'You're a woman, people buy drinks for you' I heard him say and I had to laugh.
'If not, you're not doing it right' he continued.
It was the second time I laughed at a piece of their conversation. The first time being something the guy said about eating at a party with a vegan. I wondered if I was intruding at first and did not wish to speak up. At some point I did and was glad to have made connections with two people from Scotland as I sat at a table with them in the back at lovecrumbs drinking my flat white and nibbling on the black carrot cake.
The girl is from The Highlands. The guy from Aberdeen. I loved listening to the Scottish accent. She is a med student. He works for G2G3 and travels to the States frequently. Dallas was one of the places he mentioned having visited in Texas. I am not sure about their relationship but it did not seem they were dating. Nevertheless I enjoyed being a part of their conversation, even for a short while.
After they left, I reveled in another conversation with someone who sat at my table. She moved to Edinburgh from Toronto two months ago to study at the university. We chatted about starting over in life and the challenges of carrying on a long distance relationship. We talked about coffee shops in Edinburgh and non-touristy things to do here.
We seemed to have a few things in common. Love of coffee and of wandering around were two of them in addition to carrying on a long distance relationship. At one point I got up to leave as I did not wish to disturb her studies on her laptop though I am sure we could have continued our conversation for much longer.
Before my visit to the coffeehouse, I walked to the farmer's market on Castle Terrace. I was hoping to find more stands with local fruits and vegetables so that I could stock up on provisions for the week. At one stand I bought a local Brie which I knew my boyfriend would like. At another stand I bought fresh thyme, spinach, tomatoes, and cauliflower which I roasted for dinner tonight. I found another market stall on Grassmarket where I bought more vegetables, fruit, and twelve large local eggs.
After leaving lovecrumbs, I walked home to grab my camera before heading to another coffeehouse on the corner of George Street and Hanover Street. The sun was about to set and I wanted to see what colours nature would show me tonight.
Seeing how the sun was due to set at 16,35h, I had five minutes to make it to the bridge. As I glanced at the compass on my iPhone, I noticed I was heading in the opposite direction.
I changed direction and headed up the hill towards the castle. The colours were not so dramatic but beautiful nonetheless. Pale oranges and grey against the rock of the castle base.
Thinking this was all nature had to offer tonight, I considered returning to the flat once more to drop off my camera before continuing with my walk. I am glad I decided to keep my camera with me. As I made my way back down the hill, the colours grew more intense. A pinkish-orange dominate the sky on the opposite side of where I had taken the first photograph.
As I walked down the Playfair Steps and looked to my right, the Balmoral Hotel, along with its clock glowed amidst the pink and grey sky. It was a lovely sight to behold.
It was not until I walked towards the Scottish National Gallery that I was hit by a most vivid sky filled with deep oranges along with hints of pink and grey. Such beauty takes one's breath away. The colours were similar to the sunset from the plane two days ago. I was thankful to have had my camera with me despite the weight which the camera bag placed on my shoulders.
'Do you know what's so special about Edinburgh Castle' I heard the man sitting next to me at the Wellington Coffee shop ask me.
'It is built on a volcano' he continued. Then he went on to tell me how he grew up in Edinburgh, moved to England, and then returned to Edinburgh. He said he never truly appreciated the city until he returned and was glad to live here. I drank my cortado. He left to catch a train. I resolved to return in the morning to try the scones which are said to be the best around.
I walked in to Lakeland and bought two small cake pans then continued on my way towards the university near my flat. As I walked into Looking Glass Books, I was told the shop was closing in ten minutes. It was closing its doors at that location until next year when it would open at a larger location elsewhere in the city. I remember visiting it on one of my previous trips and purchasing a fascinating book.
I scanned the shelves looking for an interesting looking book and came across one filled with short stories from small town Europe. I was intrigued when I saw Croatia as one of those small towns. I purchased the book and walked home to make dinner, talked with my children on Skype, and started reading another new book.
As I waited for my boyfriend to finish with work so we could see each other on Skype, I thought how glad I was to be able to make the connections I did today knowing I would most likely never see the same people again.