Glasgow, Scotland | 09:04
I am sitting in a KFC, where I just had breakfast. It was pretty good… about what you’d expect from a KFC. It is a typical rainy Glasgow morning. That means it’s raining. It’s not as windy as it was yesterday, but it’s raining twice as hard. It’s a good thing I enjoy the rain.
Let me say that I’m so glad I brought my iPad on this trip. It’s the ultimate portable computer, and it’s small enough that I can just throw it into my bag and go. I also brought my Zagg to type on an actual keyboard rather than having to type on the iPad screen. It’s like a little laptop. Neither Apple nor Zagg has paid me for telling you this. Although, if they wanna make a deal, I wouldn’t mind getting paid for “converts.”
This is the perfect morning for rain. I’m going to be stuck at the hostel for a while, after all. I’m declaring this the first laundry day of my trip. No, I don’t have tons of laundry yet, but I do leave Glasgow for my next destination tomorrow, and it will be better to not have to carry stinky laundry with me.
Hostel Stays: Here’s a list of things to make sure your hostel has:
- Free Internet- I didn’t look for this when I was booking, but it’s a must! Mine came with it, but you have to go down to the lobby in order to reach it. There is an option to have it in your room for 4 pounds a day, but they won’t guarantee the speed, so I just go down to the lobby when I need to.
- Free Breakfast- This may be my only hostel that comes with the meal- this is another thing that I didn’t think about looking at when I booked. Here, it’s just a simple cereal bar that comes with toast and juice. It’s simple, but it’s good to not have to go out and find breakfast in the rain.
- Private WC- The deal with hostels is that you’re saving tons of money, and if you get a shared room, there’s going to be total strangers sleeping in the bunk next to you and stuff. That’s not so bad, but I’m not for the whole community showering situation. At the very least, give me a private shower stall, that is, if you can’t give me my own bathroom. What some people won’t do to save a buck… just don’t drop the soap.
- Clean- I’m not way picky about the places I stay in. My Glasgow hostel is one of the better hostels, not to mention the fact that I happen to have a private room at this stop. The need to be running the vacuum daily. I don’t even care if they change my sheets each day- I’m the only one sleeping in the bed, after all. You may have to deal with the smell of your roommates- so at least the room will be clean if not the others in the room.
And that’s about the extent of it. You don’t have to have these things, but it sure is helpful when you do. Keep in mind, hostels are only for those who don’t mind sharing a room. It saves me tons of money, though. I’m not here to “wine and dine” or hang out in my room all day. I wake up, get ready, and usually leave the hostel. I’m here to see Scotland, after all, not hang out inside the entire time. If that’s your plan, then go pay extra for that charming B&B or hotel room.
So far, my afternoon has been great! I wanted to go find a certain church, on the outskirts of downtown. When I searched, I saw that it was in West Glasgow. I had to do my stretches because it was 3 miles one way. Finding the church was mess.
I missed one of my turns and ended up about a mile in the wrong direction. I stopped to ask for directions and they basically pointed me back in the direction I had just come. I backtracked and after a lengthy search, found the address, which turned out to somebody’s house. You’d think there would be a sign out front or something, but there wasn’t one.
I stood around for a while, and this girl walked up and asked if I knew the way to the 7th Day Adventist Church. I just laughed and told her I was looking for a different church- we were both lost. I finally took a picture of the building and left. On my walk back to the hostel, I noticed how trendy and upper-class this portion of West Glasgow was. I hadn’t had lunch yet and decided to look for a place to eat.
I found a restaurant called Cail Bruich, which translates to “To Eat Well” in Gaelic. They sat me in the corner of the restaurant near this elderly couple. I heard the man speak and noticed his American accent. I thought immediately that the couple must be from the US, or perhaps Canada. I said hello and told them I was on vacation from the states. The man asked what part of the states I lived in, and I told him Kentucky. His eyes lit up! He said that he was initially from Paducah, Kentucky (not too far from where I live).
This couple, Mr. and Mrs. Reed, spend about 6 months in California a year and the other 6 months are spent in Glasgow near her side of the family. What a fantastic retirement this would be! Mr. Reed told me that the two of them had been married for 40 years now. He decided to take a Scottish country dance class near his home, and that’s where the couple met. She and one of her girlfriends decided to take that same class. He said he fell in love with here the moment they’d met. They were soon married in Santa Monica (near where my parents were married). He attended UCLA for a time but graduated at the U of A in Tucson, Arizona. We had a great conversation, but they had to leave about the time my dinner arrived.
I had the fish & chips. Oh, my cow! I’ve had fish & chips many times, but this was probably the best one thus far! The fish was beer-battered, and the chips were substantial potato wedges, also fried. The tartar sauce was the best I’ve ever tasted. Of course they made it there from scratch. Every time the lady would come by I told her how much I loved my meal. She probably thinks I’m a freak, but I had to let her know every time. I told her I’d be talking about this meal and that I’d surely come eat hear again the next time I come to Glasgow.
One of the servers came out and asked me about my blog. He was probably hoping that I was some vital food critic or something. I told him that it was just my personal blog so that friends and family (and total strangers) can keep up with me. He gave me a business card and told me I could share it with others- so here’s the information:
725 Gt Western Road
0141 334 6265
Come to Glasgow. Eat there.
I just had a light snack for dinner. My lunch at Cail Bruich was later in the day and I was still full. Tonight I met a guy named Mark. He has come to Glasgow but is from Aberdeen, Scotland. He looked like he was stressing out just a bit, so I said hi. He told me that he’d come to Glasgow because his Uncle, who lived here, has lung cancer and it has spread all throughout his body. The doctors told him that he could die any day- they are sure that he’ll be gone within the week.
I didn’t know what to say to Mark, other than the fact that death is an unfortunately part of life. I don’t know his background or anything, and there wasn’t enough time to get into talking about theology. I’m not sure what his views of life and death are, but I wish I would have had time to speak with him about it.