Sunday, 9 August 2009

THERE'S ABOUT FIVE MILLION PEOPLE IN SCOTLAND . . .

. . . and it felt like most of them were in Edinburgh today.

Seriously.

And that's not including the tourists!

I had to pop through to Edinburgh today to pick up some tickets for the Fringe festival. That guy I've been seeing is directing a play and I ordered tickets online for it. But the Fringe website said I had to pick them up from the Box Office, which was the vaguest instruction in the world. Was there a Fringe box office for everything, I wondered? Or was it the box office of the venue that particular play is being held at? I had no clue, and I didn't really want to ask him because I was worried I'd seem a bit stupid. So me and my sister decided to get the train over to the capital today to find out, rather than leave it til the last minute tomorrow night.

Now, I'm not a big fan of Edinburgh. I couldn't even really tell you why. Granted there is a bit of a Glasgow/Edinburgh rivalry but then strictly speaking I'm not a weegie either. But I find Glasgow to be far friendlier in general, and the fact I've lived there for over six years means I do feel far more of a loyalty to it than I could ever imagine feeling to Edinburgh. As a result, I don't go there very often. Which means I don't know the place. I know if you get off the train at Waverley Station, you're at the main shopping area. But trying to work out where the box office was in relation to this? Was not my finest hour. Luckily my sister proved in Majorca she actually seems to have the navigational skills in the family. Phew.

Getting the tickets, however, was quite a task. First there was the hour long train journey, in one of the most cramped trains I've ever been on. Then, once we reached Edinburgh, we realised that the map did not look like the real thing. We ended up having to walk up about a million (mild exaggeration, but still!) stairs to get to the correct street, then we had no idea where to go. There were so many performers touting their shows, and so many tourists wandering the streets, that we couldn't even stop to get our bearings. Finally we located the box office and queued up. This of course meant we were sitting ducks for people to come and bombard us with leaflets and explanations about their shows. To be honest, there were quite a few I would love to see. Like Princess Cabaret: Objectify This, a satirical show about Disney Princesses. OR . . . Gingers - The Musical! Which is about eight people with ginger hair who meet in a retreat. Random much??? It sounds awesome!

After we'd been queuing for about ten minutes, my sister noticed a sign that said for pre-paid tickets to go to the Fringe shop next door and downstairs. WTF??? Had the instructions mentioned this??? Oh no, it had just said to go to the Box Office. After some debate, we decided to risk leaving the queue (which by now had grown substantially behind us), discovered there was a pre-pay machine to stick your card into and print off your tickets and . . . Bob's Your Uncle! I wasn't happy we'd wasted so much time queuing for nothing, but whatever. The important thing was I had the tickets.

After that, we spent the day shopping. Well, when I say "shopping", we popped into Harvey Nicks long enough to remember it is highly overrated, and then my sister gave her credit card a bit of exercise in French Connection. I am skint until payday next week and therefore couldn't spend anything. Apart from on a late lunch of chicken fajitas and strawberry daquiris.

I had a good day, but I'm tired, my tan is starting to peel :( and I hate Edinburgh even more. And am going to have to do it all over again tomorrow night.

Why can't they hold the Fringe in Glasgow??? I know its selfish of me, but I don't care!!! I don't like the travelling!!!

5 comments:

  1. Ahh honey glad you got there okay - and good you weren't alone, I was a bit worried at the thought of you trying to find your way around that maze of a city (in festival season, no less!) on your own!

    I'm not sure if Glasgow could comfortably house the Fringe festival... I'm sure we must have the same number of venues though? Maybe it's a conspiracy to get more people in Edinburgh because tourists have realised that Glasgow is friendlier? :P

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  2. Ah, you Europeans - an hour on a cramped train is too much travel. I wish! The town i have lived in (almost) my entire life is 5 hrs from Sydney, the closest major city .... thats 5 hrs DRIVE to the outter suburbs, 6 hrs if you wanna make it to the actual city.

    Don't get me wrong - i love me a road trip. But sometimes i wish all i had to do was drive an hour through a tunnel and i was in anther country or hell - drive 10 minutes over a border and i'm in a place where they speak another language and have a totally different culture to me.

    But hey - forget about the travel and enjoy the Festival show !

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  3. Every time I have to go to Glasgow I hate it :) Guess both cities are sooo different that you can either like one or the other :) And yep, made a mistake of queuing in the wring queue 2 years ago, but didn't know they've had a machine now! And you were actually quite lucky that they moved the Festivals' Cavalcade to Holyrood Park, otherwise you'd get stuck just after leaving Waverley :) How d'you like the tramworks? ;)

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  4. You'd HATE Glasgow being taken over each summer by Fringe people, you know you would!!

    Hope the play is awesome and makes up for you having to push through the crowd and be harrassed by the ticket vendors/leaflet people for the second day running!

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  5. Mich - good conspiracy theory!

    Amy - I certainly see your point on that one. Poor you! :)

    Kasia - i couldn't see any tramworks. Just lots of blocked roads and diverted traffic, lol!

    Elle - Guilty as charged. But, yes, the play was AWESOME and totally worth it!

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