Friday, July 13, 2007

On Haggis and Mars Bars

It was only a matter of time before I got around to a more serious post... Scotland. Please do not allow me to dispense of any rumors you may have heard about Scottish weather. It really does suck as much as everyone says it does. Sorry, but I have to be honest. The funny thing about it is that, as a result, the second the sun comes out and the weather gets above 50F, everyone seems to take their clothes off. Very interesting phenomenon.

But I digress.

Because it rained nearly the entire time I was there, it was difficult to do outdoorsy things which I so love. Believe me, I tried. I climbed up that Arthur's Seat thing (or at least tried) and had to turn back without reaching the top - something I really hate doing - because I was soaked through to my underwear after only 15 minutes and knew I still had to go those 15 minutes back, plus the other 30 to Andy's house. My ipod shuffle suffered more than I did... It was in my pocket that day and now the "play" and "forward" buttons no longer work. The "back" button does, but that doesn't seem to help when you can't even play anything in the first place. Ah well.

So yes I did manage to take in some culture (though I avoided Glasgow, much to my chagrin, due to fiery Jeep attacks and Glaswegian responses - not sure which is scarier) and managed to go to Edinburgh Castle and all its associated museums, Rosslyn Chapel, the art museum, and the natural history museum. And, more importantly, I caught up with old friends from Rockstar, some of whom I hadn't seen in four years. So despite the weather, I managed to have a grand old time, which culminated in an incredible Wednesday night, the day before I left for London.

After an incredible dinner with my friend David at Martin Wishart, the only restaurant in Scotland to boast a Michelin star (we did the 7 course tasting menu - surprisingly filling considering each course is literally a TASTE), we met up with Sandy, Chloe, Duncan, Allan, Kevin, and Andy at a local pub near the office. They were all very intrigued by Martin Wishart and all, but were still upset that I had yet to try haggis or a deep fried Mars bar. In fact, I'd somehow managed to avoid typical Scottish fare altogether. With Andy as my host, I'd had fantastic Japanese, Chinese (in a secret underground restaurant that you need a password to get into - HOW COOOOOL), Indian, Thai, and Mexican food, but no haggis. Shame.

The secret underground Chinese restaurant. To most people, it's just a takeaway place, but if you're in the know you can go through the kitchen to this big dining room downstairs for the most amazing food.

So despite my already bloated belly, off we went to the local chipper, and that's where all hell broke loose.

First we started off with a little arm wrestling in the pub.


Look how excited I am!

The haggis stood no chance. Poor haggis.

Can you believe we ate this?? Ugh. Seemed like a good idea at the time...

So excited.

And of course no trip to Scotland is complete without a deep fried Mars bar!

And of course, my kind friends all insisted that it would be a wise idea to wash it all down with some "Irn Bru" (pronounced "iron brew" - catchy, eh?) to fend off any possible hangovers or indigestion.

After 3 sips of this super-powered orange soda I figured my intestines were probably a nice shade of flourescent and thought it was time to return to normal beverages. Like Guinness!

And cider!

Needless to say, I was feeling a little worse for the wear on Thursday morning when I met David at the train station for our trip to London. I slept almost the whole way and only caught the occasional half glimpse of the beautiful passing English countryside. Of course it was sunny in Edinburgh that day. And rainy in London.

Incidentally (incidentally, my new favorite word is incidentally), another thing that tastes really good the day after a haggis-and-beer-fueled night is "Lamb & Mint" flavored chips. Honestly, the first taste is revolting. But then it's rather addictive! I wish I had some now...

1 comment:

David said...

Ahh... Noelle, you missed out on Glasgow.

But do not fear, many people would say that there is no culture in Glasgow.

We call these people Edinburgh residents.