For proper pronunciation of Edinburgh, Miss Lame was provided with a helpful hint… “Edin”… “Bra”, as in “yo bra, where you at home-dog?”… My favorite.
Coasting down the curvy, irratic streets of Edinburgh, the hybrid rental bike carries me quickly, vibrating over ancient cobble one moment, flowing over newly laid asphalt the next. Navigating the WRONG side of the street, I stare tentatively at the road before me, preparing myself for its ever changing surfaces, taking brief glimpses at the stunning, experienced buildings standing strong around me.
Moving quickly through the brisk, Northern air, Miss Lame’s attention span, ever-changing, sporadic, yet often strangely specific and hypersensitive to visual and kinaesthetic stimuli, suddenly zeros in on a tear that develops and falls from the corner of my eye, picking up pace as it rolls over my cheekbone, and sores down the fall line of my rosy, smiling cheeks. I am made consciously aware of my incredible state of mind at this time in my life.
Feeling elated, free, exactly where I’m supposed to be.
The unceasing descent and constant need to apply pressure to my breaks to feel safe makes me ponder…
"We must be travelling down one of the sides of the herringbone"… (see map below)
The “herringbone” pattern, a visual description of Edinburgh’s layout… Thank you bizarre Ghost Tour guide for applying teaching strategies such as analogies and visual representations, that help Miss Lame process and store information in her brain…
I imagine our biking band travelling down the smaller, divergent rib bones, the side streets that fall away from the broad, elevated spine, the main city street, the Royal Mile, a present day tourist bustle.
We approach Holyrood Park- The pale green, soft contours hold a formidable yet gentle presence, sat in the centre of the city of Edinburgh, a mile east of Edinburgh Castle. The clouded skies provide a subdued light, painting a mild and faded mosaic of gentle greens, a sharp contrast to the lines and dark shades of the historical buildings adjacent. Scanning the gorgeous prominences as we coast along-side the undulating park before us, my eyes catch sight of tiny people scaling up the ridges side and standing on the highest peaks. I feel excitement building, welling up inside as I contemplate being the spec on the highest peak.
Standing in abnormal, rare, less-travelled, naturally spectacular places makes Miss Lame’s heart sing.
Michael, Dylan and I, some key players of the hostel crew- “TEAM SUCCESS”- start onto a path of packed dirt and rocks that winds across and up the natural elevations, our non-suspension bikes vibrating and assaulting our pelvises as we gaily gaze at that natural beauty around us.
|Our lovely bike path through Holyrood Park|
|TEAM SUCCESS on our biking adventure!|
As we climbed towards the top of Aurthur's Seat I notice the hillside transform. The muted, melded pale green undulations were suddenly vibrant, contrasting, almost shimmering shades of green. Sun shining. The top of Aurthur’s Seat, the old volcanic rock glistens.
|Climbing to the top of Aurthur's Seat- The sunkissed hills of Holyrood Park|
|Top of Aurthur's Seat- Beautiful glistening rock|
The Hostel Experience- an amazing, social space
1. Breakfast is included.
*Food is a direct way to Miss Lame’s heart.
Although it’s nothing fabulous. Nothing remotely close to a hearty, traditional English Breakfast, it is free and sufficient… Most of the time.
-Bread (some choice- wholemeal/white),a variety of sweet spreads (jams, marmalades etc), muesli/cereals, yogurt, fruit, tea and coffee (potentially tastes like murky water at times…)… warmed milk!
From my limited hostel experience, including Edinburgh, Scotland and a number of hostels in South America (Chile and Argentina), this seems to be a typical hostel breakfast spread. When the provided food does not suffice there is always a kitchen facility for making your own creations. The kitchen duals as a location for food prep as well as social space.
2. You meet/interact with people from all over the world
*I love people.
*Advice: If your intension is to get some work done (the studious/career kind) and get to bed nice and early, than a hostel is not an ideal space for you… Particularly the 20 person room option.
*The hostel design = social.
Communal lounge, communal kitchen, communal bedroom space.
Sharing, social, beautiful.
*Making friends: My approach to life, being “lame with no shame”, generally tends to help me gain new acquaintances quickly.
-I am comfortable with approaching/starting up conversations with strangers. I don’t care so much about being rejected, which means that I happily “put myself out there” on a regular basis. I am successful more often than not.
-My apparent dorky-ness enables/invites others to feel less guarded, ultimately leading to more open, pleasant interactions.
“TEAM SUCCESS” … my venturing, "warm and cozy", rapping, salsa dancing, mad “banter” band of folks that I spent my time with during my stay in Edinburgh. We managed to find successful travel experiences where ever we went.
Example: Even when all hope was lost and we found ourselves at a karaoke bar, surrounded by energetic, awkward mobs of 18 year olds singing Backstreet Boys, we managed to escape into the night to discover a fantastic salsa party with the most incredibly abnormal composition of participants. Gangsta/b-boys, some mild mannered folk looking to practice their Latin American moves and authentic vigorous Scots, their legs, hips, entire bodies gyrating, their movements rough and loud, yet coordinated. Our crew, “Team Success”, jumped right in and only exacerbated this completely bizarre infusion of personalities on the dance floor.
Some key moments/players…
àMacarena (yes, like the “dance mix 95” song…), the Chilean, felt right at home and let her hips fly. She took the dance floor by storm.
àWilliam, the Scotsman from the north, earned the name “crazy legs” as he infused his highland dancin’ legs with a rough attempt at Latino dance on top, whilst polishing of “haggis bombs” (like a yagger bomb, only with “iron brew” instead of red bull- another toxic, obnoxiously orange coloured energy drink).
àThe developing gangsta/b-boy circle lured me. Miss Lame can’t resist a little hip-hop circle… The b-girl demonstration that ensued can be summarized in a simple equation:
B-boy dance circle + Hyperactive Miss Lame
Miss Lame rockin’ a stall + Miss Lame killin’ the worm + Miss Lame bum exposure...
Fancy Dress, Extravagence and Mango Boobs.
Last Tuesday Society’s Halloween Event, a party involving “fancy dress”, Miss Lame’s initial thoughts, getting gussied up in a swanky gown…. This sends my brain on a reminiscent rant of the good old days in high school when my friends and I used to throw “FANCINESS MANDATORY parties” and joke about making a tape recording repeating the words “h'oeuvres anyone?” which we would hide under a table displaying classy snacks such as Doritos and party mix.
This is not what “fancy dress” means in the UK.
Here it simply means dressing in costume. The confusing part for me is that costumes are not always “fancy”. Some are repulsive. Some are terrifying. Some are ridiculously humorous. Not “fancy”.
Navigating my way to the toilet, theme room after theme room in the giant extravagantly decorated building, weaving through “the beautiful and the damned”… or both… blood, lace, s and m, ball gowns, sparkle, flamboyance, blackened and hollowed cheekbones. My brain is hazy from the drinks, and colours, shapes and movements of people around me flash in and out of my conscious brain. So much stimuli. Brain at half capacity. A man’s face suddenly approaching. Lips pursed. Inches from my face, my brain catches up, I recoil abruptly.
“I am French, you see?”
His eyes read self-assured, not a hint of concern, confusion or remorse. Clear and certain of his approach, he is confident that his “French-ness” in itself is enough justification for his presumptuous attempt to kiss me.
Perhaps if the Frenchman seemed up my ally I may have risen to this spontaneous occasion.
Miss Lame: "No thank you." I turned and imprecisely danced away.
A key discovery of the night was the room of fresh produce. Lavishly displayed platters of colourful, diverse, whole fruits and vegetable. The pure, virtuous snack was ironic and contradictory to the dark, sensual and uninhibited tone of the party.
Fruit and vegetable became incorporated into our evening, not immediately as food but as additions to our “fancy dress” and inanimate dancing partners.
With two ripe, well-matched mangos propped just so under the top of my tight, but flexible Betty Page dress and a gorgeous head of cauliflower in hand, I swung, spun and swaggered to the live, intoxicating music. I also danced with friends.
I later discovered a piece of broccoli in my cleavage. Martin had snuck it in there when I wasn’t looking... Tricky to catch these things sometimes...
An amazing night of “fancy dress”, extravagance, mango boobs and most importantly friendship.