Monday, August 09, 2010

on the fringe

We left for Scotland this morning at 4:00 a.m.. I was dreading the travel, to be honest, because it requires a lot of steps to get to Scotland, and there are a lot of us taking these steps. I am happy to report that we made it to Edinburgh relatively smoothly, with some pros and cons:

The bus to the airport, for the first time ever, actually picked us up where it was supposed to.
The bus lady let us get on fifteen minutes early!
I slept on that bus and don't remember any of it.
I slept on that plane and don't remember any of it.
Edinburgh is green and misty!

The big taxi car apparently broke down, so we had to shuttle in groups.
Stansted airport is sometimes confusing.
I don't like repacking people's bags if they are over the weight limit.
I got frisked and it was personal.
The cabbies in Edinburgh do NOT like you to pay with a credit card.

And that was the first 6 hours of my day. I have to say it was our smoothest transition to Scotland yet. I'm proud of us. Us are awesome.

And how great to see James and Colleen Arrington who are also here for the week! They were waiting in the lobby of our hostel when we checked in, looking remarkably fresh and not jet-lagged.

Mid-day in Edinburgh the heavens opened and the rain hit and I confined myself to my hotel room. Fearing that this was an omen for the rest of the week, I lay in a travel-logged stupor on my bed and watched two episodes of The Weakest Link, a show that somehow continues in the UK. I answered questions out loud with what must have been the least interested tone possible until I fell asleep.

When I woke up the rain had abated and the city was lit with sun. Great time to go out! We met together as a group and, joined with our friend Mark Oram from Exeter, went to the Royal Mile for busking. Busking is where you perform snippets of your show in the middle of the street, pass out fliers, and annoy people until they promise to come to your performance. We are actually really good at it. Or my students were: they did all of the work. I played a mouth accordion thing while they did movement, alternating between two songs: Amelie and the theme from Harry Potter. The students did great - they barked and sold the show, performed intricate movement pieces and were very gracious and took pictures with 1,000 people. By the time we finished 90 minutes later there were 5-6 press photographers snapping pictures - so hopefully that will drum up business! Unless they were just creepy guys with super nice cameras.

We were not the only ones busking. We were joined by:

These four, who moved very slowly and made creepy faces.
This old lady who played the trumpet.

For the remainder of the evening we took a walk around Edinburgh Castle. Everything here is green and the flowers are in full bloom for the festival. We stopped to hear a really great brass band combo:The kid in the back with the red sweatshirt was really into his trumpet. Nick and Jessy got into the music, and soon took to the dance floor. It was our way of making up for missing Nigel's National Dance Day.
Then Borzin got into the act, waiving both a five pound note and his booty.

Finally, back in town, we crammed into the Edinburgh City Diner and had cheese fries, linguine, pizza, hamburgers, and basically everything on the menu. We played word games and put a lot of ketchup on everything.