Falkirk Wheel, Panoramic view.

Falkirk Wheel, Panoramic view.
Image by Cameron Lyall, GNU license Wikimedia

20 July 2011

Have We Met Before?

Edinburgh is a strange place. It somehow feels familiar to me. The crowded streets remind me of San Francisco or Chicago, on a Saturday when people are on outings with their friends and family. It definitely has a tourist feel about it around the Royal Mile and the castle. But other places have that familiar big city feel.

Leaving the tourist areas I noticed that the buildings were still close together, but you noticed less and less people walking around. The only hint of how densely populated these neighborhoods are, was the number of cars parked up and down the streets. That was a familiar sight to me, in an unfamiliar place. The streets of San Francisco are lined with cars, even though you won't see a single person walking around. It's empty, yet dense.

The other sight that was familiar in an unfamiliar place, were the hills in Edinburgh. San Francisco is a very hilly city. The houses on the hills of San Francisco are a famous sight, showing up in movies and television shows, like Full House. But Edinburgh's hills were exotic to me. I am so used to the black asphalt streets and the cable car tracks going up and down the hills. Edinburgh has cobblestone streets and tiny sidewalks. There are no cable cars, only double-decker buses. Where San Francisco's hills hearken to an age gone by, Edinburgh's hills are much older.

I feel like I have a relationship to the people who live in Edinburgh. A few people I've met have said you're either a Glasgow person or an Edinburgh person. That sense of pride and belonging, of community, is really strong in the Bay Area as well. I find that people from metropolitan areas always have a strong sense pride regarding their community. Even though I currently live in West Lafayette, I still represent San Francisco and the Bay. And I'll always be a Bay Area person, no matter where I am. I could feel that same sentiment in Edinburgh. Every city kid loves to represent.

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