Written on | March 3, 2010 | 2 Comments
After I got rejected from the University Of Edinburgh - making Glasgow the way to go, I decided that I was going to have to find a way to fall in love with Glasgow. So, two weeks ago I went down to visit with my friend Alex because he had an interview at the school of art.
First impressions? It was sunny, and I was the warmest I’d been in ages. I even had my coat unbuttoned [.. although that was really because I was testing out my new clothes for the Euroscola trip -more on that soon- and I was paranoid that everyone would think I wasn't wearing a skirt, so I had to unbutton my coat to show them otherwise.] When Alex went in for his interview I decided that I was going to go on a little adventure of my own, so I went for a ride on the subway. I love subways. Edinburgh doesn’t have a subway ..
So I was sitting on the subway and wondering which station I was going to get off at, and just thinking to myself that I could do this every day. Apart from me in the carriage there was an old man, two Asian students who were discussing how they were late for their lecture, a lady wearing a colourful skirt, and a man eating a really smelly sandwich. And any one of them could have been an imposter like me, just someone who is trying to fall in love with Glasgow and decided to take a random ride on the subway for the hell of it. But i didn’t know that about them, and they didn’t know that about me. To them I was just another Glaswegian. And I liked that feeling, I decided, being a Glaswegian. Even if right then it was just for the day.
Alex had to go on a tour of the art school, so to continue on with my authentic Glaswegian adventure I decided that i was going to buy an actual Glaswegian newspaper and read it in a real Glaswegian Starbucks. The Starbucks was on Nelson Mandela Place, which I thought was awesome. I bought the paper from a little man with a stand on a street corner, and he told me I was the youngest person to buy a paper from him and to have a lovely day.
I always get this sense that everyone is proud to be a Glaswegian, really proud. And I like that, I can’t say I’ve ever met anyone who’s been really proud to be Aberdonian. And in my paper I read about how all these old people are volunteering to go round the city centre on Saturday nights and be nice to drunk people and give them flip flops. I want to be part of a city where people you don’t know hope you have a lovely day and give you free flip flops when you’ve lost your shoes or can’t walk in them on a Saturday night.
Although, I’m sure that probably happens in Edinburgh too, and numerous other cities in Scotland and all around the world. I was walking around Glasgow with Alex and I didn’t fall in love with glasgow the way i had with edinburgh, but i was surprised in that it wasn’t as hard to like as I imagined. All the way Alex, Edinburgh’s biggest advocate, was pointing out positive things about Glasgow to me, and I started to think that what if the reason I like Edinburgh so much is because of all the really good memories I have with my friends there? I thought about what Jolie said, and wondered if it’s because of all the roots I have planted there too? .. There’s the number five bus we take that goes to The Jewel, there’s that old bookshop we lost Callum in, that’s the cafe where we bought crepes and went back five minutes later for more. And if that’s the case, that having memories and roots makes me like somewhere, then let’s go make some good memories and plant some roots in Glasgow. If Alex can like Glasgow, then so can I!
On the bus home the sun was setting over the motorway and I listened to Past In Present by Feist over and over. And I know this sounds ridiculous but I felt peaceful. Already I had some memories, some roots in Glasgow. Over the bridge that sparkled with frost as we ran super fast over the Clyde, this is the chicken run at the top of the art school where you can look out over Glasgow in the sunshine, there’s the bench where we sat down and the kamikaze pigeons flew over our heads ’til I laughed like I hadn’t in weeks.
And I thought about it some more, and realised that it had already happened. I had maybe already fallen a little bit in love with Glasgow. And then I thought well jeez Gemma, after all that complaining you did give your heart away easily.
I hope that turns out to be a good thing.