Visiting the U.K. – Part 12
Welcome to Dundee!! Home of the Penguin!
Okay, so not really. But there were a lot of penguins there. What’s up with that?
So, I slacked off on my journal keeping. I never was a good journal/diary writer.
There’s a five day gap here. I jumped from March 7th to March 12th. What occurred during these missing days are kind of a chronological mess in my mind. I don’t really remember which events occurred first. But let’s see what I can remember… I got to meet the last two of my brother’s flatmates.
He has a total of three roommates: a German, a Scot, and an Englishman. As the one that met us in Germany had stayed home, there were only the latter two there to greet us.
My very first recollection of them is this: a strong accent and an awesome beard, respectively.
We quickly fell into discussion about how Americans call breakfast rolls “biscuits” but a biscuit in the U.K. is actually a cookie. They explained that potato chips are “crisps,” french fries are “chips”, and candy refers only to “hard candy” everything else falls under the “sweets” or “confectionery ” labels, I believe. I was once again warned not to go around talking about my “pants” – as that refers to underwear in the U.K. whereas outerwear are called “trousers.”
And since my brother is there to pursue his education, we talked about the differences in American Universities versus those in the U.K., as well as the education system from elementary up through high school.
It’s really pretty fascinating how you can speak the same language and yet have so many differences.
Speaking of differences…or like, in related news…O.o Ahem! I learned that Dundee is similar to Oklahoma on Sundays – “What the…how?” You might ask? Basically, everything seemed to close at 6 or 7PM. Seriously, it’s like that town shut down after 5PM. Now, I’m an American…I’m pretty spoiled with all the 24-Hour McDonald’s, Wal-Marts, 7-11’s, etc. I mean, you can pretty much find something open at just about any time. So seeing everything closed down so early was kind of amusing.
“Where are we going to get dinner!?” Because come on…broke international student? You think he had food on his shelf in the fridge?
Turns out there’s one 24-Hour grocery store within walking distance, but the real gem is what they called a “take-away” place. Which…I found ridiculously amusing, and perhaps overly so, because here we call it “take out.” I still don’t understand why such a small, insignificant difference makes me giggle.
The take-away place was called…… O.o Something to do with a horse. Wow! I cannot remember.
(Brief pause in writing while I try to find the name of this place…)
Check it out, Google Maps is “da bomb”:
Pegasus! It was a quick walk from my brother’s flat, and I gotta say…I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the woman working when we went in but she was super nice. This was a pretty cool pace and we went a few times while I was visiting.
Pegasus gave me my first helping of real “fish and chips” style chips (just the chips, no fish that night). This was including the malt vinegar! I thought it would be soooo nasty cause vinegar is gross, but you add a little salt and it is to die for. Seriously. I want some right now.
And what did I get to go with my delicious chips? A delicious Scottish beverage:
That’s right: IRN BRU! When they asked me if I wanted to try it, I asked, “What’s it taste like?” And they were completely unable to tell me because there is very little it can be compared to. But, for those of you who have tried it or want to know, it totally, TOTALLY, tastes like that pink-bubblegum-flavored medicine you got as a kid when you had like…strep or ear infections or whatever.
Now hold on! Yeah, that sounds really gross… “WTF? It tastes like MEDICINE?” But let me clear this up: That bubblegum medicine was like CRACK. Okay? You wanted that shit even when you weren’t sick. Why can I remember it so well now? Almost 20 years after taking it? Because that shit was the best. I’ve never tasted anything else that was as bubblegum-ilicious as that pepto-colored serum.
So hold ya judgement on me til you try this IRN BRU! Cause it is some tasty, tasty stuff. And I’ll be honest…it’s not like a complete, full-on bubblegum flavor. That’s just what it reminded ME of. I’m sure other people have other opinions.
Yeah…so anyway, we went to Pegasus and got some noms. Then we went back and I don’t really recall what we did after we ate. Might’ve watched a film. I honestly can’t remember.
In the last couple of days, I’ve had a traditional fish and chips meal with malt vinegar and salt, which does indeed, sound disgusting but tastes surprisingly good. (See? I couldn’t get enough of it!) Likewise, I tasted some of Kyle’s Haggis, which was also surprisingly tasty. We ate this dinner in the dining area of a pub, which the name of has been forgotten.
I believe this one was called Wetherspoons? I also had an English Tea with the meal, and I just have to be honest – tea has never been, nor will it ever be, my thing. I just do not care for tea. Blech. And here’s a lousy photo taken with my phone:
(Here’s a little secret…I didn’t eat the peas. GROSS!)
Okay, so here’s the part where you all laugh at my ignorance and pride yourselves on being oh so much smarter than I am.
I had no idea that pubs served dinner. I’m sure at some point I’ve seen it in a movie or on tv, something. But when my brother suggested we go to a pub for a meal? I was like, “Wha…? They do that?” And it was damn good food, too. So I’ll write that down in my little book of life experiences and things to remember: “Pubs serve food too.”
So, take a break from the interwebs, run to the local pub and see if they’ve got anything good to serve you. Remember to report back!
On one of these last few days, Kyle also took me up to “Law” which is apparently the highest point in Dundee. From there you can see where the river Tay meets up with the North Sea.
So, I didn’t write a whole lot about Law – but I did take a lot of pictures! So I’ll just close this post out with a few of the photos taken from Law: