Yesterday was the rest day. A train ride, with a little writing on the way, and coffee. Rafal met me at the train station in Edinburgh, then a quick drop off to Mick's flat before Raf headed to work...
Then, on my own. Late afternoon. Edinburgh. Rushed to try to see Edinburgh Castle before it closed. Then proceeded with the quest-- to drink a scotch in a scottish pub. The Bow Bar did just fine. Something over 200 whiskeys. No, I did not try them all. But had a nice conversation with the barkeep and tried a couple...and as I sat in the warm afternoon sun lazily sipping on a hitherto-unknown and very fine Islay I thought I spied... could it be? No! Surely not. All of my native friends had assured me that there was no such thing, not in Edinburgh...
But on a terrace above Victoria street, something looked very much like a narghila. And the sign said "Hanam's Kurdish and Middle-Eastern Food." You gotta be kidding me. It almost made me rush the scotch. Almost.
Masaw- the yoghurt drink but sweeter than it was in Sulaymaniyah.
Gosht kebab- was what I had been looking for for some time. Ground, spiced lamb pressed over a flat skewer and served with flat bread.
It was delicious, and for one scary moment I was incredibly homesick for a place I only lived for a year. Helped a german couple order and then fell into conversation with Khalid, one of the customers. We talked and smoked for an hour or more.
Then a walk back to the flat, where I slept very, very well.
Today, Rafal took me with his kids to a pair of ruined castles-- Dirleton and Tantallon. Beautiful. Good place to hold off zombies. Now I have to pack, sleep, and wake up at 0400. Piece of cake.
USMAA North Central Regional Training Camp - Six to eight weeks out is when people really start paying attention to an event. I am starting to get very excited because we are 7 weeks out from the USMAA...
1 week ago