Sunday, April 9, 2017

Mr. Smith Goes to Edinburgh – Erich

It will become apparent, in the duration of my post, that my verb tense in the title is incorrect. Setting that aside, yesterday I took a jaunt into Edinburgh.

We are staying at a farmhouse in Scotland. At the moment, Uncle Kevin, Aunt Mandy, and Konnor are visiting us. And yesterday, we caught a train into Edinburgh.
I realize that this is written and not an audiobook (or a podcast as that would be the more appropriate analogy.) But I do want you to internally pronounce Edinburgh as you would were you here. It is ED-in-b'rruh. That last part is like one and a half syllables, so the whole name is about 3.5 syllables. And if you are a local, you might shorten it even further, combining the ED and the in into a single syllable that sounds mostly like EN. EN-b'rruh. Either way you wish to pronounce it in your head is fine with me. But don't say ED-in-burg. It's not like Pittsburgh and this sure ain't Pennsylvania.

Edinburgh is a great mix of modern and traditional. Case in point, check out this ATM, disguised as a phone booth.
Imagine if Clark Kent tried to duck in here to put on his own disguise
There is some beautiful old architecture.
It's like a building wearing a crown
But the city is very modern. We stopped by an outdoor Flea and Food Market. While there, we tried some corn and crab fritters. More bizarre, we saw a dinosaur.
The picture doesn't capture the sound effects. The guy was going "RAWR!"
Okay, it was a man staying in that apartment with a dinosaur costume. But it was still unusual. I'm not sure why he decided to put on a show, but since he did, what could we do but watch him roar?

We walked along the Royal Mile. There were many sites along the way, but I think my favorite was a churchyard. Why?

First, we approached the church and Syarra asked what it was. I suggested we go look at the sign in front. It turns out that sign was a list of celebrities buried in the churchyard. I was looking through the list and my eyes popped out of my head. Adam Smith is buried here!

I was super excited, but Kevin and Mandy thought I was just being sarcastic. After all who would care about a guy named Mr. Smith? Of course, I knew him as the father of economics, author of Wealth of Nations, the guy who said we don't have to stick to this feudalism system, it will all be fine if we go to free markets.

I searched through the entire churchyard. Luckily Mandy found his grave for me.
Here lies Adam Smith
You must be important when you get a quote over top of your resting place
The quote was engraved on the ground before the tombstone. In case you can't read it in the picture, it reads, "The property which every man has in his own labour as it is the original foundation of all other property so it is the most sacred and inviolable"

I don't get to use the word inviolable often enough. My spell checker wants me to know that the spelling of labour is not inviolable. Or I guess to remove the double negative, that it is violable.

Mr. Smith was born in Edinburgh, and though he died elsewhere, he was brought back here to be interred.

Kevin, Mandy, and Konnor went hiking up the peaks at Holyrood Park to get to Arthur's Seat.
But as Syarra's leg is still hurting from her ice skating incident, we sat in the park at the bottom of the hill and enjoyed a warm Scottish afternoon.

And then, as sort of a final hurrah to our day in the big city, we got a late lunch or early dinner. Whichever you prefer. We went to a delicious bar/restaurant called The Royal MacGregor. And there we had some pretty traditional favorites.
Bangers and Mash
Ah, Bangers and Mash. Guess which part is the bangers and which part is the mash.
Halloumi Burger
This burger is topped with fried Halloumi cheese. I learned that Halloumi is originally from Cyprus, though we were first introduced to it in UAE. And it is so good!
Fish and Chips
Just seeing fish and chips makes you want to call someone "Guv'ner," doesn't it?
Haggis Tower
You can't say you've tried Scottish food without some form of haggis, can you? This one is haggis on the bottom, mashed potatoes in the middle, and mashed turnips on the top. And then you drizzle a whiskey butter sauce on it.

That was my first experience with haggis, and it will not be my last. Quite enjoyable. Even Konnor thought so.

So there is a quick report on the day that Mr. Smith was already in Edinburgh for quite some number of years, and Mr. Goldstein went to Edinburgh. Are those preferable verb tenses? Is verb tense really so inviolable? I wish Mr. Smith could weigh in on the controversy.

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