Edinburgh Day 2: Settling In and Feeling Welcomed

November 1st, 2012 by Laura Longley

My first morning in Edinburgh I slept in until 9 AM, and then got busy getting myself settled. The day before I had been too tired to deal with unpacking, so everything was in a big mess. I spent a little time getting everything unpacked a put away.

I am fortunate that my room has plenty of storage: a 3-drawer chest of drawers and 2 big wardrobes. I felt much better once everything was all organized. I took a shower and headed out to find some coffee.

Home Away From Home

Where I am staying is in a residential area, and there is no coffee shop or café just around the corner. Rats! That was part of my fantasy of being in Edinburgh, that I would get up each morning and go to my neighborhood café for coffee. Since this fantasy was not possible, I looked up on Google maps what café was close by. I found a Starbucks about a 10 minute walk away.

Being from Seattle and in a foreign city, I really hated to go to Starbucks. But I figured I still had a month to find a local coffee place. This Starbucks is on what is called the Royal Mile, and is on the edge of the touristy part of Edinburgh. The two women I sat next to at the counter at the window were both American.

There was one thing that was different than an American Starbucks: it cost more to have a pastry to eat in the store than to get one to take away. I asked the woman working at the register why this is, and she didn’t know. I’ll have to notice if this is true in other cafés, or just a Starbucks thing. If you know why, please comment.

After returning to the flat, I spent most of the day working, just as I would if I were at home. I did go out in the afternoon to do some shopping for toiletries. I was very pleased at finding my way around with no difficulty. I am blessed with a good sense of direction and am very visual. If I’ve been there once I can usually find my way back again. Even in Edinburgh with all its twisty, turny streets!

My First Meetup

When I first decided to come to Edinburgh for a month I joined some Meetups here (http://www.meetup.com). I’ve belonged to a variety of Meetups in the Seattle area, and it’s a great way to meet people with similar interests. Since initially my reason for being here was to decide if I would like to live here, it was important to me to see how easy it would be to get connected with like-minded people and make friends.

One of the Meetups I joined is the Edinburgh Intuitive Creators. Because it was Halloween, they were having a discussion about ghosts. I haven’t ever seen a ghost myself, but I was interested in hearing the stories of others.

There were seven people, including me, at the Meetup. The organizer, Jinty, was very friendly, warm and welcoming. Waiting for the meeting to start I had a lovely conversation with Debs, whose daughter is leaving January to go to WSU to do a PhD in Geology. What a coincidence! WSU is my alma mater. Who’d have thought that I’d meet someone who had a connection there on my first night out?

The meeting itself was interesting and fun. Some people did have ghost stories, but we also talked about other topics related to setting intentions and receiving guidance from our higher selves. I felt very at home and felt that I not only learned some things, but was also able to contribute.

When it was time to leave, Debs asked me which way I was going, and we walked part of the way together. The Meetup was about a 40 minute walk from my flat. I sure am going to get plenty of exercise while I’m here!

Walking back along the Royal Mile there were many people in costume. It was fun to see all the youngsters (kids in their 20’s) dressed up for Halloween and out and about. It was quite a lively feeling, and I enjoyed it very much.

New Friends

When I got back to the flat I signed onto Meetup to make sure that I was signed up for any other meetings with this group during my stay. Unfortunately, it turned out that the rest of the meetings are on Tuesday evenings and conflict with when I do my radio show.

I emailed Jinty and told her how grateful I was for the Meetup, and how sad and disappointed I was that I couldn’t attend again. She emailed back and invited me to a spiritualist service on a Thursday in two weeks. It felt so wonderful to be welcomed and included.

I also emailed Debs, because we had agreed to go to the next Meetup, too. I asked her to get together for tea or coffee since I couldn’t make the remaining meetups, and she agreed right away.

In the meantime, another of the group members, Rina, had emailed me and asked for more information about soul retrieval, which I had mentioned during the meeting. I responded back to her and expect this might be another opportunity for a friendship.

I couldn’t believe it! One meetup, a day and half into my stay in Edinburgh, and 3 potential new friends. How wonderful! I’m wondering if this is a sign about living in Edinburgh. It certainly seems like it’s been easier to meet people already than I find it in Seattle.

But perhaps that’s because I have set that intention.

What do you think? Would love to hear your comments.

6 Responses

  1. ginny says:

    RE: the extra charge for the pastry for eating in… this is really common in a lot of European countries. It was in Italy. I think the argument is that if you occupy a table, you should have to pay extra for it and if you don’t you get a lower price. I also noticed, however, that in Italy if you were Italian and ate in, they almost never charged people extra to eat in if they were Italian. But then, I saw a lot of Italians standing and eating/drinking coffee. So there is a general disincentive to take a table that I think must be associated with the extra charge. I have had Starbucks coffee in every country I’ve visited (it’s a little sojourn of mine) and I have never been charged extra to sit at a table, not even in Turkey. In Turkey, I used their bathroom and bought nothing, and they didn’t care at all. Go figure.

    • I guess it does make sense, Ginny. I think about in the US all the people who camp out in Starbucks or other coffee shops with their laptops. It does cost more to support them with the facilities. A point the woman at the regsiter made is that if you stay in, you use dishes that have to be washed, where if you take it to go (or take away as they say here) you don’t.

  2. David Gaian says:


    Really enjoyed this newsy post from your time abroad.

    Grabbed your link there for MeetUps. Thanks!

    Here’s me (and all your Ursa Minor fans) wishing you a great continued stay Scotland.


  3. Greg Anderson says:

    The difference in food price is to do with tax, you pay certain taxes on eat-in food that you don’t on take away food, though it changes if it’s hot take away food. The way the hot food is served makes a difference (it’s all very technical, if it’s hot because it’s freshly baked out of the oven no tax, if it is then placed in/on a heated shelf to keep it hot to serve it’s taxed) and the UK Government recently tried to change it which caused a big outcry, know as “Pasty-gate”.

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