Living Abroad

The Wheels on the Bus

Can we please talk about double decker buses? I love them so much. And it doesn’t matter that it’s been two years since I have moved to the UK, the novelty hasn’t worn off.

Public transportation is a huge part of my life in Scotland because the novelty of driving a stick shift on the left side of the road faded super quickly.

I get so excited when I jump on the bus in the morning and try my best to run up the stairs before the driver pulls away. Yes, I realize I’m a 10 year old.  And if the bus driver does speed off before I can get up the stairs, then it’s an excellent core exercise as I hold on for dear life.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Once I get to the top, it then becomes the seat game. Now I prefer the seats at the front, so I have windows beside me and in front of me, like I’m on a ride at EPCOT (have I mentioned I’m 10?). But you have to be strategic, because I prefer to not sit next to anyone and people are lazy and tend to go to the front instead of the back. So you have to weigh your options and decide what’s more important. It’s a daily struggle.

And no, I don’t ride single decker buses, they are sad and pathetic.

I only look down on single decker buses.

I also have to mention that manners seem to still exist at bus stops and that makes me very happy. Without a doubt, a business man, schoolboy or nice older gentleman will usually let me on the bus first. I’m still surprised every time it happens, but thank you commuters of Edinburgh for restoring my faith in chivalry.

Beautiful views from the bus. Yes, that’s a man dressed as Olaf. 

My other favorite form of public transportation in the UK is the glorious train. Yea yea, Amtrak is fine from DC to NYC, but it does not compare to ScotRail, let me tell you!

Like the bus, I don’t like sitting next to anyone. Sorry, not a sharer, only child syndrome. So I do my best to find the single seat next to the luggage rack (because I also don’t trust people and need to see my bag at all times). I set up my iPad and watch an episode of “Suits” (it’s my new show right now because I need to see who this American chick is that is probably going to become a princess instead of me…she seems cool, whatever). Anyway, I can also do work on the train because they have semi-working wi-fi and when technology fails me I get to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Scotland. If it’s not raining, too cloudy or we are going through a tunnel.

I must say I also enjoy the train with my friends. Preferably with mini wine bottles that you can conveniently get from M&S and they will even give you a free cup. Excellent service Marks and Sparks!

Scott Monument at Waverley station. 

As in Sir Walter Scott, the writer, not just a monument for all Scottish people. One in particular whose last name happens to be Scott. It’s confusing.

Anyway, moving along, another form of public transportation in Edinburgh are the traditional hackney black cabs. Now, I have learned that hackney comes from hackney carriages meaning a horse drawn carriage for hire. And by hire I mean rent. In the UK anything you rent they call “for hire”. A rental car is a car you hire, if you rent out an event space, it’s a space you hire. It sounds snooty because it is.

But the “hackney” cab drivers are super friendly and often want to know your life story. Why would you move to Scotland from the US? You are from Florida, what is wrong with you? I ask myself these same questions every time the wind and rain makes me fall on the cobblestones. And yes, this has happened at least twice. It’s super cool coming into work with holes in your tights.

However, when I am able to avoid the cobblestones, I do enjoy walking around Edinburgh. Fortunately for me, my usual routes are all in the middle of the city. The honking cars, the screaming pedestrians, the near death experiences crossing the street. It’s a blissful concrete paradise!

And the views aren’t bad either.

Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Scots Greys monument. 

This statue actually does commemorate a lot of Scots and grey horses. Not kidding, they were a cavalry of Scots that rode grey horses. They were really creative back in the 17th century.

Anyway, all in all, I enjoy my transportation options in Edinburgh and apparently have a thing for some of the statues. You’re welcome for the history lesson.


When the dress code for a work event is dressy, my husband wears this…

I have no further words.

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