First things first– I HATE long plane rides. I just do. I can never sleep, and my knees hurt, and actually fitting in the seats only helps so much. So after the 2 hours in SFO, and the ten hours on the plane, then three at Heathrow, 1.5 on the second plane, and the taxi ride into town, I was very done.
Thankfully I slept pretty well, and while I’m a little above my usual baseline of tired, it’s workable.
The first thing we did was to walk to the local fabric store (duh)
Mom and I by the School of Art building that burned down.
Mandors fabrics! Annoyingly about half the place is furnishing fabrics, and their notion selection is pretty tiny after a year and a half at Lacis. But the wools.
Oh, the wools. The selection was fantastic, as were the prices.
I have 4.2 meters of the herringbone twill, which is thick without being heavy and super soft! I also got a meter and a half of gorgeous black wool flannel for….something, IDK it was fuzzy and made me happy.
We discovered a intensely cute and sugary chocolate cafe around the corner– I loved my waffle with berries, whipped cream, and white chocolate ganache, but my mom was sugared out by her white chocolate and berry crepe.
We proceeded to wander around the city centre. The outskirts of it are a little shabby and reminded me a lot of downtown Pittsburgh, but the city center itself has huge pedestrian promenades with a mix of high-end and regular shops. House of Fraser was overwhelmingly loud and a lot like Bloomingdales at home, but I got to fondle some über pricey leather jackets at Belstaff and picked up a lipstick at Kilo Cosmetics since I thought my monochromatic outfit needed it.
We hit up the restored Willow Tea Room for tea- I was skeptical, as tempers were running thin and I wasn’t looking forward to all three of us at a table bickering about what to order. It turned out to be exactly what we needed, though, and we all felt a lot better when we left. It’s a beautiful space although the pastries were “eh” in my semi-professional opinion, and no one in Glasgow seems to agree with me that Gen Mai Cha Is The Best Tea.
Then I went splat.
A quick synopsis of the city so far:
Weather. Yeah, it’s colder than San Francisco. It also gets dark REALLY early. That being said, it is what I would consider being “cute cold,” where you get to layer and wear your scarves and sweaters without bundling yourself into a potato with just your eyes showing.
The People. Everyone so far has been really friendly and nice, and completely forgiving of our lack of understanding of local customs. Despite being told that people from western Scotland are completely incomprehensible I haven’t had a hard time understanding most. Some of them I have to parse a couple of times because they emphasize various syllables VERY differently.
I was going to say that more people smoke here than in Berkeley, but that’s not….strictly accurate. Let’s go with more people smoke cigarettes here than in Berkeley.
Getting Around. I somehow got the idea that the West End, the University, and City Center are far apart based on Google maps, but they’re really not. We haven’t tried public transport yet but there are a lot of buses around and it’s totally walk-able.
Food. Better than I expected, although we did see a Dim Sum place that serves haggis dumplings, which….no. There are definitely vegetarian and East Asian options
Tomorrow I’m mostly going to be on campus, which is the part I’m most nervous around.