What to Do With Spoiled Kitties When You Go on Vacation?
Scotland Trip Part 1: Glasgow

Questions I Have Thanks to Recent Travel

  pond at the Edinburgh botanical gardens' greenhouse (but no frogs)

Whenever I travel, I come home with many many photos, tons of interesting experiences, and inevitably, all sorts of questions that occur to me. These are a few that got stuck in my brain during our trip to Scotland...

  • Why would a group of Brits, with all the beer options available to them, bring a six pack of Budweiser on a train? Really, why? Fullers makes so much better beer. I will never understand this one. Note that of course they'd brought 2 other 6-packs of beer with them as well. But still.
  • Why does a self-proclaimed 4-star hotel tell you in its room guide to order off the room service menu, then not provide a menu in the room, then not answer the room service phone #? Right, because they are updating the room service menu but don't have new ones printed yet. Note that we also then played round robin phone tag until we finally got ahold of someone in the restaurant who brought us up... the old room service menu.
  • Why is it that I can't ever take a walk while traveling to any city type place without being stopped and asked for directions? I think it must be the international city dweller uniform of mostly black clothing. I'm usually able to do OK at providing the requested directions, but this time around I was not able to provide walking directions to the British Museum from Euston station, having only just arrived in that neighborhood for my first time a short time earlier.
  • Why are all the lifts perpetually unavailable, or non-existant? I take for granted that the ADA makes the US a very traveler-friendly place. But after a week of schlepping around via trains and having to haul my bags up and down countless flights of stairs, I shall never take a well-placed ramp or elevator for granted again.
  • Why do all the eggs have such rich orange yolks in the UK? And why do only our occasional farmers' market eggs in the States match them?
  • Why do countries issue blanket "terrorism alert" statements like this one? Can it help do anything other than give anxiety to those travelers already abroad?
  • Why is it that only in the UK do restaurants serve a reasonable amount of milk with my coffee and tea? I swear in the U.S. it's always thimbles full of milk, or those play tea set sized cream cups at best.
  • Why don't we have a cake lounge like Auntie M's in SF? You'd think we would by now. Loved its completely inviting, homey, laid-back 50s vibe. And the cake! The cake! Delish. I had a chocolate orange cake that was truly fabulous.
  • Why is it that in the U.S. we think the transportation solution for a greener environment is hybrid cars rather than green/extensive public transportation networks? You can easily live in a European city without a car, getting around from place to place via transit or longer haul trains. Ever time I try to fathom how to get from San Francisco to a conference in San Jose I wonder why we haven't invested in a comprehensive rail network that can get us around the Bay Area more easily. And please don't mention BART -- if you live in the Richmond or Sunset districts, you're looking at taking a half hour bus ride to get on BART, and still having to change to CalTrain and walk a mile to get somewhere. Blergh.
  • Who thought it was a good idea to place a noisy water heater in the wall next to the bed's headboard at the Radisson in Edinburgh? Ah the joy of staying in an old building. I think the solution to this, however, would have been to drink more whiskey, yes?
  • Where are all the cats? Italy has them everywhere. And I saw them in Paris too. But there were too few cats this trip. One in Glasgow at the junkshop door, a ginger, who was muddy and couldn't be bothered with us; the black kitty who got himself let into the greenhouse in Edinburgh; and the white and black tomcat stalking the squirrels at the Edinburgh botanical gardens. I bet it is some sort of conspiracy led by all the birders, nod.

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