Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Scotland! (Part III)

Alright everyone, time for Part III!

So Thursday night... we decided to go out to a bar. I really wanted to play pool and there was a bar that we knew had pool tables (but we had not been in yet). So we went there and got some drinks. As soon as we did we were approached by a drunken (older) Scottish man who began to sing to us. Several more drunk Scots then approached us (noticing that we were not locals) and began to ask us lots of questions about where we were from. These people had very very thick accents and were sometimes very difficult to understand. The first guy continued to sing songs (mostly older American songs) and then fist bumped us frequently at scattered intervals. We entertained their questions for while and I told the singing man (after he had calmed down, and fist bumped us, and then gave all five of us hugs...) to take it easy at which point he launched into singing Take It Easy by the Eagles (and he had only just finished singing Motown...). Yeah... 
I found out later that there was a young couple there who were having relationship problems and the girl was asking my friend for relationship advice (strange...) while her boyfriend was literally 5 feet away apologizing. There were also many other Scottish people there who were just locals and not quite as eccentric but we did not talk to them until the end of our visit. We eventually started playing pool and that was fun but towards the end this one guy (in his twenties) who had not talked to us yet became interested in another friend I was with... So he came over and was obviously quite drunk and began to question her about where she was from. Then he noticed me and asked where I was from. Upon hearing Texas his face lit up and he said something about guns and shooting. And I said yes many Texans have guns and my friend informed me that he was asking if we shoot gay people in Texas. I was like no! and then he asked if I was gay and I said no... do you think I am? and he said sort of. I asked him why but he was not able to give a coherent response and instead decided to shake my hand.

So... at that point we had had enough and decided it was time to leave. On the way out I talked to two older Scottish men who were friendly and they thanked us for coming in and told us to have a good visit (so not everyone we talked to was quite so eccentric). 

So that was a fun experience, but obviously quite strange. So then we went back to the hotel and I hung out with people a little and then retired to my room. Asa then came back while I was watching TV and we just hung out (for the only night of the trip that Asa did not go out partying) and watched TV which was nice.
The next morning (Friday) we woke up and then walked a ways to a Buddist mediation center and participated in a meditation session. It was very relaxing (duh). I think pretty much everyone in my class liked it. After that we were going to go to an art museum but it was not open yet so the group split up and I went with a lot of people and one tour leader to Loch Lomond (the same place we had dinner in the first post). It was supposed to be really pretty and we would be actually able to see it during the day. So we rode the train for awhile and then walked around the Loch (it was pretty). When it came time for lunch we split up again and I went with some friends and the tour leader to a cafe that was on the water(ish). We had a nice lunch and our tour leader bought us desserts(which were delicious) just because she is nice. We then went back to the train station and hopped from train to train to hurry to our last academic visit (we were almost late).

The last visit was called InnerSpace and is a place that does some meditation (a little differently) and gives people a place to relax and reflect. Sounds nice, but then we found out that it was a center that was somewhat based on belief. Also, scientific evidence was cited during the lecture that did not make sense to us and seemed made up. We asked many questions that everyone felt like were not adequately answered or dodged. We then participated shortly in their meditation which involved thinking (rather than the traditional emptying or clearing of the mind), listening to one of the presenters say positive statements through a microphone, and looking at the forehead of the presenter (which is where her soul was supposed to be located). The visit ended with us receiving a treat from the main presenter that was "baked with love."

So yeah interesting experience not very many people enjoyed it and many afterwards made fun of it and referred to it as a cult. I however thought that it was a worthwhile visit/experience as there were things to be learned from it. Obviously the organization worked for some people because it had something like 80,000 members world wide. There were also benefits that could be gained from participation in the organization (such as potentially relaxation and community) that did not require one to believe the things the organization said were truths about the world (such as the soul being in the forehead). So... kooky place, but I thought there were some elements that could be taken away. I think most of the people in my class were so turned off by the negative things from the start they weren't in a mindset that could consider the potentially positive elements that could be extracted from the visit (if there were any).

After that we went to our final fancy (seriously, I don't know how DIS took us to that many nice places) group dinner. We ate some good food and I talked to some people that I hadn't as much yet so that was a good time. Afterwards, there was a plan for most of the class to go out together so I went to the grocery with friends to buy some alcohol to drink while hanging out with people before we went out. Generally it was a good time, I played spoons and then just talked to people who asked strange questions and told me interesting things (influenced strongly by the alcohol). Then we left for a club (which was really far away). Once we got there not everyone in our group was let in because many of us were not dressed nicely enough. So the majority of the group left and found another club. Most of the people went in but I did not because the music sounded weird plus I was not that interested anyways. So I went with a few friends on a search for a fried Mars bar. Unfortunately everything that was still open did not make the legendary fried Mars bars so we eventually returned to the hotel defeated (I was the only one who cared). We retired to our respective rooms and I watched some TV before crashing. I have no idea what time the party goers returned, but it was late. 

The following morning we awoke and packed and got on the bus and slept on the way to the airport in Edinburgh.We were given money for lunch and had time to kill in the airport so many people bought lunch and a few souvenirs.We then flew through London (customs was extremely quick unlike when we had to go through London on the way to Edinburgh) and then home to Copenhagen. Everyone was quite tired and ready to get home.

So that concludes my Scotland journey! Everyone had a good time! Friendships were made/strengthened. Stories were made! Things were seen! Things were learned! Right. Well, if anyone has any questions or wants me to talk more about something, leave me a comment!

I hope everyone is doing well at home. I am going to go to my host family's summer house tomorrow evening and spend the weekend with them there so I am looking forward to that. I am planning on making Oreo Balls with my host siblings and enjoying my time relaxing with my host family. However I still have a lot of work so I am trying to get some of that done at the same time. And I still have to plan my two week break. Ugh. Busy times.

Everyone make Sam update her blog.

Talk to you guys again soon!


Also I hope everyone noticed that even in Scotland, not once did I need a bubble shield.

1 comment:

  1. TELL US ABOUT YOUR FRIENDS, AND MORE ABOUT THE DRUNKEN SCOTSMEN, AND ALSO ABOUT WHAT THE CULT WAS LIKE. Did you join? BAD PLAN. Also, why is there so much meditation going on all the time. Is Europe meditation central or something?