Points of difference

Things that are different in Edinburgh as opposed to Melbourne:

The coffees here are HUGE! So the small take away coffee is the size of a regular. I ordered a large mocha at Costa Coffee and received a bucket.

When you order pizza from Dominos, you get a dipping sauce for your crusts. Garlic and herb aioli type thing.

It is dark until around 9am and then again at around 4pm.

People park every which way. It doesn’t seem to matter which direction you park in, as long as you get a park.

Alcohol is really really cheap!! At the fancy pants restaurant we went to on NYE, the cocktails were £6 and that is thought expensive. I bought a Rekorderlig for £4, I think, which is around $6AUD.

One of the biggest, and most striking differences, is just how OLD everything is here. The buildings and roads date back to before white Australia was born. I know I’ve said this before but it does my head in!

Jacket potatoes seem to be a very popular lunch. Everywhere we’ve been during the day sells them with all sorts of toppings.

The cheese is orange.

Chips. Chips are the drunk snack of choice. I had a chip roll at 3am on NYE. Don’t worry, I definitely walked it off! It was kind of weird. Deliciously salty and vinegary but I really could have done without the roll. I didn’t really see the point. The guy that served me couldn’t believe I’d never had one and congratulated me on my dining choice. The line in the chip shop was very long. Some of the fried food in the bain-marie was unidentifiable.

The money. They gave me some Bank of Scotland notes at some place which Anna told me may not be accepted in Wales and England. That’s annoying. Also, the coins are really heavy. The £1 coins at any rate.

The city is building trams, much to the disgust of most inhabitants. It is thought that they are a waste of money and space and are not needed. Apparently, the trams are only going to run in the city centre, unlike Melbourne where they go from the city out to the suburbs. I have to agree, they really do not seem needed. Apart from on the 1st of January, there are ample buses. We have not had to wait more than 5 minutes for a bus so far. Environmentally speaking, they would be better than the massive double decker buses though.

No public transport or cabs on NYE. Both taxi ranks we passed between 3am and 4am had at least 50 couples waiting and not a cab in sight. Hence the hour walk in arctic temperatures to get home.

The homeless. So many homeless people shivering in the streets. They just sit there, wrapped in blankets, most with signs. In Melbourne, the homeless approach the people in the street with a story, begging for change. I gave a pound to one guy on NYE and had a chat. He was certainly not on drugs or intoxicated in any way. I asked him where he would go later. He said he hoped to get in to a shelter but that he’d be hard pressed. Seeing homeless people in Melbourne makes me sad but in the middle of winter in Edinburgh, it breaks my heart! I have seen a couple of pedestrians give out hot drinks. I saw one guy convulsing with the cold. I have no idea what kind of support is in place for these people but I hope there are good services to help them through the winter.

The amount of stupidly dressedImage women I have seen over the last few days is astounding. I have seen women in short skirts, bare legs and ballet flats wandering through the city. On NYE most of the women I saw were incredibly under dressed. I shake my head in disgust at these types of women in Melbourne in winter. I was freezing that night and I had on stockings, socks, long sleeved dress, long sleeved wrap, coat, scarf and gloves. IDIOTS.

New vocab words: grim, rammed, merry, tatties, teets, aye, stovie, jackie p, Hoganamy, quid.

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