So I’ve been in Ayr for more than a week now: I already have seen some of the surroundings, my English (oh, strike that, Scottish) is getting better by the minute, first days at uni provided a lot of excitement and hope, and I met some lovely people!
Alright, that was about it. See you next time!
Ok just kiddin’, here’s some extra information and pictures to enjoy:
– I’ve got four flatmates called Joe, Elena, Rhona and Aaron. They are really nice and I’m looking forward to living with them this year!
– Scottish people are the friendliest I’ve ever met. Seriously. For example: when Abel and I were on the boat to Arran we had some trouble paying with our Dutch debit cards – and the guy standing next in line immediately offered to pay our lunch for us! Unbelievable.
– It’s about 500 steps from my front door to uni. Good thing when I’m running late, not so good when I want to win my Fitbit challenges.
I wished I could just close the lid like that and take her… Heart-breaking to leave Moortje and Balthazar behind.
Off we go! Remember how I made jokes before leaving about having 40 kilos to travel with? Yeah, that came right back at me. It’s wasn’t nearly enough, so I guess I’m gonna have to do a bit of shopping here…
The sweetest people in the world all came to say goodbye! Those waving people are my lovely friends, parents and one of my sisters but one of my other sisters and Abel’s family was also there. I’m so blessed. From left to right: Elise, Philip, Lilian, Ineke (my mom), Tamara (my sister), Hans (my dad), and Hidde.
Actually, I’ve got great parents-in-law! Look at what they gave me at the airport: it’s the best chocolate in the world! I’m not even kidding, even the Scots around here think that’s true.
So this is the campus I’m on. You cannot actually see my flat because it’s in the left corner, all the way to the back, but it does give a good impression. Every flat has four or five bedrooms and one kitchen/livingroom.
Abel and I immediately decided to explore Ayr and walked via High Street to the beach, and look: the sun does shine here! Well, or as Abel said: it shines over there.
Fish and chips with a pint. First night in Scotland, so how could we not?
What you see here is my room and the view from it. As you can see, I’ve got nothing to complain about! Loads of compartments to hide my things in, and it’s really bright!
Scottish breakfast (compared to the English breakfast, this one has got tattie scones). First breakfast in Scotland, so how could we not? Wait…
On this day we did some shopping to decorate what will be my home for the following year, so that isn’t interesting enough to share.
We decided to go to the Isle of Arran – the one you can see when you’re on the beach in Ayr! Abel and I’ve done a lot of travelling around by train, but this was definitely one of the coolest rides: the train tracks are next to the sea! Awesome.
In the tourist information centre of Arran (mind you, there only live around 4000 people on the island and there aren’t many tourists either) we suddenly heard some Dunglish next to us! Seriously, those Dutchies really are everywhere, aren’t they?! We got into talking with her, Jildou, the blonde girl you see here, and it turned out she and her German flatmate Franzi are going to UWS at Ayr as well! Franzi is even following the same course as I am. They decided to hike with us to Glen Rosa (a glen is a valley).
I think they made a good decision.
It didn’t even bother them that we were planning on walking for about 25 kilometres and that the sun was nowhere to be seen. How could you be bothered with this kind of view, though?
My flatmate Joe told us “Glasgow is famous for the rain, even in Scotland” and unfortunately he turned out to be right.
Yup. It rained.
And it rained some more. We decided to visit a cinema so we finally saw Inside Out. Absolutely LOVED IT! One of my all-time favourites, I think.
Abel did his best before we went to Glasgow to make a list of all the vegetarian and vegan restaurants they have. The Flying Duck had some veggie burgers!
Another day in Glasgow! We went to the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and even though I liked the exhibitions, being the magpie I am, I was most impressed with their shiny, sparkly, rainbow-y ceiling they had (caused by many layers of glass or so. I actually have no idea but I liked it).
Glasgow’s got not one, but many TARDIS’es! I liked that as well.
They’ve also got a pretty cool cemetery. Or is that something you cannot say about a cemetery? (It was, though)
We even saw the botanical gardens!
In the category of unexpected things to see in Glasgow: this business centre in the middle of a park.
Another vegan restaurant: Stereo. They served vegan haggis!
Yeah, alright, I admit: our relationship is mostly based on food.
In the evening we went to the students’ union so we met Jildou and Franzi again, their flatmate Fraser and a few other pretty cool people.
One of the saddest moments of my -not very long yet- life: Abel had to go home again. There were loads of tears (mostly on my side) and loads of saying “it’ll be alright, we’ll see each other soon” (mostly on Abel’s side). He’s right though.
I actually have no idea what I did on this day but there was a squirrel involved.
And I remember something about an international night with quizzes on Scottish words (I failed at that) and some Scottish line-dancing (which Fraser and I got a compliment on). One of the funniest things ever. I mean, look at this and you’ll know what I’m talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMkIzcyyB3E. It also went on for, like, ever.
This is one side of my university’s building. It’s so light and new and clean and I LIKE THAT. We had a meeting with all postgraduate students and we had to make short videos about our first impressions of the uni. As I said, light and new and clean.
In the afternoon, we gathered with all of the University of the West of Scotland-students. We’re from Ayr, but there’s also a UWS-location in Paisley, one in Hamilton and one in Dumfries. No, I didn’t make that name up.
Next to all the information the uni was handing out, we could also play some darts, eat cotton candy and ride the rodeo bull. Franzi was actually pretty good at that!
Time for home-made pizza at my place! Here you see me, Marieke (another Dutch girl who was staying at Jildou’s for the night), Fraser, Jildou and Franzi.
And then there was this morning. When I got to uni, there was this guy in a kilt, playing the bagpipes. And since I was
a little late enjoying the advantages of living this close to uni, he was playing the bagpipes for nobody except me. It was as awkward as you probably imagine right now and it still doesn’t make sense in my head.
Another shot of the uni. I really like it here. They even got a ping pong table (where you can see Franzi and one of my other classmates David) and apparently I suck at that.
Oh, by the way, that video I told you about earlier? It had to be finished today so if you wanna see the final product, well, here goes nothing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyg0R3bBY5E.
I know the weather in the Netherlands kinda sucks at the moment so not to brag but I haven’t seen any rain in Ayr yet (knocking on wood at the moment)! This is the riverside of the uni.
I went into town with Jildou when all of a sudden we found ten pounds in the street! And since it was Friday afternoon, we decided to immediately spend that on a cocktail pitcher and some grilled halloumi.
So yeah, as you can see, I’m already having a blast over here! For those of you who do not know, I also have a Scottish cell phone number now (please ask if you want to have it) and a very Scottish address (ditto).
Hope the post wasn’t too long but since you’re reading this, you haven’t fallen asleep yet. So I guess I’ll see you next time!