Monday, October 09, 2006

The Adventures of Franimal and Her Constant Companion, Kenneth

When the Vikings invaded Scotland and Ireland in 1668, they not only plundered their villages and made away with their women, but they also committed the terrible act of stealing all the J's and H's from their alphabets. This is how we derived (from the English names John and James), Sean and Seamus for the Irish, and Ian and Hamish for the Scottish.

Why is this important, you might inquire?

Meet Hamish:
Hamish is a yak; he is also my one true love. He is the reason I went to Scotland. Yaks cover about 95% of Scotland's arable land. They are Scotland's key export and have healing powers. So maybe I didn't learn anything real while I was in Scotland, but I saw a bunch of really amazing stuff. For instance:

Yes, tuxedoed men in kilts abounded, as did historical churches and castles, sheep, and men dressed as either medieval warriors or beer bottles. I traveled to Edinburgh with three lovely ladies who would appreciate these sights: Alena (from New Trier), Michelle (from Oneka), and Michelle's friend Brittany. We explored Edinburgh on day one, and then that night saw (deep breath) Megan, a counselor from Oneka who lives in Aberdeen but came down to see us; Colin, the Irish boyfriend of a friend from New Trier who met him while he was studying abroad; and Katie, the cousin of another New Trier friend who also knows Colin was quite a conglomeration of people in one random city. The night was so confusing, in fact, that somehow I got conned into taking a drink that was labeled "Egg Cream":

It was exactly as I had expected.

But what was not as I expected was Edinburgh and Scotland itself; the city was beautiful, and even more stunning were the Highlands---we got to see Loch Ness and some beautiful scenery, and best of all, our guide was this adorable little old lady with a heart of sass. I like Scotland, and you should go there.


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