Saturday, October 27, 2007

Farmers' Market and Water of Leith Walk

Today was an absolute lovely day. Matthew and I began the morning at an Italian cafe across the street eating yummy breakfast rolls. We then caught the bus to the Castle Terrace to wonder about the Farmers' Market -- which has been voted the best Farmers' Market in the United Kingdom. It was quite entertaining! I bought the most delicious strawberries I've tasted in a long, long time. Yum! We also met up with our friends Scotty and Rebecca at the Market for coffee at a small outdoor cafe on the Terrace.

The four of us then caught the bus to Murrayfield to venture on one of the best walks in Edinburgh: the Water of Leith. It's absolutely my new favorite in Scotland! It was such a gorgeous stroll. The beauty of nature and of the ancient, European architecture ... it was all amazing. I have pictures to post soon. Rebecca and Scotty then came over to our flat for dinner. Rebecca and I made dinner ... and then as proper expats in Great Britain, we watched the movie Elizabeth.

Pictures to come ...

Thursday, October 25, 2007


The winner of the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival, Bella, is opening in select theaters this weekend. I've read fantastic reviews -- from all types of critics. Check out the trailer at Bella's official website:

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Anyone who knows me is aware of my keen appreciation for books -- especially good books. What makes for a good book can differ. Sometimes the deep and fascinating content that presents new realities marks a good book. Other times the art of a good story is captivating.

I recently finished A Thousand Splendid Suns, a book which captures both of the above elements while also weaving history and cultural lessons throughout. This 360-some page book was also read cover-to-cover by me in about 24 hours.

The back cover reads, "A Thousand Splendid Suns is an unforgettable portrait of a wounded country and a deeply moving story of family and friendship. It is beautiful, heart-wrenching story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely bond and an indestructible love." Set in Afghanistan and covering a period of time over the past forty years, this book is poignant in that we as Westerners can slightly begin to discover the horrific travesties of war. In such a ravaged country, evil upon evil is heaped onto a society and watching how personalized souls deal with such tragedy is both enlightening and heartbreaking. Watching souls overcome is even more beautiful.

If you get the opportunity, this book is definitely worth the read. Written by Khaled Hosseini, who now serves as a US goodwill enjoy to the UN Refugee Agency, this book will not only entertain and teach you, but it will also remind you to be grateful for all the goodness you've been granted in life.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Today marks four complete weeks of no car and no cell phone. It's quite different for an American! This form of simplicity does make life a bit more complicated. With no car, I really cannot plan on arriving at a place at a specific time. Therefore, I either have to leave very, very early or just toss the need for punctuality in my American keepsake box.

Not having a cell phone has been a bit trying. I do only want the phone for keeping in touch with my husband. See, he has no phone access at his school. When he leaves early in the morning to go study at the university, we have to have a mapped out plan of the entire day. If we don't have this plan, hopefully we'll just meet up at our flat later that night. The days we haven't had a plan, I've noticed I stick around the flat more just to make sure I don't miss him when he comes home.

This practiced simplicity has taught me several things. First of all, life without one's own car can be quite doable -- in fact, I am rather enjoying it (especially because punctuality is of little concern to me since I don't have an office job). Second of all, I am feeling rather fantastic about my carbon imprint on the world right now.

Americans are by far the greatest nation of consumers. It's been so easy for us to fall into this consumerism possibly because we don't have the same degree of rich history like other nations nor do we have their beauty. I walk by buildings built in the twelth century here, and it conjures up a sense of placement in history -- a placement I've never sensed in America. To view living history surrounding oneself is a reminder to care for the beauty and goodness God has given us to experience.

I am going to be a consumer of a cell phone though. Soon and very soon. Meanwhile, I'm off to catch a bus to go buy groceries. It's such an adventure to go buy groceries and haul them all the way back to your flat via the bus, a good walk, and a climb up three flights of stairs. Ciao!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Celebration Dinner

My precious husband took me to a lovely dinner at Petite Paris in the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh. We have some wonderful pictures to show you... but blogger is having a difficult time with them.

Nevertheless, Petite Paris is absolutely charming. We were greeted by a chipper, young Parisian upon arrival. I'm not sure anyone working at the restaurant truly spoke English. Somehow we all communicated -- but not without a funny circumstance.

During dinner I had noticed the dessert a couple at a table close to us was sharing. It looked delicious! Upon this couple's exit, I asked the waiter what it was that they had had for dessert. I didn't understand his repsonse but smiled and nodded. I thought the waiter might be bringing us the dessert in a few minutes. He then disappeared. Cleared that couple's table, walked to the kitchen, asked someone something, returned to the other table, and cleaned it once again. Meanwhile, we were waiting for our mystery dessert. After a few minutes, we knew something was wrong. Apparently this waiter thought I wanted him to clean the other table once again. He had no clue I was asking for dessert! I'm not sure why he thought anyone would care about the OCD cleanliness of another table ... what a funny circumstance.

We eventually received a yummy, yummy dessert. Crepes with a fruit sauce. Words don't do justice. What can I say? We love French food!

Big News

I have pictures to post .... but I want to share the news:


Tuesday, October 16, 2007


"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,' but you don't give them what the body needs, what good is it? In the same way faith, if it doesn't have works, is dead by itself." Romans 2:14-17

Take a look at the following websites:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fear and Trembling

In discussion of the story of Abraham, Soren Kierkegaard once wrote, "... for it is a great thing to surrender one's desire, but it is a greater thing to abide by it steadfastly after having surrendered it." -- Fear and Trembling

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

No Worries

Today the weather was typical Edinburgh weather-- rain... which formed dirty puddles and came from a dreary, overcast sky. Despite the gross weather, this morning I ventured out of the flat with a purpose: I was headed to court. Scottish court.

The Scottish legal system is quite different from the American legal system. One difference is in the categories of attorneys. In the US, once one takes the bar examination and passes, one is qualified to practice almost every kind of law within that particular state. In Scotland, the lawyers are categorized into two groups -- one group of solicitors and the other group advocates. I accompanied a new acquaintance, an Instructing Solicitor, to the criminal courts of Edinburgh. A solicitor does not litigate, but he or she will have clients who need representation in court. At that point, a solicitor will join with an advocate. Then the advocate will actually do the speaking in the courtroom.

This morning I was instructed to sit at the counsel's table in the courtroom and make notes of everything asked and answered on cross examination. But, before entering the courtroom, I was a bit concerned about the professionalism of my appearance. At my law school, professionalism was really stressed. And-- I had just walked a good twenty minutes in the rain. I was a bit drenched and had incredibly frizzy, damp hair.

As I entered the courtroom and took my seat, all my professionalism concerns regarding my frizzy, damp hair dissipated. I was sitting directly across the table from a female prosecutor. She had long brown hair. It too had been effected by the weather. However, she was also wearing a powdery gray 17th century wig atop her dark, weather-effected hair!

Can you imagine the above wig atop a brunette with long hair?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Anyone Care for a Digestive?

An American rector at the church we've been visiting told us when we face cultural differences in our new home that we can either laugh or go mad. I choose to laugh. For example, when Matthew and I were going to church last night -- we left an hour early to make sure we had plenty of time to arrive. Yet, we still managed to be a good twenty minutes late to the service. We took a bus into town and then ventured another 50 minutes on foot. Some would be frustrated, but we actually enjoyed ourselves. We discovered a new area of town, and it seemed absolutely charming.

Another fun adjustement to life in Scotland has to do with all things involving the culinary life. Measurement units are different. I can't walk in to a supermarket and buy one pound of chicken breasts. Also, some well-used ingredients back home are unavailable here. (Mom-when you come for Thanksgiving, please bring some Pepperidge Farm stuffing!) However, there are some interesting goodies to be found at the supermarket-- but some of these goodies have such strange names! A 'cookie' here is called a 'digestive.' How unappetizing is that???

Thursday, October 4, 2007

First Days in Edinburgh

Excerpt from my journal on October 2:

Edinburgh - "The Inspiring Capital" - (the city's slogan). It is beautiful - and busy - at least during the day. At night things seem to slow down quite a bit. Presently, I'm sitting in Costa Coffee on Princes Street. It is on the second floor and has amazing views ... the castle, New College, Old Town. Directly across the street is one of many art museums. This particular museum is featuring art by Andy Warhol and large replicas of Campbell's Tomato Soup cover the columns of the front edifice. There are interesting things to discover around every corner of this city. Some are larger than life -- like human size soup cans and other discoveries are neatly tucked away in small wynds (a Scottish word for small alley). Just yesterday I happened upon a Scottish legal bookstore. The bookstore was about the size of a small living room, yet despite its petitie stature there was a caller interested in purchasing a book on "how to prepare for the American LMAT." The bookstore owner was feverishly scouring her database for such a book. I politely chimed into the conversation and explained that the test was the LSAT. While the owner was pleased with the recently bestowed knowledge, the caller continually insisted that the American test was the LMAT and not the LSAT. I wonder in what circumstances I stubbornly refuse information from one who has gone before me in such a particular situation?

Right now I would love to hear from an American attorney who has relocated to Edinburgh. I promise I will not refuse any information or advice.

In the meanwhile, I'll be waiting for my inspiration ... since this is "The Inspiring Capital."

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Arriving in Edinburgh

I have arrived safely in Edinbugh and am well on my way to becoming acclimated with my new home. We live in the village of Corstorphine which is three kilometers outside of the City Centre. Being fresh to the urbanite way of life, it's nice to be a small ways outside of the city. We still have a Boots pharmacy, various banks, salons, and restaurants practically at our door steps --- but thankfully no booming pubs or discos.
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