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19 April 2005

u-shaped nails

i got up early as planned and was out the door by 8am [see digression below]. paisley was about 7 miles from the hostel and i knew i'd have to catch some sort of public transportation to get out there and back before 11am. the gps told me that one road, paisley road west, led straight to paisley from glasgow. to get to paisley road west, i first had to cross the river clyde and navigate some cities streets. after walking about 30 minutes, i discovered the bridge i was planning to cross was a highway with no sidewalk. with time wasting i decided to jump into a cab and asked the driver to take me over the river towards paisley. we hadn't gone more than a mile and a half and the cab fare was already more than five pounds, so i asked the driver to drop me off at the next bus stop.

first bus comes.

me: 'how much is the fare?'

bus driver: 'to where?'

me: 'paisley.'

bus driver: [heavy accent. incomprehensible.]

me: 'excuse me?

bus driver: [heavy accent. incomprehensible.]

me: 'i'm sorry. i don't understand.'

bus driver: 'wrong bus. you want number nine.'

bus number nine comes.

me: 'how much is the fare?'

bus driver: [laughing. heavy accent. incomprehensible.]

me: 'excuse me?'

bus driver: [still laughing. heavy accent. incomprehensible. caught the word 'fare'.]

me: 'excuse me?'

bus driver: 'how much is the fare, eh? to wheeere?'

me: 'paisley.'

bus driver: 'one pound twenty.'

okay, so apparently you need to tell the bus driver where you're going. in boston, on the city buses you pay one fare no matter where you're going.

i got to paisley at around 9am. the sun for the first time in two days was shining and i was happy. i really enjoyed wandering around for the next hour and a half and made sure to take a lot of pictures for my friend back home. i caught a bus back at 10:30am and got to my hostel with about ten minutes to finish packing before check out.

i wanted to check out the museum of modern art before meeting up with mel at 3pm, but i decided to run up to the bus station and purchase my bus ticket over to edinburgh first. at the bus station i discovered citylink ran buses between edinburgh and glasgow every 15 minutes and so i decided to wait until i was ready to leave to purchase my ticket. i packed up THE in a locker in the bus station and was off to the museum.

as with the museums in london, i took my time walking around and really enjoyed the exhibits. one exhibit consisted of six photographs, each depicting a different type of homemade 'weapon' that a child might construct. some examples were a rubber band which when held between the index finger and thumb could be used to fire u-shaped nails, a pen blowgun which shot pushpins, and a pish balloon. yes, pish. the humorous descriptions of each of these weapons were written in the same way a description might be written for a broadsword or spear.

i met mel at 3pm and we walked down to a place she knew and grabbed a drink. it turns out mel is in a band and we had a nice conversation about travel and music... and traveling with music. after a couple of hours she walked me up to the bus station and i hopped on the citylink bus over to edinburgh. an hour and twenty minutes later i was in a new city. i could tell immediately that i was going to like edinburgh.

digression: i was spoiled in the oxford hostel. the breakfast there was comprised of orange juice, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, and toast. all subsequent complementary hostel breakfasts have been comprised of toast and cereal. blick.

posted by paul on Tue 19 Apr 2005 at 00:00:00 est (-05:00)

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