Maggie Talks to strangers
Things that are to be expected when hearing from friends who go on FSP's in c: an affinity for shortbread and the Enlightenment, belief in the Loch Ness monster, possible love for cobblestone streets, as well as hackneyed Gaelic punk music.
Gossip as to what unanticipated pair of FSP-ers got intoxicated at a trashy club and "sucked face" is divulged, though not always requested. The fact that students with an inability to expand their horizons are trying to re-create Dartmouth around the globe is discussed, though with little-to-no surprise. These same students' role in increasing anti-American sentiment abroad is implied, though not discussed.
Things that are not to be expected when hearing from friends about their FSP's in Edinburgh: the fact that these friends in Edinburgh have gone off the deep end. It's true, Dartmouth: Haley Morris '08 and Anna Stone '08 have somehow managed to turn a classic "study abroad" term into a head-trip that features, amongst other oddities, a bizarre quantity of (unprovoked?) physical assault.
A little background on the girls who stepped up for this week's FSP report: Haley earned minor celebrity status in the past during Rush-Scandalgate 2005, making a (albeit brief) return to notoriety amidst the "mysterious" disappearance of a lobster pong table over 06X. Anna sticks to a lower profile, but can usually be identified as the most bitingly sarcastic KKG to ever be happy that she "am-a."
And now, for a cautionary tale from Scotland's side of the pond:
What did you think upon first arriving in Edinburgh?
Anna: Why is there vomit at my front door?
Anna: Yeah I arrive to find out that my flat is above a nightclub, called "Rush." People hang out in front of my flat. Breaking bottles, beating up homeless men. Puking.
Who are you living with?
Haley: We are put in apartments with other students, mostly visiting students. My group turned out great. I live with girls from France, Russia, Italy and some wacko from Brown.
Anna: [In my flat] there's a French girl who only eats cake and an Italian girl. They are provided with lots of information by this Brown girl. She likes to tell them what things are like "in America." For some reason this results in lots of hugging.
Haley: They hug a lot. Anna isn't usually included.
Anna: I'm never included.
What's Edinburgh like?
Anna: Edinburgh is a smaller city than I expected. There are some real wackjobs. I think I just attract a certain type of crazy. Look at all the people I know [at Dartmouth]. I know terrible people.
Haley: My personal favorite was when a random guy approached me and just said: "Excuse me? Piss off."
Anna: First night we go out, our friend breaks her ankle and ends up in the hospital. Second time we go out, we get egged by strangers. Third time we go out, I get physically attacked by a drunk stranger and get chased down our block. We've stayed in a lot more lately.
Haley: Two 14-year-olds, completely unprovoked, threw straws, magazines and a chair at me and my flat-mate in a coffee shop.
For any reason?
Haley: None. I don't hold it against them, it's a rough age.
Anna: Oh, and we met a terrific slam poet.
Haley: Oh god. Fanny. Fanny is a gay, ex-meth, queen slam poet from D.C. who tried to shake me from my straight, white, all-girl-high-school constructions of reality. She failed.
Does anyone like you over there?
Haley: Middle aged men on business who decided to share with us a telepathic magic trick.
Anna: I'm thinking they got it from that book, "The Game," on how to be a pick up artist.
Haley: They figured out "Neville Chamberlain."
Any last words?
Haley: We love it here! Visit!