Thanks to some wonderfully succinct advice from a great friend, we are doing our best to absorb and be a part of all of this with small steps making up the whole. Step one, get off airplane. Step two, get to bathroom. Step three, reconvene and find bus area....and so on, until we get to the hostel, or couch host, or farm. The steps don't necessarily have an end - even more so, they seem to always be able to begin again, wherever you need them to. It is grounding, present-making.
This process - or attention to it - was especially helpful through our first few days hitting the ground in Glasgow. For those of you familiar with Boston, imagine your first experience there being dropped off in the middle of Downtown Crossing or the financial district around 5pm and your hostel being right at the edge of both. It most certainly wouldn't be the same Boston we all know and love. For those of you not familiar, what I'm getting at is that it is important to remember that first impressions are not always an accurate portrayal. Also, things take time to gel - identities of cities and people are strikingly similar in that they are incredibly complex and unfurl at surprising times or in funny ways. Sometimes it is easy to forget that.
I've said it in an email to someone recently and it remains accurate - the translation to Glasgow from Reykjavik was an aesthetically bumpy one. Where Reykjavik seems to cater to a visitor with simplicity in design and transportation, Glasgow - though things are in English - seemed harsh at first. We were also in the midst of the first stage of the aforementioned realization, while plinking ourselves in the center of a big city filled with expectations. Alas, it took a day of simply observing that exact experience and having patience...with ourselves and the newness and with the incessantly on again, off again rain.
The sense of openness, possibility and mini-adventure that comes with just walking about in a new place, getting lost, pulling oneself through the confusion is reinvigorating. It works well for us to take these walks and we've been wishing that we brought a pedometer with us, to satisfy the documentarian urge. At the very least, we are psyched to have remembered our rain coats.
Location:Dunollie Terrace,Oban,United Kingdom