Sunday, September 19, 2004

Edge of Aberdeen

Every day, my impression of Aberdeen expands. For example, the past several days have brought nothing but gorgeous sunshine and blue skies to a city I was starting to think only read about these things in books. The sun lit up the city so I could finally see it clearly, and it was still gray, but still. The grass was actually green, at least. As for the rest of it, well, apparently every structure in Aberdeen but one is made of solid granite. On yet another walking tour yesterday, Marianne showed me the one Aberdonian building that is not made of granite, but brick instead. It stood out so dramatically from its surroundings that I had to take a picture.

Also, as I explore a larger and larger radius from the flat, I understand that there are, in fact, things other than pubs and clubs in Aberdeen. There are also some banks and a lot of houses. And there is the university, which I'll be visiting tomorrow morning for my orientation. I have butterflies in my stomach, but they're very small butterflies, because I'm finally starting to get the itch that comes this time every year: JOCK ITCH. No, just kidding. I'm talking about the itch for knowledge.

Aberdeen is right by the sea, something I never knew because I didn't do an ounce of research before leaving home and shame on me for that. We walked out to see it the other day and it was absolutely beautiful. It felt so different than seeing the ocean from (continental) America, where you grow up feeling this endlessness of land and it's easier not to be impressed. When I see the ocean back at home, it feels like a fair fight between the land and the sea. Yesterday, I felt dwarfed in a completely new and awe-inspiring way.

After taking this in for several minutes, watching these huge waves just pounding on the seawall, I realized there were a bunch of guys out there trying to surf. I can only assume they had a death wish, because even I, Mr. Seattle-Is-Death-Valley-To-Me, was bundled up and shivering on the shore. Marianne, on the other hand, didn't seem surprised at all. Note to self: people here are crazy.

By the way, you know what else there's a whole lot of here in Aberdeen? Cemeteries. We passed five of them my first day just walking to the University from the flat. I've already told you Marianne's bedroom overlooks another one. Is there something I should know about this town? Because I haven't seen a lot of old people around here. Perhaps it's all the clubbing.


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