase they usually find me with a normal 9-5 job, are much more organized than the rest of my year so I make going to the gym part of my daily schedule. But, while at Edinburgh I've been going to the gym and doing Nautilus (free weights are a bit dodgy here) and aerobic stuff (bikes, Versa climbers). On those rare days when the sun is shining and I'm not noticing this from the inside of an office, computer lab, or lecture room, I go for a run. There is a lot of beautiful scenery and some excellent places to run, so those days are really enjoyable. It's kind of special to go running up Arthur's Seat, look out at the city, go around a bend (uphill all the way, of course) and see a quaint duck pond with kids riding bikes and families sitting or strolling, and then take one more turn and be confronted with the Firth of Forth, a beautiful bay. It's about 5 miles around and uphill at least half way, so I've got to get back in shape.

When I'm not breaking into a sweat and not drinking (which really needs no explanation. It's quite a simple activity. Ususally accompanied by dancing or listening to music. And occasionally even talking to someone.) I can usually be found in front of a computer. I'm quite sociable about it and the fact of the matter is that I use it to keep in touch with all sorts of friends and family. So, about an hour or so each day is spent on email. Then about another five or six hours each day is spent on doing work or messing around. You've got to remember, this is my livelihood. My built in excuse for being on the 'puter is that my degree depends on it.

Where Else I've Been

Have a gander at my little Page of Places. It's a collection of links to places of various degrees of importance to me.

Last modified: Sat Jul 18 15:26:13 BST 1998