You should know by now that this entire blog is NSFW. But since this is probably the sauciest post of all, I’m putting everything after the cut.
According to Arthur (remember him from my trip to Seville?) a dry spell is not broken until one has had sex. That is, penetrative, penis-in-vagina intercourse (which I affectionately like to call PIVing). But I say, if a Scottish lad goes down on you in a cemetery at 3 in the morning in Edinburgh, it counts. Especially if that cemetery turns out to be Greyfriar’s, home to the Mackenzie Poltergeist and reportedly the most haunted places in the world. And especially if it’s the same cemetery that J.K. Rowling walked around in to gather inspiration for her beloved books. (She even borrowed many character names from the headstones.)
So I am declaring the dry spell officially over. Sorry, Arthur, I have veto power.
This all happened the very first day I arrived in Scotland, thus marking the official start of Slut Trip™.
The very first thing I did after landing was exchange €250 for a measley £150. Ouch. Then I bought a Crunchie.
Then I ate it. It was delicious. I made it to the hostel unscathed, but was rather tired because I had been at a music festival the evening before until around 4 AM. Seeing Sam Smith was well worth the exhaustion, but it simply meant that the first things on my Scottish agenda were shower and nap.
After about two hours I woke up from the deepest sleep I’d had in months. I’d left a significant amount of drool on my pillow as evidence of the high quality of my nap. I hadn’t eaten anything since that chocolate bar at 1 in the afternoon and it was now nearly 7. I started wandering aimlessly and found this little tavern toward the end of The Royal Mile called Tollbooth. I checked out the menu which was posted outside, and they appeared to have items fit for consumption. There was also a decent-looking ginger seated at the bar. So I went inside.
The bar was fashioned in a sort of semi-circle and I sat far enough away from the ginge to be able to look at him but not have to speak to him. The barmaid showed up after a bit. Turned out the kitchen was closed so I was SOL in the food department. But I’d already sat down, so I said, “Just give me a pint of whatever.” She gave me this lovely local brew. I took out my notebook and started writing.
I planned to finish my one beer and move on to bigger and better things. Namely: food. But then these two Irish men (and I mean MEN–they were about 50) started chatting me up. We talked about travel and America and books. They convinced me to stay for another. That’s how I ended up having three pints for dinner.
The pub remained quite empty except for the few of us gathered around the bar. The Irish men were the only people accompanied by someone else. Apart from them it was me, a youngish Slovenian dude and the aforementioned ginge. There was something really idyllic about sitting in that low-lit pub. Even though the ginge was the only local, I felt like I was getting an authentic Scottish experience in a way.
The older bloke got progressively more drunk, as one does when in a bar, and progressively more flirtatious. He told me to call my father and tell him I’d met someone. I said, “he’ll want to know how many sheep you have. What shall I tell him?” Later he commented on my nice lips and then said something about how in a few years I’ll think back on that day and regret not giving him a chance. Hopefully in a few years I’ll look back and think about how he gave me great material and helped me with my profesional life with his benevolent creepyness. (The reason I tolerated his advances was because the younger dude was simply lovely. I just knew I had nothing to worry about.)
The barmaid closed the place down at 11 but invited us to accompany her elsewhere. I ran across the street to the chippy for a deep fried pizza as per the recommendation of a family member. It was delicious. Less delicious, though, was that the older of the Irish dudes try to kiss me. I did some serious ninja maneuvering to get out of it and he got the hint.
We went to The Royal Oak, a tiny little bar that advertises live music every night. It’s really an open mic situation: they have several guitars and a book of lyrics to flip through and anyone is welcome to play or sing. My Irish suitor had gone home at this point, after I declined his invitation to join him, so I was left with a clear path to the ginger.
He made fun of me quite a bit for my country of origin. I’ve really only endured that sort of lampooning from Brits. Most other nationalities (apart from the French and perhaps the Canadians) regard Americans quite favorably. In Spain and Portugal whenever I say I’m from the States it’s all, “oh woooooow! New Yoooooork! Americans are so nice.” I think the British are simply bitter. We won the Revolution, motherfuckers. Get over it.
Nevertheless, I was compensated for this chummy lambasting with a beer. Then a kiss. And eventually a steamy, ass-spankin’ rendevouz in the graveyard.
However, PIVing did not occur (much to the displeasure of both of us) because neither of us had been carrying condoms. And I Do. Not. Play. That. Shit. He wasn’t too pushy about this, but he did get on my nerves a bit by insisting he’d pull out in time. I said, “LOL, you are 31 and have two kids, so I don’t believe that for a second.” Then he kept saying, “But you’re in Scotland!” Probably meaning “hey, you’re on vacation, let loose,” but, like, no, STDs still show up on the test even if you contract them on the island of Great Britain. I pointed out he was being slightly creepy and irritating and then he was super apologetic. So, not such an asshole after all.
In any event, the whole thing was very hot. We left the cemetery in a rather good mood, and this gallant gentleman walked me to my hostel. RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from where we’d been. So I could’ve run upstairs to grab a rubber. #frustrating
We did exchange numbers and talked about getting together the following day. He texted me after we parted ways so a reencounter seemed probable. The next afternoon, after a walking tour, I sent him a dirty message and asked if we’d be seeing each other.
He didn’t answer.
I wondered why I wasn’t more disappointed by it. The only thing I felt was indifferent, albiet a tad on the thirsty side. I felt like I should have been at least irritated. After all, it’s rude to ignore someone who was generous enough to let you see their boobs and put your penis in their mouth. But alas, my field of fucks lay barren. Thus, I gave not a one. And anyway I still had a few bruises and bite marks–patches of soreness that served as touching little souvenirs of my adventure. Though I’m a touch disappointed that I can’t say I banged in a graveyard, I’m still inordinately proud of the whole thing. When I found out about the J.K. Rowling connection I wrote pretty much everyone I knew. Including a boy I openly have a crush on. A boy with whom I in theory have a pending date once I return to America. He reads this thing. (Hiii! Is that still happening, by the way?) I was also informed that there are an estimated three to four hundred thousand bodies buried in Greyfriar’s.
I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about that, but, you know, just thought I’d drop the knowledge for ya.
I was still mildy hungover around lunchtime. I went to The Elephant House, a tiny café decked out with, get this, elephants. I had to wait around fifteen minutes before even placing my order. (You order at the counter and the waitstaff seats you.) This place has become quite the tourist attraction for being the place where J.K. Rowling penned the first few Harry Potter books. It’s an adorable little place with a prize view of the Edinbrugh Castle. Everything was, in my estimation, overpriced, but I recognize I was paying for the atmosphere and a chance to breathe the same air as one of the most beloved authors of our time. Maybe I inhaled one of her sneezes from ages ago. Swoon.
As I was alone, the waitress asked me if I minded sharing a table or if I’d prefer to sit at the front. Next to the door with no view of the castle? Ew, gross. I said sharing was fine, and she put me at a round table in the center of the room with this bad-ass looking girl with a notebook and an older couple. FROM IDAHO. I think they are the first people I’ve ever met from Idaho. They were super sweet and kept praising me for traveling on my own and doing my thing.
After they left, the lady with deep red hair and I started chatting. And I developed the biggest girl crush of my entire life. She’s an English writer/model born in Dundee. When I met her she was working on an autopsy scene for a crime story. In terms of modeling, she does a lot of beauty and fetish work. And she lives on a boat. She is everything I’ve ever wanted to be in life and I love her. We talked about film, feminism, and travel. Plus I got this:
I am determined to make this woman my best friend. She has a link to this blog and very well may be reading this and unfriending me on Facebook right now. PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME! Come to America, I’ll cook you breakfast! (I would link to her, but I haven’t gotten her permission yet, and even though she poses nude she might not want to be associated with someone who calls herself Train Slut, which is understandable.)
UPDATE: She’s just given me the go-ahead to link to her, so ENJOY!
I think hitting it off right away with people is the best part about traveling and one of life’s greatest pleasures.
I left her to finish her writing and went on to the National Museum. All the museums in Scotland are free, and this one was excellent. Generally I love traveling on my own because I don’t have to worry about other people’s agendas and it makes it easier to kiss strangers in cemeteries, but once in a while it would be nice to have someone to share the experiences with. The museum had a bunch of interactive exhibits, including one with various instruments from different corners of the world, and I felt like a bit of a tit playing with everything by myself. And you can’t really as a 25 year old hang out alone in the kids’ section and touch everything.
The ghost tour also would have probably been more entertaining had someone been with me. I forgot to mention, after our little rumpus, the Crypt Keeper (formerly known as “the ginge”) asked what I was planning on doing the next day and I said I was going to do a ghost tour and he said, “Why? You just did one!” Touché, friend.
I initially intended to stay only two nights in Edinburgh and then move on to Glasgow. However I was unable to find suitable (read: affordable) accommodation there and it worked out to be cheaper to stay in Edinburgh and do a day trip the the Glas. (I don’t think people call it that.) So that’s what I did. I have a friend there and she was kind enough to come into the center and spend the day with me.
She took me to the museum there. Again: FREE. Also complete with some of the most entertaining/frightening info plaques I’ve ever seen. Behold:
Then there were these two pieces which I very much enjoyed:
Then it was lunch time. My friend has a rather limited diet, in that she eats almost only from the three main food groups: french fries, chicken, chocolate. Thankfully Indian falls under this umbrella somehow and she took me to this adorable little place near the university.
On the way, we saw this nice sculpture:
The curry was delightful on the way in but less so on the way out this morning. Oh, and they served us the naan VERTICALLY:
We reckoned this was because there would not have been space for it on the table so they had to get creative with the presentation.
After lunch we walked around a bit more. I saw the famous statue with the traffic cone on his head. What a great Scottish monument.
We went to a bar and I got a PINT for 1.50. Which is INSANITY. It wasn’t even gross.
Eventually it was time for dinner and we found this place that advertised “Scottish Tapas.” I’m not lying. This was actually perfect as I’d yet to try haggis, and they served it in a little mini-dish. I knew I needed to try it before I left, but I was reluctant to order an entire plate of it. Ordering a full meal of something with an iffy reputation before you’ve tasted it is like marriage before sex.
But actually it was pretty good! Not sure I’d order it again but I definitely don’t regret it.
We also got roped into doing the pub quiz that was going on there. We came in fourth. Out of more than four, but still, ouch.
Oh, and I failed to mention that we got INCREDIBLY lucky with the weather. I had been ill-prepared for the great northern chill. I packed one pair of pants, so I basically wore the same outfit for four days. But in Glasgow I took my jacket off and it didn’t rain once! Not even a drop. Despite the nice weather and the lovely time I had with my friend, I was glad I stayed in Edinburgh.
I got off the train and thought, “this almost feels like home.” The city has this magical, eerie feel to it and as much as I dislike the cold, I found the chill oddly refreshing and I could see myself living there. NOTE TO SELF: look into universities in Edinburgh.
I think that about sums up Scotland. It’s a place I definitely would like to return to and do properly. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t try and whisky or see and lochs. Had I more time (and money… that exchange rate is a killer) I certainly would’ve. But I’m glad to have seen the things I did. I’ll be back, Scotland.
And now I’m in Belgium! I took the train (yay trains!) from the ‘Burgh (again, I don’t think people call it that) to London then took the tunnel here. So I’ve been traveling for approximately 12 hours today.
You’re lucky I have a wee (omg so Scottish now) cold, my dear fans, because if I weren’t stuffed up I’d definitely be out drinking instead of writing this for you.
S’Later, (INSERT NAME OF TRAIN SLUT FANS. THERE ARE LIKE FIVE OF YOU. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE CALLED? WE NEED A CUTSEY NAME LIKE GAGA’S MONSTERS OR JUSTIN’S BELIEBERS)