I have not had a holiday in years. This past year, I used most, if not all, of my annual leave for work experience. I actually enjoy doing this, its a much cheaper form of holiday.
But so many things changed recently, I left my job and most of my friends have graduated from university. Hang, who is one of my oldest friends in Brighton also graduated this year. So, we had to do something to celebrate and cherish this moment. I look back and think ‘five years WOAH, how could that have been five years?’ I am still the same as I notice the wrinkles becoming more visible.
Hang and I have long said we wanted to go someplace together but we never did. Finally, I had the time and she did not have the worries of looming deadlines so we decided Edinburgh was the place!
I have to admit, I wanted to cancel at first because I was thinking of the cost but I am so glad that I did not! It was a great and very much needed break as this past few months have not been easy. Thankfully, Hang is great at planning and she booked everything. She at times felt like a mom than a friend as she was like ‘get your boarding pass ready!’ or ‘Are you working?!’ or ‘You don’t actually listen to anything I say.’
We left Brighton in the early hours of the evening, catching a train to Gatwick and it was a great flight. EasyJet did not delay our flights and we arrived on time. So, what could possibly go wrong? We got on the wrong bus- that’s what went wrong. I trusted Hang to know which bus we should get on but we managed to get on the bus 300! As we got off the bus, laughing at our own stupidity for getting it wrong, we found another pair who were lost too. We managed to put them in the right direction and arrived at our Airbnb at approximately 12AM .
The little things in life bring me joy. I remember one of those being when I collected the Scottish pound notes from the cash machine. Oh, I am such a child. For the first day, we could not do much as we were blessed by rain rather than sunshine. We walked around the city centre, doing lots of window shopping and Hang telling me about the plans for the rest of our time here.
The next day was more exciting. We visited the castle- which was expensive but fascinating. And I decided to wear my Afro out for the first time. I find it fascinating that humans can build such magnificent structures without the use of technology, as we know it today.
I have always had an admiration for the Scottish accent. In jest, I pronounced Edinburgh as Edinbrrrru partly to describe how cold it was. We treated ourselves to my first ever afternoon tea but here is the trick to being on a budget- you can make your meals. The Airbnb host said it was OK for us to use the kitchen and although it was weird to enter a strangers kitchen to cook, it was fine. We had a particular craving for noodles, which we ate a number of times.
After the castle, we went to the Scott Monument. This building was so high but I was determined to have new experiences. Hang and I did not speak to each other as we struggled to concentrate on the stairs. It was a great view. At times, it felt dangerous because of how narrow it was. We went to the highest level and it was so clear and beautiful to see both the old town and new town. We returned to the house early and had a delicious bubble tea and a face mask. Hang watched one of her crazy shows and I resorted to my emails.
Edinburgh is such a beautiful city. It had a mix of architecture with greenery. The next day, we went to Calton Hill which was so peaceful. Hang and I had a couple of deep conversations there. #Leafonwater. I unashamedly took the touristy pictures as I climbed up The National Monument of Scotland, on Calton Hill in Edinburgh. The structure which clearly has Greek influences was beautiful but rather dangerous. Most people pulled each other up and all I could think of was ‘This is a safety hazard!’ Also, do not wear a skirt there!
On the last and final day, it was beautifully sunny. Hang and I went to a park. They had these big beautiful parks and we went on the slides and swings. This is where you know that really and truly, we are just big babies. Then, we headed to the Museum which was free (thank the Lord!) and I found it very enjoyable.
Some things change but what remains the same is Hang and I’s love for funny XFactor videos on YouTube. It was perfect as we laughed hysterically. We had some late lunch at a noodle bar and headed to Edinburgh Airport using the right bus (thankfully). Our flight was delayed but we got back just in time. I had to catch two trains and walk 8 minutes from the station to my house. It was really dark and my sister would have chastised me if I told her that I walked alone at 12am. I had to wash my hair because I was getting my hair braided the next day. Plus, I had been without my laptop for days so I had tasks waiting for me. At around 3AM, after a phone call with a friend in Nigeria, a couple of poster designs for an event which I was planning and my hair washed, I went to bed. It was only then that I realised, my time in Edinburgh was too short! Can time slow down just a little bit please?
Thank you Hang for the special memories and for being my professional photographer and comedienne. #Edinbrrru #KJU #Brianonthelastday I will miss you!!!