Monday, September 19, 2005

Well. Going to the library and starting to update was a good idea at the time. But now I’m without internet and can’t finish. So I’ll have to do it here and then see if I can’t get myself back up sometime soon.

Well. So as I recall I was saying that I was not at all keen at the hostel. And the word was that I would run down the ridiculously long driveway to try and catch the 1pm bus back to Perth, and if I missed it then I’d come back up to the farm and hang out until the 3pm bus.

I missed the bus. And I really didn’t want to be around enthusiastic people. I didn’t want to be around anyone, frankly. Two hours isn’t that long, I thought. I’ll hang out until the bus comes. It was sunny and fairly warm so I had no qualms about it.

Warm, yes, until the sun went behind the clouds. And this being Scotland it happened fairly quickly. I did more Sudoku (again…) and finished reading Notes From A Small Island and still had more time than I cared to think about to spare. I walked over to the local sheep field to see if they were friendly, and also to kill a full forty five seconds. One gave me a funny look before ducking over to two other sheep for protection. When they walked off First Sheep gave me a terrified look and then ran four steps before having the following brain pattern:

“Dude, that thing is freaking me out. I’m getting the hell away from – hey, grass! I love this stuff!”

I pulled out my music and grooved to some Celtic fiddling until the bus finally (finally) showed up. I decided, on the bus, that I was much happier just doing my own thing. I didn’t like having to work by someone else’s schedule, about having to compromise the things I wanted to do, running around was exhausting me, and I – well. You get the idea.

And I decided that I was going to stay in a hotel in Perth. Somewhere halfway decent.

When I got into Perth I stopped into a few hotels to ask prices, and holy crap they were expensive. When I walked into the next I decided that if they were less than the first two I’d been in then I’d stay. Since the first two were £70 this wasn’t a terribly high standard. It was £60. Fucking expensive, but fine. I got my bathtub (a nice big one, too), a big soft bed, a television, and solitude.

Remember my incident with the shower in that one hotel, how I couldn’t figure out how to turn it on? I had a similar experience, this time with a restaurant. I walked around Perth seeing about low prices for meals. Couldn’t find anything great, so I went back to the hotel where I could get a tomato, basil, mozzarella tart for £5.

In the hotel I followed the one sign for Arts restaurant. Up a flight and a half of stairs, down a hallway, around a corner to what was, ambiguously, the restaurant. Hard to say, what with a lack of signs.

I walked up to a set of closed double doors that showed, through the window, tables with plates that had rolls and glasses and silverware. It being 6:30 I was pretty convinced they’d be open. I pulled on the door and it was locked. I saw a waiter – or someone cleverly disguised as such – walk by. I was sure he noticed me but the door didn’t open, so I walked away.

Went outside, and saw the sign for Arts, plus windows into the restaurant where I saw people sitting at a table, presumably having some kind of dinner-style meeting. Being the clever young woman I am, I went up to those doors, which were locked.

Tactic number three. I went back into the hotel to see if I had the right restaurant entrance. I found the same double doors again, leading into the same room with the same dinner settings, and this time it had people in it, and some waiting by the door. Optimism soars!

A gentleman approached me. “Yoo wi’ the toouuor?” Oh, no, I’m not with the tour.

“Yoo’re wi’ the toouuor?” No, not with the tour. I’m looking for the restaurant? He sent me down the stairs and to the left. There was a set of stairs right by where we were standing. Those stairs? Or the ones that lead to my room that also go downstairs? I went back to those, went downstairs, and found myself at the reception desk. Just to be sure I looked left and found a dead end. And back again to the stairs by the toouor and downstairs and Hallelujah, food!

Up to the only waiter who asked if I had a reservation. I was startled, of course, since the couple I’d seen in the window was at the only occupied table. No, no reservation. “Well,” he said, “I think we can fit you in somewhere.” I looked around, making sure I wasn’t confused about the number of people in the restaurant. Because I really wasn’t sure if he was kidding or not.

I had a fine meal and decided to pass on booze and grab something in the bar after food was eaten. So I did. And ended up chatting with Graham, a tour bus driver, and Stephanie, the bartender. We had a great time chatting and joking around! It was fantastic!

I never would’ve done that if I’d hung out with Stephanie and Sarah.

And then Graham started chatting me up (ah, I use the lingo). He was doing the little(ish) things like touching my arm and making little allusions and OH it was so obvious. He stood up to go to the bathroom – I was sitting back in my chair, vaguely drunk at this point, since he’d bought me a second beer – and stood next to my chair, clearly having an internal debate. And then he leaned over and kissed me.

When he came back, of course, it was totally awkward. While we’d been chatting easily before he left it was now long periods of silence, followed by halfhearted attempts at reviving the conversation. He asked me up for coffee (who else thought of Eddie Izzard at this? Cause I sure did, and had to work at not laughing), and I declined. I was scheduled to get a phone call at 9 and honestly didn’t feel like anonymous fooling around/sex. So I spent the next half hour rebuffing his attempts at convincing me that it would just be coffee. By the end he told me his room number and asked for mine.

Go to bed, Graham.
What’s the number?
Go to bed.
What’s the number?
Go to bed.
What’s the number?
Go to bed.
Good night then.

We kissed again and he was off.

And so it was that I spent the night in a deliciously big bed with loads of television featuring the last half of several lower-end-of-mediocre movies (Bedazzled -- or whatever, the one with, um, the guy from Encino Man and what’s her name from Austin Powers 1 -- Legally Blond…). And I slept and all was well.

I woke for breakfast, ate, then went back to bed. The hotel had the decadent hour of noon for checkout and I was planning to take advantage of that. I had this notion that since Edinburgh should be a fairly popular destination from Perth (when I asked Graham and Stephanie what there was to do in Perth they said “In Perth?…” and furrowed their brows, frowning) there would be plenty of trains. No dice. I got there at noon and the next train was quarter of three.

And I’ll write more tomorrow because it’s nearly 2am and I need to seek places to live tomorrow. Oh yes. Live.

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