Edinburgh Week One

Edinburgh, Scotland, Travel

I have been in Edinburgh for just over a week now and already my time has been filled with ups and downs. We trained from Banbury two days after Christmas. Yes, we are idiots. We didn’t have seats for a good three hours, we spent that time cramped with other disgruntled travelers in the small section between carriages. It could of been worse though and we got to Edinburgh eventually. As soon as I exited Waverley Train Station and was in the middle of the Christmas Market I was in love. Edinburgh is such a beautiful city. The bright lights, carnival rides and the sound of bag pipes filling the air. But you know the way the universe works, every high is followed with a low. So we hopped in a black taxi, feeling good and filled with hopes, dreams and all that jazz. As it happens we chose the stupidest possible time to move to Edinburgh. We moved the week of a little thing called New Years Eve – ever heard of it? Well Edinburgh does New Years big time with a festival called Hogmanay. This means that accommodation prices are ridiculous and all reasonably priced places are booked out months in advance so the only place we could find was a wee way out of the city. We told the taxi driver where we were staying which was Sighthill to which she replied “why are you staying out there?” As soon as we got to our accommodation I knew that it was the low I had been waiting for. The house was down a quiet, dark street, well away from the city. I had booked it through Air BNB but for the place we were staying it was the first time they had ever used Air BNB so didn’t really know what they needed to provide for two people to stay. I’ll give you a little hint – you need to provide two pillows. We got inside and were shown to our room which looked fine until I noticed the one single pillow. I asked if there were any others and the host got confused and said no. The place was also filthy and smelt like burning Chinese food but that’s neither here nor there. Let’s get back to Edinburgh itself shall we!



We’ve spent our days exploring the streets and different areas of Edinburgh – Old Town, New Town, Tollcross, Bruntsfield, Grassmarket and Leith. Each are so different and so lively except for Leith but that’s another story. A lot of our time has also been consumed with trying to find a permanent living place to escape the aforementioned hell hole. I’m going to be honest guys it was slim pickings out there for houses. I thought New York had some weirdos looking for room mates but Edinburgh gives it a run for it’s money. Each place was stranger than the last. We had almost given up hope until the angel that is Maureen called. Maureen is our lovely new land lady who found a room wanted ad I had posted online. We came to view the place and took it straight away. It’s a two bedroom house close to Holyrood Park which is beautiful and filled with swans which kind of terrify me – also a different story for another time. So there’s another high for you and soon enough the universe tapped me on the shoulder to serve me that next low.


First dinner at our new house

First dinner at our new house

A few days after arriving in Edinburgh I had a telephone interview for a job as a Travel Consultant which would be an ideal job for me. I thought the interview went really well but turns out I didn’t get it. Ouch. Onwards and upwards though and back on the job hunting grind. I am so happy we chose Edinburgh as our next adventure though. I think we’ll have fun here. It’s beautiful, the people are friendly and I get to hang out with Abi whenever the hell I want. I lived with Abi back in New Zealand and it’s pretty damn cool to be living in the same city again.



Until next times friends


Starbucks Grind

New York

Being employed in New York is completely different to being unemployed in New York. You get to see a whole other side to the city. My day starts the same every morning now, I have developed a routine. A routine that could be a movie montage of my commute to work each morning. You know it’s a montage because I’m wearing a different outfit everyday. For future reference if it WAS to be turned into a movie I’d want Lena Dunham to play me. But no nudity Lena, please. So yes, a routine, I have one and it goes a little something like this, DROP THE BEAT!….oops sorry that doesn’t apply here. As I was saying…

I leave the house at 8.13am to walk to the train station, walking past some of Brooklyn’s finest on my way. The locals are hustling on the corner, trying to make a buck from anything they can. They yell to all the mamacitas, pulling their best lines to get a look. As I get to the gate where I need to swipe my metrocard and run to the train, I do a frantic search through my wallet for said metrocard. Of course I’ll never learn to have my card out ready to swipe. If I did this, life would be easy. But I don’t like it that way. Instead each morning I do the search through my wallet to try and find it. As always that sneaky bitch is hiding behind a pile of receipts, which is just a subtle reminder of the shopping addiction I suffer. Yes that right I suffer. After throwing that debt reminder away and getting my metrocard I finally manage to get through the gate after being told by the machine 5 times that I swiped my card to fast. Hey, you stupid robot, I’m swiping at the same pace as all these other fools that have got through before me. Give me a break. I sprint from the gate to the train, budging people out of the way as I go. I get to the platform and whatda ya know? Just missed it. So I get 10 minutes to calm myself down and wipe the sweat from my brow before the next train comes. Good, yes. But also I am now late for work. Don’t even me started on mornings where I have to top my metrocard up, that is just chaos.

I stand on the platform with other train riders I am now so familiar with. Like, Asian girl with heavy black eyeliner and stretchers. Ahh she’s the best. Always sipping on her large Dunkin Donuts coffee and carrying her matching DD’s breakfast. That’s classic, Asian girl with heavy black eyeliner and stretchers.

The train ride is pretty boring, the train I catch gets a pretty awesome view of the city until it goes underground. It is near impossible to get a seat though, so I have to stand and do the awkward wobble trying not to fall on people as the train jumps around. 11 stops later I arrive at 42nd St – Bryant Park and it’s time to start my working day in Manhattan. At the bottom of the stairs to exit the subway station there is always a guy selling newspapers and I love it. He has a pile in the corner, sitting right next to his Chase Bank branded cinch sports bag. He smiles and says good morning to everyone, humming his own happy song sheltered from the big bad world above him. Everyone exits up the stairs at once, reminiscent of prisoners walking single file blindly into their destiny. As we surface to daylight, it’s time for the prisoners to get their hit for the day. Starbucks hit that is. I never drunk Coffee before moving to New York. Or Beer for that matter. But now I can’t get enough of those delicious brown beverages. Personally, I find ordering at Starbucks both intimidating and terrifying. Mainly because I don’t understand the menu and everyone around me has a deep knowledge of the menu and what their gluten, soy and dairy etc requirements are. Because of this I order the same thing every morning,  Tall Skinny Mocha and Spinach Feta Wrap. Next comes the art of saying my name so they understand who its for and don’t write Steven on the cup.

On my 3 block walk from Starbucks to my office I notice everyone is in this Starbucks Grind lifestyle, especially in Manhattan. Cellphone in one hand, Starbucks in the other, held out in front of them like a sign of authority. Businessmen powerwalk the pavement in their untailored beige suits pants, black sports shoes and a horrendously oversized black coat that comes down to the knee. New York is meant to be known for it’s dapper dressed businessmen but I aint seen none! If Crazy Stupid Love taught me anything it’s that every man looks good in a tailored suit. Ryan Gosling could teach these idiots a thing or two.

Part of my morning routine also includes passing the same homeless people sitting on 6th Avenue begging for change. This is heart breaking and the most blatant comparison on the many lives led in New York. Businessmen who are on their blackberry trying to close a billion dollar deal walk straight past the homeless without a second glance.

I guess I’m part of this Starbucks Grind now. I’m no big time exec, infact i’m at the bottom but i’m part of the routine and I’m never going to say no to Starbucks.