2014 Spring Brianna Fonti External Programs Ireland

Cabs, Coins and Castles

With one month under my belt, I’m officially beginning to feel like a Glaswegian.  I’ve become accustomed to the ways of the land, and my directional impairment has improved vastly, as referencing googlemaps for a detailed route to the nearest grocery store is a thing of the past. Speaking of, a recent trip to the grocery store elicited some nostalgia, and had me yearning for the days when I had easy access to a car. I believe I hit an all time low in my travels when I overestimated by strength and dexterity concerning  carrying bags, and greatly underestimated the amount of groceries I would splurge on.  8 flimsy bags, two uneasy hands, the odds were not in my favor.  So I resorted to desperate measures, dialing the cab service and asking to be taken back home to my flat.  Luckily I was blessed with a benign driver, and the ordeal is one that I hope I will not encounter again in my travels.

With Spring break travel plans coming together , and my monetary funds, slowly but surely depleting, I decided to get a job.  Well, a job equivalent if you will.  Say hello to your newest lab rat!  With a website offering a sundry of experiments to partake in with payments of up to 50 pounds, I was immediately enticed.  My first study is actually tomorrow, in which I am required to judge a person’s affability based on the physical features of their face.  This is one of my lower paying jobs, raking in only 3 pounds, just enough to treat myself to a nice lunch afterwards!  Desperate times call for desperate measures my friends, and  the notion that money doesn’t grow on trees is really ringing true during my time here in Scotland.

On the topic of money, I believe I have finally got the pence system down pat.  My change purse is frequently near the point of explosion, due to the fact that there are about 8 coins used in the pounds system, as opposed to the 4 used in America. I am also becoming aware of the frivolousness of the two pence coin, seeing as they are rapidly accumulating in my coin purse.  Although not a Scottish constituent, I motion for the eradication of this coin, unless of course someone can make a convincing argument that it does indeed hold some merit.  The most difficult part about study abroading though has to be the conversion rates.  With $1 being equal to .61 pounds, my wallet’s emptiness is synonymous with the vacuity in my heart brought about by money deprivation.  I am without a doubt being overdramatic, but learning to properly budget, though essential, isn’t one of the highlights of my traveling experience.


To offset the ostensibly negative tone of this blog post, I’ll talk about my trip to the ineffably beautiful yet rivetingly daunting historic landscape that is the Dunnotar castle.  With the likes of Mary Queen of Scots and William Wallace gracing its halls, I felt like a mere peasant roaming around the hallowed remains. The tour was exhilarating, with the  tempestuous winds coursing through my veins, and the legends hinting that the fortress is indeed haunted. The movie buff inside of me was dying to stand at the highest peak and shout “FREEDOM,” but reasoning kicked in and told me that perhaps that particular idea is better in theory than if actually executed.


I actually took this picture, pretty postcard worthy if iI do say so myself!

Even though I hit a few bumps in the road, this experience as a whole has been so rewarding so far, and I cannot wait to see what’s next in store for me!

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