Sunday, February 28, 2010

Snog, Marry, Avoid?

Time seems to be going faster and faster every day that I'm here. Already I've been here for two months and in just about three weeks, we'll start traveling for spring break! It's so hard to believe that I've been here for this long. If it's possible, I feel like I just got here yesterday but also that I've been here for years. It's a difficult feeling to describe in words that make sense, that's for sure. Laura and I were talking today about how, although we're exited to travel and see the rest of Europe, we will be very sad to leave Glasgow and "the family" for such an extended period of time. We can't even begin to think about what will happen when we leave this fabulous place for good -- I will definitely be bawling my eyes out on the plane ride back. (Sorry in advance to whatever stranger has to sit next to me!)

This past week has been pretty stressful. With the deadline for summer internship applications quickly approaching, I was rushing like a crazy person to get my applications finished and sent to the right places. On top of that, my entrepreneurship group and I have been working what seems like day and night on our project so that we can get it done early. Add this to the pressure of booking all of my spring break trips, and you've got an insane week. While it's nice to have everything planned out, it was pretty hectic getting it all done. So far this is what I have booked: London with Mom & Nip; Belfast with Laura to visit her flatmate, Alan; Madrid, where I'll hopefully see David and get to experience the magic that is El Tigre; Barcelona, where I'll get to see my loves Holly, Michael, and Peter; back to London to hang out with my dad; then Paris with Dad and my "girlfriend," Laura. I haven't booked any other trips in case I have to head back to the US for an internship interview, but if I don't need an interview, I'm hoping to head to Rome, Florence, and Amsterdam. It will be a lot of traveling in a short period of time, but I'm ready for it.

To balance out the stress of the week, we started our weekend on Wednesday night. It was a pretty disgusting day with lots of snow and sleet, so Sarah and I told the other girls that we'd meet them at Buddha Bar, a new bar we had decided to try out. Sarah and I hopped in a cab and told him where we wanted to go. Well, the cab driver decided to take us where he wanted to go -- Bar Buddha. Similar names? Yes. Similar places? No. We got out of the cab slightly confused and distraught, but decided to give Bar Buddha a try. We walked in and were the only two girls under thirty there, but we didn't care. We figured we'd have one drink and then meet the other girls at the real Buddha Bar. Then we saw the cute bartender the Pringles vending machine and decided that maybe we'd stay for a few more drinks. Sarah and I stayed for a few hours, just sitting and chatting with the bartender, Euan, who is a student at Strathclyde University in Glasgow. He recently broke his arm playing soccer, so Sarah and I got to help make drinks and also got a few for free! It was an excellent start to the night, to say the least. After our bartending practice, Sarah and I walked to Octopussy, where we spent the rest of the night with our other friends on the bouncy castles and the dancefloor.

The Pringles vending machine at Bar Buddha

On Thursday, the engineering boys came over to my flat to work on the entrepreneurship project. We ended up getting a lot done, but there are still a few things that will have to be tweaked this week. I love spending time with the engineering boys because they always keep me laughing, but I will definitely be thankful to not spend anymore time on this business plan. After reading the same thing over and over and over and over it can get pretty old. Luckily, we'll be finished with the business plan by Thursday and then on Friday I'm off to Galway, Ireland to visit Hannah.

That night, Laura K's roommates from BC came to visit with one of their friends from Cork, Ireland. We started the night off with a delicious family dinner thanks to Sarah's fabulous pasta bake. When that was over, we piled into cabs and headed to the infamous Bamboo. Luckily, we avoided all fights with crazy drunk girls and had a great time dancing and singing.

Friday was a day of gluttony and recovery. We headed to our new favorite coffee shop, S'mug, but were depressed when it was too crowded for us to sit down. Saddened, we headed to Morton's to cheer ourselves up with bagels. I'm sorry to admit that after we feasted on fabulous bagels we stepped out of Morton's and turned right into the ice cream store next door, where we each had a scoop of ice cream. It was pretty disgusting, but definitely delicious. On Friday night, we were supposed to go see Ted's play that he's been practicing for. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, there were only a few seats left so not all of us could watch. Since I'd already seen one of Ted's plays, Liam and I let Sarah and Jess go watch the play and we left the theater to go play around on Buchanan Street. On the way out, we ran into Laura and Briana, who joined us. We walked around in the rain looking for somewhere to sit and have a nice drink. We wound up at Social, a bar near the Museum of Modern Art in Merchant City. It was nice to sit down and actually enjoy a drink with one another. We sat for a while, people watched, and just chatted. When Ted's play was over, we took the underground back to Laura K's flat where we played a few games before Laura C and I decided it was time for us to make our way to the extra-long Mardi Gras edition of cheesy pop. Normally cheesy pop only goes until 2 am, but on Friday it went until 3, so Laura and I were in heaven. We danced and sang for 4.5 hours until I literally could no longer walk in the boots I was wearing. Exhausted, we headed back to Laura's flat for some toast and late night chats.

In the morning, we woke up and headed to S'mug, where this time there was no wait for a seat. We enjoyed some soup before we began our journey to St. Andrews to visit my friend and fellow BCer, Kaelan, and her boyfriend, John, who goes to St. Andrews. When we were done, we walked to the underground so we could catch a train to Edinburgh. From Edinburgh, we took the train to Leuchars Station, which is the train station in St. Andrews. The train ride was beautiful -- we got to see the entire countryside and the sea at the same time. It was absolutely breathtaking. After a few hours, we arrived at St. Andrews and were a little dumbfounded. The train station looks like it is in the middle of nowhere. Eventually we made our way to a cab and headed to our B&B, the Ardgowan Hotel. It was absolutely adorable, just like all of St. Andrews is. We met up with Kaelan and John, who took us to Pizza Express for dinner. While the name sounds like a fast food joint, in reality it was a cute little italian restaurant with incredible pizza. We sat there for at least a few hours, catching up and reminiscing about St. Louis. After dinner, John took us back to his flat so we could see what it looked like, then we headed to a bar to have a few drinks. The night was really low key and relaxed because there was a huge fashion going on at the university, so everything else was pretty dead. I can't say I'm upset about the lack of people everywhere, Laura and I were definitely tired from our Friday night dancing at cheesy pop. After a few drinks and a lot chatting, laughing, and storytelling, Laura and I went back to the hotel room to get some sleep. Before sleeping, however, we decided to take advantage of our television and tried to watch The Olympics. Unfortunately, when we turned on the T.V., curling was on, so we changed the channel to what is now my new favorite show: Snog, Marry, Avoid? This show takes women that are overly fake -- fake tan, fake hair, fake boobs, fake nails, fake everything -- and gives them a makeunder. It was trashy television at its best, and after not watching T.V. for quite some time, it was a lot of fun to watch.

The Ardgowan Hotel

In the morning, Laura and I woke up and checked out of our hotel before heading to breakfast at BeanScene. We lazed around the cafe for a while and then walked over to John's flat to meet up with him and Kaelan. They gave us the grand tour of St. Andrews and took us walking around the school's campus. We got to see where Prince William lived when he went to school there, which was pretty cool. Next we headed to the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral, once the largest building in Scotland. During the Scottish Reformation, the cathedral was attacked and was never rebuilt. We also saw the ruins of St. Andrews Castle, built in the 12th century. Then we walked down to the North Sea and took in the incredible views. It was a great experience and an unforgettable trip.

St. Andrews Cathedral

Prince William's old dorm

The North Sea and St. Andrews Castle

This week will probably be stressful until Friday, when I get to see Hannah! Hopefully I will be productive and the week will go by fast, but we'll see. As usual, I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Step to Me

As I was writing things down in my planner this past week, I began to realize how fast time is really flying by while I'm here. I counted down the days and as of this week, I have less than 100 days left abroad. Cry cry. Although I absolutely love BC and St. Louis, I really could stay in Glasgow for a while longer. And a long while at that. Every time someone asks me how I'm liking Glasgow, the only thing I can say is that I never want to leave. This country is incredible and it's unfortunate that I only have a short period of time to enjoy it. It's also unfortunate that time flies when you're having fun, because it's practically impossible not to have fun here. I know that when I leave I'm going to have serious withdrawal. It's definitely going to be difficult going back to 40-hour work weeks for the summer. I don't even want to think about it!

Last week was pretty typical, although there seems to be more work going on than usual. The deadline for the entrepreneurship project is rapidly approaching, so we've been meeting twice a week to make sure everything is perfect. On Wednesday of last week, we had a group meeting after our lecture, where we decided we needed to check out some prices on bedding, towels, cookery, cutlery, crockery, etc., so Seb, Simon, Chris and I all piled into Seb's car and drove to Ikea. As soon as we walked into the store, however, instead of checking prices we headed straight upstairs to the café to get some of Ikea's famous Swedish meatballs. After our feast, we wandered through the store and gathered some pricing information for our project. This week we've almost completed the business plan in its entirety, so things are going well. Our goal is to have the plan finished by next Thursday (although it's actually due on March 8th) because we're all going out of town the weekend before it's due.

After conquering the pyramid when Hannah visited, we've grown tired of the Hive and have been switching up our usual Thursday night routines. This week we went to Bamboo, which is a club that we've been to before. It's fairly relaxed and drinks are outrageously cheap, so it's the perfect place for us. This time we discovered another room in Bamboo. This room's DJ plays more R&B music than the pop music we're used to. It was definitely a fun discovery -- that is until we got into a fight! There is a Scottish stereotype that all Scottish people like to fight. So far we haven't really encountered anyone fitting that stereotype but on this fateful Thursday, we met quite a few girls who fit the bill. These girls were aggressive to begin with, we're not sure why, but when one of them poured a drink all over Jess, things got ugly. We really have no idea what her motive was for doing this, but the next thing we know there are two or three girls spitting in Briana's face and pulling Laura Kelley's hair. It was disastrous. Luckily the boys we were with were able to hold the girls back until the bouncer got there to carry those crazies out. It was an interesting night, to say the least. Surprisingly that fight hasn't lessened our love for Bamboo -- we went back this past Thursday night (and avoided all altercations)!

After an eventful Thursday night, we had a more relaxed rest of the weekend. Friday we went to cheesy pop, as usual. If it's possible, each week cheesy pop gets better and better and always ends far sooner than I want it to. On Saturday, Laura C's parents met us in Edinburgh. It was so great to get to meet her parents. As I said in my last post, I always love meeting people's parents, and this trip certainly didn't let me down. During the day, we all went shopping because Liam and Ted wanted to buy kilts. In Glasgow, kilts are relatively expensive and even though they can cost a lot, many of them aren't made particularly well because they're aimed at tourists. The boys had done some research and found a vintage store that sells vintage kilts, so we used the GPS software on my iPod touch (thanks to my grandparents!) to locate the store before we got off the train. The store was crazy and full of every type of vintage clothing you could imagine plus some absolutely insane costumes. They even had the red pleather suit that Britney Spears wears in her Oops... I did it again video. Ted and Liam both bought some stylish kilts and the traditional socks that go with them. The girls, on the other hand, didn't get anything except for a fashion show from Ted and Liam. I'm not complaining, though. Seeing the boys in skirts was totally worth it.

The crazy kilt store in Edinburgh

Ted and his kilt

Saturday night, we enjoyed drinks with Laura's parents at World's End, a pub that houses part of the Flodden Wall, which was built to protect Edinburgh from the English in the 1500s. When we had finished our beers and ciders, we walked up the Royal Mile in search of a place large enough for the 10 of us to have dinner. We ended up at two five-person tables in a cute restaurant near the castle. It was here that I had quite the culinary experience: I tried haggis for the first time! Haggis is the national dish of Scotland and is comprised of sheep's heart, liver, and lungs. Although it sounds absolutely disgusting, it was surprisingly good. Once we had all finished our meals, Ted suggested we go to the Balmoral Hotel, which is the choice hotel of Sean Connery. Here we had some incredibly delicious drinks and just relaxed after a long day. Ted had play practice early the next day so he left early, but not before paying for everyone's drinks! Shocked, we all walked home raving about Ted and how perfect he is.

The Balmoral Hotel

Sarah and her delicious drink

We parted from Laura's parents once we got back to the hotel and got ready to experience a night on the town in Edinburgh. Jess, who goes to Smith, has a friend studying abroad at the University of Edinburgh, so we got in touch with her and she agreed to show us the hot spots in Edinburgh. We decided to go to Vodka Revolution, which is where we went in Newcastle, and walked in to find quite the scene. There were men in women's dresses with lipstick all over their faces, girls in multiple costumes, and just weird stuff all around. Apparently there were a bunch of "hen parties" (bachelorette parties) going on that night, so it was pretty comical to watch. We settled into a booth and just hung out for the entire night. Vodka Revolution closed earlier than we were expecting, so after we left we were on the hunt for somewhere else to play. We ended up at a burlesque club called Siglo, which was anything other than a burlesque club. Basically it was a bunch of intoxicated older people dancing inappropriately with one another. Since Siglo was clearly not our type of venue, we decided to head back to the hotel in hopes that the hotel bar would be open. It was. We ended up purchasing approximately 15 cans of Pringles, a few bottles of cheap wine, and five BLT sandwiches from Gordon and Craig, the bartender and concierge, who were obsessed with us. We enjoyed our provisions in our hotel room while we watched the olympics and laughed about our night. All in all, I'd have to say that this night was one of my favorite nights in Scotland.

The Family at Vodka Revolution

This past week has gone by in a haze. I'll post more on it later since there's a lot to cover.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Today Was a Fairytale

Well, really this entire week has been a fairytale... or at least not real life. It began on Sunday night with the Superbowl, which we celebrated at this bar called PJ Champs. It was a pretty classy affair -- £2 miller lights and £1 hot dogs! It was definitely an exciting event. We got to the bar around 7:30 so that we could get prime seating, but the Superbowl didn't start until around 11:30 pm here, so it was about an eight hour night for us. All the girls were hoping that the Saints would win so that Kim Kardashian could get an engagement ring (according to the rumors we'd been hearing). Getting motivated for class on Monday was difficult, to say the least.

Monday and Tuesday went by unbearably slowly, probably because I was so excited for Hannah and her two friends from Galway to get here on Wednesday night. When Wednesday finally arrived, Sarah, Laura and I went to pick our three friends up at the train station, since they had taken a train from the airport. When we saw them, it was like one of those cheesy scenes out of a bad movie -- we all just ran towards each other with open arms. It sounds really stupid, but in reality we were all just so happy to see one another since it's officially been almost two months since I've seen anyone from BC. We scooped all of the girls into a cab and headed home so that they could shower and change before it was time for family dinner.

Galway Girls in Glasgow

The cheese didn't stop at the train station. Our entire weekend was literally full of cheese. The first night the girls were here, the boys made an absolutely incredible fondue with bread, cheese, and steak. I don't know how this happened, but the boys seem to be the best 21-year-old gourmet chefs I've ever encountered. The next night, Laura K made all of us delicious grilled cheese with these crispy potatoes. That meal was a definite carbohydrate-fest, but heavenly for sure. Then on Friday, Sarah made amazing homemade macaroni and cheese. It would be a lie to say it wasn't the best mac and cheese that I've ever had. (Don't worry, she's going to show me how to make it so I can share it with everyone back home!) She made two giant batches of it, so we got to finish off the rest of it the night after with some chicken and a big salad, so we could at least pretend we were eating healthily.

After our dinner on Wednesday, we decided to go to a club none of us had ever been to before: Octopussy. Don't ask me why it's called Octopussy, but it was fabulous and unlike anything I've ever seen before. The club had multiple floors with hot tubs, pools, bounce houses, ball pits, and an enormous dance floor. It was kind of like a playground, but for college students. One of my flatmates had warned us about going into the hot tubs and pools, so we stuck to the dance floor mainly, with a few trips to the bounce house and ball pit thrown in for good measure. The DJ was fantastic and played a ton of Britney Spears and Lady Gaga, so we danced forever and went home sweating like pigs (after a group sing-along to Journey's Don't Stop Believing, obviously).

On Thursday, it was time to do touristy things, so of course we started the day off with Morton's, where Hannah, Lizzie and I met Sarah after her class. We walked around campus (as usual) and showed them where we go to school then headed to Buchanan Street for some afternoon shopping. That night, we continued typical routine and had family dinner then went to the Hive for some dancing. I'm not sure if I've adequately described the Hive in my blog before, but there is this giant pyramid in the corner of the dance floor that people absolutely LOVE to dance on. The top level of the pyramid is highly desired territory, and every Thursday night it is a fight to get to the top of the pyramid. This particular Thursday, our group got there somewhat early and, after karaoke, we took over the top tier of the pyramid. Little did we know how vicious people get about the pyramid here -- I literally had to have the bouncer kick people out for clawing at us as we were dancing.

On top of the pyramid -- OUT OF CONTROL.

On Friday, Sarah took the girls to Edinburgh for the day and I stayed back because Heather's boyfriend, Greg, was coming to surprise her and I was his only point of contact. As strange as it sounds, I think I was more excited than he was just because we had been in cahoots with one another, planning this surprise for what seems like a lifetime. I woke up all nervous and jittery and kept checking his flight status all morning until I finally saw that it had arrived. When he got here, security called me from the front desk, informing me of my visitor. Then I put on my shoes as fast as I could and ran outside to get him. It was pretty funny since Greg and I have been talking online for months now but have never met in person, so this was our first real meeting. I probably seemed like some sort of psycho freak because I was so excited he was here and was talking a mile a minute. To add to the cheese factor of the weekend, we rang Heather's doorbell and then watched as she sprinted down the stairs and into Greg's arms. It was perfect. I'm a sucker for cheese, literally and figuratively.

Greg and Heather on Buchanan Street

Later that afternoon, I went with Laura to drop her friend, Elizabeth, off at the bus station so that she could go meet her boyfriend for a romantic Valentine's day trip to Paris (I think...) Laura and I left the bus station and stumbled upon a movie theater, so obviously we had to go see the movie Valentine's Day with a few of my favorite men: Ashton Kutcher, McDreamy, McSteamy, Taylor Lautner, Jamie Foxx, Topher Grace and Bradley Cooper. To put it simply, the movie was epic. We laughed, we cried, we were shocked by one part in particular, but I won't give it away! We have plans to see it at least twice more before it leaves theaters. Yes. It was that good.

When the girls got back from Edinburgh, we all got ready for another family dinner and cheesy pop. I know that each week I obsess over cheesy pop, but this week's cheesy pop was honestly the best one yet. I don't know if it was because Hannah was here or if the music was just really good or if I was just in a good mood, but it was definitely a great time. We were dancing by the speakers the entire night though, so the next day my ears were ringing like crazy. As usual, we all left cheesy pop that night looking like we had just showered. It was wonderfully disgusting.

On Saturday, we all slept in a little bit and then tried somewhere new for breakfast -- the creperie. Sarah, her friend Lizzie, Hannah and I all walked over from our dorm at around noon and enjoyed a lazy brunch of crepes, bagels, and paninis. Ted and Liam called mid-brunch to say they were heading to the Museum of Modern Art and asked if we wanted to join, so we did. All I have to say about the Museum of Modern Art here is that I'm glad it's free. I liked some of the stuff, but there were a lot of things in this museum that were over my head, like this bizarre video that I can't even explain. After the museum, we walked around downtown for a while and saw George's Square. By that time it was past four and we decided to head back to our dorms to rest and get ready for family dinner, which we were having at my dorm this week.

At the Museum of Modern Art

When we finished our delicious meal, we made our way to Ashton Lane for a little trip to Vodka Wodka. What we didn't realize was that on the way to Vodka Wodka, we lost the boys. As it turns out, the boys decided to take a detour of their own and did some impromptu Karaoke at this bar near my dorm. The girls had their own fun, however, when we stopped by a hot dog stand that reminded us of Chi Chis, a sausage stand back at BC. In the end, we all met back up at Òran Mór, the club that was once a church, and danced the night away. We danced so much that, even after the hot dogs, we had worked up quite an appetite and ended up at 727, a late-night fast food place right near the club, where I had my second sausage of the night. This one however, was on a whole new level -- it was fried! After a gluttonous night, we came back to my dorm, where Hannah and I proceeded to have an intense life chat.

Me and Hannah

Generally I wouldn't post the details of such life chats online, but this one really made me think about life in general. We started off saying how happy we both were that Hannah was able to come visit and see what my life is like in Glasgow. Then we began talking about what a great group of people were randomly thrown together here and how, even though we've only been here for a short period of time, we are already such a family. This got me thinking that, even though I definitely miss my friends and family back home, I would never trade this experience for the world. The people I've met so far and the places that I've seen have been so incredible. It is truly an experience I can't describe and will definitely never forget. It also reinforced the fact that my dad is always right. So, as usual, thanks Dad for pushing me to do this and thank you to both Mom and Dad for letting me come here! (Cheesy, I know, but it fits right in with the theme of this blog post...)

On Sunday, I was sad to see Hannah leave. We went to Morton's for one last time, so she could enjoy their perfect bagels (which I've tried to give up, but just can't do it). Then I met up with Laura C, Laura K, Liam, Heather, Greg, and Laura C's flatmate, Alan, to go to a Ranger's Football (soccer) game. It was an insanely cool experience. All the fans dress up in Rangers' colors (blue and red) and know all of these songs and chants that they sing the entire game. After the game, the girls (and greg) had the urge to see Valentine's Day again, so we went to the movie theater. Unfortunately, since it was actually Valentine's Day, the movie was sold out so we had to settle for seeing Invictus instead. The movie started off kind of slow and I was absolutely exhausted from a long weekend, so I closed my eyes for what I thought was a little bit and then woke up halfway through. In the end, it was a pretty good movie, but obviously a waste of money since I missed half of it. The popcorn and cadbury eggs were definitely worth it, though.

Laura C and me at the Rangers game

The Rangers Field

This week has started off pretty well. Yesterday, we had an entrepreneurship meeting and, although we chatted through most of it, we actually got some work done. I think this project is going to be absolutely great, so I'm pretty excited about it. Then I hit the gym to work off the two sausages, loads of cheese, popcorn, and cadbury eggs that I ingested over the weekend and just about died. I should probably get back into a routine, but it can be hard when friends are in town (or when Valentine's Day is playing at the movie theater at a good time!) To end the day off right, I got on moodle, which is this Web site that gives you information about classes like homework, tutorial schedule, and grades. After worrying about how I did on that test last week, I was pleasantly surprised with results! I'm hoping that this is a good sign for how the rest of the week will turn out... I guess I'll have to wait and see.

This week should be pretty relaxed (when isn't it?) but tomorrow night a friend of a friend of Jess' is taking us to a bar called the Candy Bar, so I'm excited to meet new people and see new places. Then on Saturday, Laura C's parents are coming to Scotland and taking us to Edinburgh for the night. I always love meeting people's parents because I feel like you can finally figure out why they're the person they are, so it should be fun! As always, I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Loopy Juice

I was just chatting online with Rana, my roommate, when she sent me an interesting article from the New York Times. It was titled, "For Scots, a Scourge Unleashed by a Bottle," and is all about the Scottish drinking problem and their obsession with this caffeinated wine, Buckfast. Apparently Buckfast, also known as "Loopy Juice," has been mentioned in more than 5,000 crime reports in recent years. Luckily, my friends and I have yet to discover Buckfast wine (and I doubt we will, since it sounds disgusting to me) but with all this time on our hands, who knows what we'll discover. Don't worry though, I'm not planning on having any police reports written about me here! Also, cheers to Rana for reading the New York Times. Your dad will be so pleased.

Sorry for not blogging last week. Friends have started pouring in every weekend, so we're busier than ever. Last weekend, Tucker, Liam's friend from home, came to visit. He's doing a semester abroad in Dublin, so he's pretty close to us. He was the first visitor we've had here and none of us really knew what to expect. I don't think any of us were prepared for the weekend. When friends visit, I feel like there's this pressure to make sure they have as much fun as you're having, which can be difficult in Glasgow because we always have a good time. Apparently we thrive under pressure -- I had the most fun last weekend that I've had since I've been here. We also met a "star" at one of Laura's flatmate's birthday party last weekend. When I say "star," I'm using that term loosely. I'm not sure how this guy got to the flat party, but he and his massive amounts of body odor were there. His name is Freddie "Halfwit" Fisher, and he made it to week 10 on the last season of Big Brother. I find it strange that he was at a party full of 19 year olds, but he enjoyed himself and came back for breakfast the next morning.

Last week was pretty typical. Five days of classes, then the weekend. Before the weekend could begin however, I had my first test here. All the students we talked to before coming here said that the school part wasn't going to be hard and that we'd all be totally fine academically. They obviously haven't taken the classes I'm taking. I started the day off studying in the anatomy museum on campus because it's creepy, so no one ever goes there, which makes it pretty quiet and easy to do work in. Then I went to my test -- not in my normal classroom, but in this giant hall that was just full of desks. Row after row after row after row of desks. I got settled at one of the many desks and waited for instructions. I had to fill out three forms before I could even start thinking about taking the test. When I finished filling out those forms, my professor blew a whistle and the whole room started furiously filling in their scantrons. The atmosphere wasn't the only scary thing about this test: it consisted of 59 multiple choice 40 matching and 32 true/false... all in 45 minutes! I may have been the only person to finish, so I'll be interested to see the results. That's the last test I have for a while, thank goodness.

After the test, I was most definitely ready for the weekend. Good thing, because it was Callum's (Laura's flatemate) actual birthday. Instead of sticking to our routine of going to The Hive on Thursdays, we went to a bar, Revolution, and then to a club, Bamboo. Since clubs are generally expensive here, we haven't been going to them; however, Bamboo was SO CHEAP! Every drink was one pound and cover was only three pounds. The atmosphere of the club was really cool too -- it was divided into three rooms and each room played different music. One room was for relaxing and was decorated with all these modern couches. Another room was just the bar and the last room had the dance floor in it, where I broke it down like a pro. It was perfect for celebrating after a difficult exam, so celebrate I did. Needless to say, the next day was not very fun.

On Friday, we all met up at our place, Morton's, for some delicious (and necessary) bagels. I'm not sure if I've described these bagels in detail yet, but all that needs to be said is that they come from heaven. Then we headed to another one of my favorite places: TopShop. Something about this store just pulls me in. They must change their merchandise twice a week, because every time I go in they have something new and even cuter than they had before. It's dangerous. That night, Sarah's roommate, Rebecca, and her friend came to visit. They arrived just after our family dinner but right in time for cheesy pop, which is good because you can't do Glasgow properly without a trip to cheesy pop. I danced the night away, singing to my favorite songs, and went home looking like a sweaty mess. It was good though, because I worked off the fabulous brinner (breakfast for dinner) that we had before going.

Saturday I joined Sarah and her friends for some touring of Glasgow. We showed them Morton's (obviously) and then took them around the university, showing them where we go to class each day. I wish the day had been sunnier, but it was beautiful nonetheless. They were amazed at how gorgeous the University of Glasgow is. They are doing a program in Strasbourg, France, and were telling us how their buildings are those ones that looked cool in the 1970s, but not so much anymore.

When we were done walking around the campus, we went to the Kelvingrove Museum again. The two girls had just done Paris and weren't exactly in a museum mood, so we skipped the museum and headed to Buchanan Street to show them Merchant City and George's Square. While on Buchanan Street, we saw this crazy band playing traditional Scottish music. They looked like something out of Braveheart. We stopped and watched them for a while, taking pictures and being astonished at their arm muscles. It was a successful day, but by the end of it our feet were hurting and we needed to rest, so we headed home to get ready for the night.

The night was epic, to say the least. We started with another family dinner of pizza, which was absolutely delicious. Then we headed to the GUU (Glasgow University Union) for a foam party. Yes, a foam party. We were all wearing the most ridiculous outfits complete with flip flops and sunglasses that were totally out of place for the time of day and the weather, but they were necessary. We all looked outrageous, I'm actually pretty surprised that they let us in. We went straight to the dance floor, where they started to turn on the foam. I wish I had taken pictures, but I didn't want to ruin my camera in the foam so I didn't even bring it. The foam was up to my knees and I looked like I had just taken a four hour bubble bath. People were slipping and sliding around and throwing foam all over the place. There were points in the night where I thought I was going to drown in the foam because they just kept spraying it and my eyes started to burn because my sunglasses weren't doing a very good job of protecting me. When the night was over, we all looked like wet dogs, had all lost our sunglasses, and some of us had lost our shoes. Getting in a cab to go home was absolutely hilarious. We all glided our way into it and then sloshed around in the seats at every turn because we were so slippery. I showered immediately when I got home and woke up this morning looking like an absolutely beauty -- puffy eyes from the foam and hair a mess. Another successful weekend in Glasgow, I'd say.

This coming week is going to be interesting and exciting. My friend, Hannah, is coming to visit with two of her friends. Her two friends are actually roommates of Laura and Sarah from home, so I have a feeling things are going to get crazy. Not to mention this weekend is Valentine's Day weekend, so there are bound to be a plethora of events to keep us entertained. On Saturday, we're trying to go to a masquerade ball to celebrate, which should be fun! We have to find masks to wear, so I'm sure I'll end up going to Buchanan Street (and probably TopShop) again. This week will be one to remember, so I'll make sure to not wait another two weeks before blogging again.