Thursday, September 15, 2016

Planes, Trains, and Haggis

September 15, 2016

                This past Sunday (September 4th) my mom and I began the long journey to Glasgow, Scotland via the Baltimore Washington International airport. The check in process’ and security lines were uncharacteristically quick, everything going off without a hitch. I took this to be a good indication for how the rest of the day would progress. Almost as if sensing that our day in the airport was going too perfectly our flight suddenly got delayed just enough to squash any chance of making the connection to Glasgow. The woman working at the ticket counter looked at us with eyes half glazed over and casually gestured to a pile of cards with a helpline number on them. American Airlines told us to go back out to the front desk before security to see if they could issue a new ticket for a different flight. We waited in line to speak to a representative and when we finally did the only flight they had was on British Airlines at 22:00 that night (it was 16:00 at the time). So with our bags rechecked into the correct flight and hope renewed for an uneventful travel itinerary, we moved through security for the second time that day. With five hours left before our flight, we settled in at a restaurant to wait out the evening.

                The first day in Scotland was a whirlwind – we got to the hotel around 14:30 and decided the best way to get over jet lag was to try to stay up until at least 21:00 that night (this would mean approximately 24 hours with maybe a 3 hour nap on the plane). As excited as I was to be in a new country, this day dragged by so slowly…I don’t remember the last time I was that sleep deprived. But we met up with Chloe and Gail – friends of a friend, and a future student as well – that night for a drink and late dinner. Glasgow City Centre has some amazing food – especially the Italian! Seriously, there are so many delicious Italian restaurants in Glasgow that it makes me really want to visit Italy, but for now I have my fix of incredible food.

                The next day, we decided to meet up with the other family and tour both of the campuses that we would soon call home. The veterinary school is located about 3 miles from City Centre on an old estate that was taken over by Glasgow University. In order to walk from the dorm halls to campus you need to take a scenic route around a massive sports complex to this little stone bridge that spans the Kelvin River. I can just imagine wandering around the estate walking a foster dog or just walking to enjoy a rare Scottish sunny day. I will say the air is a tad more humid than anticipated – the air seems to stick to your skin like a thin sheen of moisture that never quite leaves. It makes the slight chill to the air seem warmer but I’m growing more and more accustomed to the feeling as the days go on. I love the weather so far, even all the rain – it means the earth almost seems to be teeming with life all around. I can see why people love this country – the grass is truly always greener on the Scottish side. Main campus was beautiful in a completely different way – a 1451 old architecture kind of way. The buildings are gorgeous and look like something straight out of Harry Potter – I can see why people compare the buildings to Hogwarts. As I walked through old stone archways and took pictures of immense cathedral-esk towers, I began to see my future unfold in front of me – suddenly the next 5 years seemed to make perfect sense and I got the feeling that I was exactly where I was supposed to be in that moment. There was a growing ball of tension and fear in my stomach as I tried to swallow the fact that I was moving to a new country where I did not know more than 3 people in order to pursue my dreams. They say if your dreams don’t scare you they aren’t big enough – well this dream is definitely going to prove to be a big one, full of twists, turns, and unbelievable adventure. And for sure some interesting food - like the Blaggis patty I tried this week (blood pudding mixed with pureed haggis, formed into a patty and pan-fried), which was not bad once you get past the mental block of what you’re eating.

Blaggis Pudding - Rachel :)

Thank you for reading. This blog will serve as a journal for all adventures, interesting foods, and all the new directions this crazy life will take me in the next five years.

- Dani


  1. Thanks for sharing. Hope your first week of classes are going well.

  2. Thanks for sharing. Hope your first week of classes are going well.

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