It’s been two months since I came to Edinburgh. I still feel charmed by the old buildings from time to time, and feel fascinated by the sunrise and sunset every day. I love this place, like loving a habitat of my soul.
I especially love the cobbled streets here, containing a sentiment, different from the asphalt street which I am familiar with. It seems like every road leads to a secret garden. The trouble is, walking on these roads for clumsy me feels dangerous and I could sprain my ankle. What saved me was the Yunnan Baiyao in my luggage.
I enjoy the academic environment here with the free discussion. There is no right answer for certain questions. There is no authoritative conclusion in any books. I feel free to try applying crazy ideas to my projects. I also turn to look at the world in a more pluralistic way. Sometimes I miss those days when I sat in back of the classroom nodding off, and those who nodded off with me.
Here I feel the city's noises, like the bustling crowd on Princes Street. I come across numbers of Chinese tourists every time. Compared with the excitement on their face, I’m acting like I’ve already been here for two years, proficiently and nonchalantly, walking in a hurry. Only then do I realize that I’m not able to take in the view with real ease, and that I’m actually burdened with stressful school work.
But here I also see open countryside. Taking whatever bus brings me the view of boundless field, unrestrained cattle and sheep, and ultimately the open seaside. Buses don’t announce the stops, which gives the drivers an important role, answering questions, selling tickets, and reminding you of the stops if you ask. So I must get into the habit of saying thank you to the driver when getting off.
However, things in supermarkets are the opposite. I have to take a basket of things to the machine, to put them over the scanner and scale one by one, bag them and then pay. Surely I can get help when necessary from the servers standing beside me. They always patiently solve some little problems for me.
People here are usually very polite. They queue up from two meters away when waiting to pay. They hold the door for people following behind. Every one is in a hurry but no one shows impatience to others. I say dozens of ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ everyday. What amazed me is when I said thanks in Chinese to the cashier in the Chinese supermarket, I suddenly felt awkward.
I’m gradually used to not starting the morning till 9a.m., lunch at 1p.m. or even 2p.m. I start to accept informal lunches, sometimes a sandwich only. Without noon break, I become dependent on coffee. Of course I no longer hesitate to name the coffees. And I’m even thinking about giving myself a cool Starbucks name. I feel a little bit sad though, when I miss bubble milk tea. I can only make it by myself, while cherishing the memory of so many bubble milk tea shops in my hometown.
Luckily, I enjoy the fish and chips. But when there is leisure time, I always make egg fried rice for my supper which is my forte. I remembered once there was no rice at home, I creatively cooked egg fried pasta, and ate them happily with a pair of chopsticks.
What’s interesting is, for me, the roll call is more difficult to adapt to than the food. I’d better use my English name, considering the convenience for most people. To use the name Stella feels like I’m living here with another personality. Like Stella means star, that part of my personality is pursuing permanent brightness, distant, but also warm. It has long existed though, it gets magnified here.
Nevertheless I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I can sit on the ground everywhere, stretching myself to the extreme here. Maybe it’s because I can allow my greater appetite since I can still fit in size s here. Maybe it’s because I’m not afraid of losing face when I say something wrong, as English is not my mother language, I think I will be excused. Besides, I never lack topics here because people are curious about China the way they were hundreds of years ago. Hence, I get false confidence. And as time goes by, I truly become confident and cool.
I love this place, like loving a habitat of my soul. My body is unconstrained; my thinking is flowing; while nostalgia occasionally catches me.
WelcomeHome Support people from overseas.
What is more