The first (larger than) half (portion) of this post is not really dedicated to Truck (who acquired his nickname on my last trip to Atlanta when I was overwhelmed and misspeaking and which has resulted in his most recent birthday being called the Monster Truck Rally) because it is not about things that we discussed. However, they are important details to be included here, both for the comedic value and the informational value, which we know parents and best friends appreciate.
All of a sudden, I am living in a small Scottish town that looks like the interior of a castle after the roof has been removed. With gardens everywhere, and people who speak in a way that is frequently difficult to understand.
I will say that my feelings about this place are improving all the time, even though I have no money and I (almost) projectile vomited on the plane on the way here. No worries, peeps, bank/post office (that changes money?) open tomorrow!
Also, the food is really terrible, at least thus far. I have yet to foray into salads, though, and I’m really hoping that will be my saving grace. (Honestly, don’t even correct me if I’m wrong, I just have to deal with the bad news myself, and maybe I’ll discover some extraordinary place with the best salads in the world).
Um, on the projectile vomiting note. I had about 1.5 glasses of wine and scarfed down the meal of cheese tortellini and salad and bread, although the cheese tortellini left something to be desired in the sauce department. I watched “Bridesmaids.” Then I tried and mostly failed to sleep, sitting in my aisle seat on the third flight of the day. As I dosed in and out of sleep, I began to think I was going to be ill. I sat up and put my tray table in its upright and locked position.
Then I turned to Garrett, across the aisle and said, “Garrett, I think I’m going to throw up.” Garrett looked at me, in a way that he generally does when I tell him things of this sort (which I did once before when I gave blood and didn’t eat for some too-long amount of time, a combination which resulted in me nearly fainting and thinking I would vomit on the way down, but actually resulted in me laying down on the bathroom floor of the Atlanta Food Bank and sticking my feet up in the air until my germaphobe friend Matt brought me bread and Sprite). In other words, Garrett didn’t say anything, but we both understood it was time for me to go and I leapt from my seat, making a sprint for the first toilet, which was occupied, and then for the second, which I could not locate but which was not occupied.
When I arrived at the second toilet, I said “Ma’am, I need help!” to the flight attendant, and she pointed at the lavatory door, which was actually just behind me (sneaky!). I will say I was proud to have made it. Then I hurled, puked, vomited, heaved, threw up (there are a lot of synonyms for this verb) until there was nothing left in my stomach. When I came out, I asked for water and while the flight attendants gave me water, they said two things.
First: “It was the wine, wasn’t it?”
Second: “Do I need to clean up in there?”
In both cases, my answer was no.
After that point, I thought things might get better, but instead, they did not. In fact, they got infinitely worse as we arrived in London, proceeded to traipse around Heathrow like hillbillies, during which time I began to suffer from severe shooting abdominal pain.
Garrett: “Maybe it’s mental.”
Me: “Really, Garrett? You think waves of shooting pain in my gut are mental?”
Garrett: “Well, no, but I thought if you think positively…”
He stopped talking because I was glaring, but I did try to take his advice, and when we arrived at our next flight and I discovered I had a window seat, I nearly hugged to airline representative who delivered in the information. Then I laid down on the floor.
When we arrived in Edinburgh, I was thoroughly ill. Also, one of my bags did not arrive (it has since, yay!). The person meeting us did not inquire as to our money situations and the result was at least two of us having zero pounds to our name for about 48 hours (to be resolved tomorrow).
But let me say this:
The sea is one block from my apartment.
The stars remind me of Montana, (Cassiopeia directly above).
Along the road, hills looked out of an oil painting, more stunningly green every second.
From my window I look onto a courtyard of overflowing grass, and a smattering of trees that might actually be from the middle ages.
This building is more than 400 years old.
And the only thing between the sea and me the falling down chapel, some grand tribute to all the civilization before — and maybe a reminder of just what happens in the end, no matter what we do.
I cannot believe how lucky I am.