Saturday, 28 April 2007

Learn to speak Scottish! It's free!!1!!!!1!!!!

I was walking to work when I ran into an old, very drunk looking (it was nearing ten o' clock in the morning) Scotsman. He turned to me and said: "Haryaldy?" When I gave him a surprised and slightly confused look, his expression changed from its initial smiling position to a more angry one and he proceeded to exclaim: "Chrupdyalalbre!"
As I'm living in Scotland, I feel obliged to learn to speak at least a little bit of Scottish. Some of my Scottish coworkers have complimented me on my accent (Though it takes me at least two pints to pull it off), but to understand guys like that will probably take a lot more practise. (Or pints)
As I continued my yourney to work, I tried to analyse the sounds that were hurled in my direction just moments before.


H'ar ya ldy?

How are ya laddie?

I say, how are you doing today, my young friend?

Aha! He was merely enquiring about my personal well-being at the time.


Chr up yad*alal&re!

Cheer up ya d*%lal&re!

I say, cheer up you ?????????!

Aha! He was merely instructing me to act a little (or wee bit, as they say in Scotland) more cheeful!

I did learn some actual Scottish phrases, but apparently these are rarely ever used:

(Estimated spelling:) Awee an bayl yer heed!
(Also known as:) Away and boil your head!
Obviously an insult.

(Estimated spelling:) Dannuh gimme de book!
(Also known as:) Do not give me the ????!
(Actual translation:) Don't make me sick!

This concludes lesson one of: "How to speak Scottish poorly, in 625000 steps."

End of days... Ah, who's counting?!

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Did Shu Si That?

The new mat in my shower works great! No falling in the bathtub for me anymore!
It does make for a boring blog though. Let's see, we praciced a bit of life drawing in our free hours last night. We didn't have a model, so we took turns posing. We had a box full of props, like badminton rackets, sticks and a toy machine gun. Got some nice drawings out of that. Other than that I've just been hard at work.
I tried out a Chinese take away restaurant in my street last night, called "Rice King". When I got home with the food, I realised I didn't get any rice. I should have been suspicious when I read the sign that said: "Fresh, hand-made shusi!" Never trust a restaurant that misspelles their own food. But anyway, it's nice to have a place nearby to get a quick bite after a long night.
Today was just another day at work, creating magic and dreams...

End of days 13 & 14

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Disobedient appendages

Friday started out as just a typical day. I was taking a shower, expecting this to be another boring day that I could write nothing about, when suddenly my left foot decided it had been on the bottom of my bathtub long enough and that it was time to explore higher altitudes.
I looked down at my raised foot and decided it had had its fun and that it was time for it to settle back into its previous position.
Before I could accomplish this task however, my right foot, the impressionable one of the two, decided it should follow its sibling's example and started to slowly slide forward. It was truly a morning of decisions. The shift in balance overruled my decision to end this nonsence once and for all and caused my upper body to arch backward and to keep my left foot right where it was. As I stood there, trying to keep my balance and foil my right foot's plan of escaping gravity, I realised how little objects there were around me to hang on to. My hands, who were still loyal to their master, clutched at both the mirror on my left side and the glass shower screen on my right side, but to no avail. My right foot shot forward with a loud "FREEDOM!" and I landed right on my right knee, elbow and shoulder. I lay in the tub for a while, with the water still beating down on me. I eventually got up and assessed the damage. Apart from some severe pain, it seemed my body was sturdier than I had previously thought, no bruises were to be seen. In one final, vengeful decision, I decided to punish my feet by strapping them in wool and leather and stepping on them all day. That should teach them.
Nevertheless, I was quite nervous, standing in the shower this morning. That's why I went out and bought one of those mats today, that prevent slippage. The revolution of disobedient appendages ends tomorrow!

End of days 11 & 12

Thursday, 19 April 2007

The Spirit of Blogging 2: Judgement Day

Today nothing of interest happened. I got up, went to work, now I'm here, writing about it. Just trying to decide on what to eat tonight, just like every other guy out there. This emoticon I just came up with, kinda looks like a happy caveman. @¬:) If you cock your head to the right side that is. I've been seeing a lot of moths around my place lately. I need some new clothes anyway. I don't even have a kilt yet! Though those seem to be pretty expensive. Uh-oh, I ran out of important things to say. This might just transform into a real blog! No! Maybe if I can get my internet connection up, I could post some cool pictures or drawings(Of my own, not of the film! Go see it in a theatre near you!).
I brought my brand new Avenue Q (that my lovely sister Marjolijn gave me! Thanks Mar!) mug to work. Now I can drink tea in style. Though the phrase "It sucks to be me!!" that's printed on it, doesn't really help my self esteem. I've actually already dropped it (I swear it was an accident!), but the floor broke it's fall. And on top of that floor is a nice, soft carpet, so the mug is still in one peace. Don't worry about the mug. Don't go setting up petitions against mugmistreatment, it's fine. It's between me and him. This is getting silly. I'm gonna stop now, but I promise to return with a good story soon! I mean, the last post wasn't that bad, was it? As we say in Holland, it can't be a party each day. We say it in Dutch though, just in case you were confused.
And if you don't like this post, you can always leave a comment if you want, because I like reading what you have to say too. Ok, bye.

End of day 10

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

The Spirit of Blogging

Wow. I really thought I could remember what happened to me on Monday and Tuesday, but I honestly can't. I was planning on writing everything down later, like now, but for the life of me(if that's the expression), my mind draws a total blank when I try to recollect those two days. I didn't get an internet connection set up at home, that's for sure. What I do remember, vividly, is Wednesday morning...
I awoke at my usual time, one hour before my alarmclock goes off. Around seven. Too tired/lazy to get up already, I tried to either read or go back to sleep (again, my memory fails me). Whatever I was doing, it was going pretty well up until 7:15. There was a knock on the door. At first I didn't think it was my door, because: A. Who's gonna come knocking on my door? B. I wasn't used to how loud everything in my appartment sounds. C. Who's gonna come knocking on my door at this hour?!
I immediately dismissed the knocking and went back to my, now forgotten activity, when the real noise started. The knocking was pretty loud to begin with, it would probably be more appropriate to classify it as a mild banging, but now I started hearing loud thumps, and now I was pretty sure I was hearing them inside my house! Has someone, somehow magically gained acces to my appartment? Was it someone from the letting agency, the landlord? Whoever it was, it was going to get a stern screaming at, followed by a scared running away from. I dove out of bed, right into my pants, cartoon style, and dashed into the hallway. What the...
Garbage bags. Rolls of new garbage bags, with "property of the city counsil" printed on them, where pouring through my mailslot. I didn't bother to count them, but there must have been at least ten. I looked through my handy spyhole and watched as someone from the city, clad in a green, fluorescent vest was inserting an equally ridiculous amount of garbage bags into the mailslot of the apparment across the hallway. When he was done, he looked right at me, then left. I guess at least this saved me money on my yearly garbage bag spendings.
Later that night, me and two collegues, went to see "Blades of Glory", with Will Ferrel and John Heder or something, better known as Napoleon Dynamite. It was pretty funny. Just mindless fun.
I just remembered something that happened to me on Tuesday night. I was walking home and tried to take a shortcut. I took a wrong turn and ended up in a, in broad daylight, okay street, in broad nightlight, pretty scary street. A couple of shady characters watched me walk by and made some comments among themselves. Then one got up and started walking down the street behind me. He wasn't very close, but it was quite a coincidence that he got up, just as I walked by. When I turned a corner, so did he. Great. I picked up my pace and found the nearest main street. The guy disappeared. Quite a tense moment for me. Quite a boring read for you. And that's the spirit of blogging!

End of days 7, 8 and 9

Sunday, 15 April 2007


Edinburgh, April 15th, 2007

I was really tired last night, probably from all of the stuff that happened to me last week. In fact, I'm still tired. I got up at nine, went out at one, and now I'm sitting at easyinternet, writing these posts. Nothing else really happened. Maybe I'll add something later. It's nice to have a real sunday though. Now I'm gonna go, looks like harr outside.

End of day 6

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Home Sweet Home

Edinburgh, April 14th, 2007

I awoke in my new bed, greeted by the morning sun. My phone still had no power, but down the street, I heard the chiming of the church's clocktower. If only I had bothered to count the number of chimes. I got up and went outside. Today I would go on a shopping spree, buying everything a good home needs. I checked the time on the digital clock in the back of the Chinese restaurant next door (it was only later that day that I realised I could just look at the giant clock on the church tower). 8:30, not bad. I got some groceries and went down to princess street to purchase the correct converter I needed for my European plugs. Then I went looking for stuff to make my bed. Watching American cartoons and movies can only teach you so much English, and they hardly ever talk about fitted sheets and duvets in those stories do they? Ah well, at least now I learned a couple of new words. I drove the nice saleswoman nuts, trying to find the things I needed, but I got them anyway, so now my bed is fully equipped and ready to... just stand there and wait for me to sleep in it.
I also bought a laptop! Yay! Now if only I could get an internet connection set up so would have to sit here at this stupid internetcafe. Why, yes! I'm still at easyinternetcafe! The easiest way to go online and spend all of your money! I've already looked online and found some great offers from several providers, but they keep asking me for my phone number. I don't have a phone number! I couldn't find it in the huge stack of documents I got from the letting agent and I can't find any information online about how to register a phone number. I do know I have a phone line, because I actually had to sign a document that declared I would not cut the phone line. Like I would do that. "Gee, I'd love to try out this new pair of scissors I bought, but what to cut? What to cut... Oh, I know! The phone line!" If anyone can tell me what I should do to get a telephone number by the way, you can leave a comment if you want. I'm just no good at these things.
Anyway, I like my laptop. It's nice, came with Windows Vista, which looks nice, but is hardly compatible with anything I soon learned, and it enabled me to watch Pan's Labyrinth, which I got from Natasja and Jordy when I left Holland. Great flick, beautiful stuff, highly recommend it. Thanks guys!
And thanks to my trusty new converter my phone is fully charged and ready to... wait in my pocket until I either want to make a call, am called, or just want to see what time it is.
Nothing much noteworthy really happened today. Maybe I'll think of some stuff later, but I also just wrote the previous post which goes on forever, so maybe it'd be a good idea to keep this one short. For now.

End of day 5

Friday, 13 April 2007


Edinburgh, April 13th, 2007

Harr! If you don't know what it means, bare with me, we'll get to that. Yesterday night my phone's battery ran out. It was my only way of telling the time, as I do not have a watch. (That reminds me... I have to buy a watch!) I asked Cerrick (or Carrick, I can't remember), one of the friendly hostel Aussies, to give me a wake up call. He could only do this until seven in the morning, which is the time went to bed (he worked the night shift). This was fine with me, as I had to get up early anyway to move into my new appartment!
Of course I woke up long before Ce/arrick actually came in, but I'm glad I arranged the call anyway, because you can never be too sure. Of anything. Anyway, I got up as quietly as I could, so as not to wake up my roommates and packed up my things. With my heavy bag already over my shoulder, I gave my locker one last check to see if I had removed all of my belongings (I am an obsessive compulsive, for all of you who don't already know), but because I had to crouch down to do this, the heavy bag made me fall over, effectively waking up everybody in the room, and possibly in the entire hostel.
I checked out and carried all of my luggage over to the internet cafe where I planned to print out the, this time signed, reference Greg had sent me, to give it to the letting agent, who would give me the key to my new appartment. About respectively 1 mile and 3 hernias later, I made my way into the cafe, only to find out that the printing facilities wouldn't open up until 10, and my appointment at the letting agent was at 9. I had a quick breakfast and a nervous breakdown, and decided I would just ask the letting agent if I could download and print the reference at their office. After realigning yet another dozen of my vertabrae, I arrived at the agent. Printing the reference was no problem (even though at first they tried to set me up behind a computer with no keyboard) and a couple of very boring legal documents later, they handed me my keys! I went in, threw all of my stuff on the floor and even though I had run out of soap and shampoo, had the best shower ever.

Harr! Remember that? Good. On to other things.
I turned on the wall socket, to plug in my phone, so that I could once again be informed of the current time. I felt so clever when I bought those plug converters that I didn't even know they were meant to convert UK plugs to fit into European sockets, in stead of the other way around. Still unable to tell the time, I headed over to the studio.
When I got back outside, I noticed something different. For my entire stay in Edinburgh, the weather had been sunny, even hot lately. Now it was cold and the entire town was covered in fog. I thought it was just that, fog, but apparently the locals have a different name for it. Know what it's called? Guess. Come on! Guess! Well, alright. They call it *drumroll* ...Harr! It sounds less like a meteorological phenomenon and more like something a pirate would exclaim when finding buried treasure, but that's what it's called. Just my luck. The day I move in, the weather gets all harr-y.
After work, we went to the pub again. As I walked home, I realised I was happily walking in the exact opposite direction of where I was supposed to be going. We'll just blame that on the harr, ok?
I got home at about eleven and cooked my very first meal in my new home. I turned out it was an electric cooker, something I am quite unfamiliar with. It took a long time to warm up, but when it finally got going, it would cool down as quickly as a gas cooker would, so my food was nice and crispy. I selected a random object and called it a day(Ha! Genius! Seriously, what exactly is it your calling a day when you say that?). I fell asleep on my double bed with no matras cover, no sheet, a coverless single duvet and no pillows (Also, I had no pillow covers). I didn't care and slept like a big, hairy baby that could talk and walk upright without falling over. Except when squatting with a big heavy bag over its shoulder.

End of day 4

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Good news!

Edinburgh, April 12th, 2007

I got up early again (a fine, Edinburghian tradition) with only a slight headache from last night. I went to the bank first thing and finally got to talk to someone who seemed to know what was up with payroll not accepting their "sort code". He gave me a bit of boring information I could take to my employer. Hopefully this will all get taken care of shortly.
I just got a call by the letting agent who told me they got my employer's reference, but they still hadn't recieved Greg's. (Thanks for taking care of it so quickly yesterday Greg! But alas, they just don't like to receive any emails, apparently...) The good news though, was that I could still move in tomorrow, if I just print out the reference and take it with me. Yay! Finally!
I think I'm going to leave it at this for now, as I just wrote the last three posts in one go. Also, nothing much noteworthy happened today. Well, I just walked in on one of the Italians in my room, writing a sign saying: "Sorry 'cause we're italians!" I'm gonna miss this place...
End of day 3

Wednesday, 11 April 2007


Edinburgh, April 11th, 2007

Considering I kept waking up and found out that my roommates left the light on (and I was too tired/lazy to get up and turn it off), I had a pretty good sleep. I got up pretty early to find an internetcafe to print out the reference I got from Greg (My boss/mentor/friend back in Holland), to physically give it to the letting agent, as he didn't appear to receive any of my emails. The hostel was fun, but I was getting tired of having to share my room with so many people and having to keep all my stuff in two small bags. I also wanted to open up a bank account that morning. They told me I should come back and try again on Thursday night, but I just wanted to get all that stuff over with.
When I was here last week, looking for an appartment, I couldn't turn a corner without stumbling across an internetcafe. Guess how many I found when I really needed one? Well, one actually. But only after an hour of searching. And there didn't seem to be a possibility to print and they were a self-service joint. The only people working there were serving drinks behind the bar, catering to a gigantic crowd of thirsty people. This made it impossible for me to ask anyone if I could just print one measely A4 piece of paper.
I decided to go to the bank, called HSBC, by the way, to at least open an account that morning. I bought and quickly drank some chocolate milk as a weak excuse for breakfast, then hurried over to the bank. Setting up an account went surprisingly smooth. I got set up in no time and the people were very nice. I did show up 20 minutes late for work because I had spent to much time looking for an internetcafe, but at least I had an account and was ready to get paid!
Or was I?
Apparently payroll didn't recognise the "sortcode" the bank gave me. So, during my lunch break I went back to the lovely people at HSBC, who informed me that there was nothing they could do about it, but if I didn't mind waiting for 20 minutes they could let me talk to someone who could tell me that there was nothing they could do about it. Great! Apparently this could only be taken care of by having the bank contact my employer, but I had to set that up, otherwise they would be violating some kind of regulation.
Let's just take care of this tomorrow. I'm hungry and have other stuff to do. I decided to go back to the internetcafe I visited that morning, called easyinternetcafe, an affiliate of easyjet. This company just oozes with originality. But wait, what's this I see? Someone behind a desk! Who turns out to be the resident print person! (Where were you at 9:00 this morning? Never mind, let me embrace you!) I printed out the reference, and sprinted over to the letting agent, just because I like to rhyme. Finally. At least this has finally been taken care of.
Or has it?
I hand over the reference, only to hear that it needs to be signed... It wasn't. I also found out I needed a reference from my employer.

Burocracy: 1 - Me: 0

Again I show up 20 minutes late. Tired. Hungry. Homicidal.
At least work was really good.
All in all it was a day with some real highs and real lows, with the highs definitely outweighing the lows.
I guess it would be best to end on a weird note. I was just in my room in the hostel and some Italian guy was there, sitting on his bed, playing with his mobile phone or something. This asian guy just walked in with a pair of scissors, went right over to the Italian fellow, gave him the pair of scissors, bent his head down to him and simply said: "Cut." The Italian guy laughed and said: "Okay." The asian guy stuck his head out the window (there was very little light) and the Italian snipped a little bit of hair off of the back of his head. He held it up to the asian guy who said: "That's it?" This repeated itself about five times. Then we all had a big laugh and I left. I decided not to ask any questions because I like to think that they didn't even know each other.

Later that night all my burocracy issues faded away when the Australians (read: the entire hostel staff) took me out for a couple of drinks. Much fun was had.
End of day 2.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

1st Day at Django

Edinburgh, April 10th, 2007

I got up pretty early today to try and open up a bank account so I could get paid for all the hard work I was going to be doing. I wanted to be there when they opened, at nine o'clock, but because I was having such a nice breakfast in the park, I arrived there at nine thirty. There aren't really lines at the bank over there, someone actually comes up to you and helps you right away, which is nice. I asked how long it would take to open up a new account and they told me it would take about half an hour, so I decided to go to work and take care of the account during my lunch break, which they told me, wouldn't be a problem.
I called up my letting agent, to see when I could finally move into my new appartment. He needed a reference from a friend/former landlord before he could move me in. I had sent him an email with the reference in it, but he said he didn't get it. Great. So in stead of moving in the next day, like we agreed, I could move in on Friday, if I could get him the reference of course.
After I got off from work I waddled back to the hostel I was staying at (we went to the pub on an empty stomach) and had a good night sleep. Except that I woke up in the middle of the night and found out my new roommates left the light on during the night. I guess I'm braver than I thought I was.
End of first day.