Day 32, Friday, May 22, 2015
On to Edinburgh by train. Then the adventure really began. I had neglected to let Jacquie Forde
know when I was arriving, but had realized that and emailed her just before I left. Unfortunately, I left before I got a response. So when I arrived in Edinburgh I figured there was a 50-50 chance she would be there. She wasn’t.
I didn’t know whether she just wasn’t there or whether I was supposed to meet her someplace and she was looking for me. I wandered the station and outside for a while looking to no avail. This was not a real problem, I figured, because I could just call her since had her number in my little black book from last year’s European Tour when I stayed with her. Except when I looked in that book she wasn’t in it—the only one I stayed with last year who wasn’t! Then I remembered it was an impromptu arrangement last year that landed me at her house—so although I had everything else at my fingertips, I didn’t have this. No Jacquie, no phone number, no address, no way of getting in touch with her.
I consider myself a very resourceful person, so I was not really fazed. I could just use my smartphone to send her an email. Well, my smart phone has a very stupid operator, making it a stupidphone. My email didn’t work, and I didn’t know why. So I figured I’d call Christian McNeill in Glasgow, figuring she might have Jacquie’s number. I couldn’t get phone service. I started kicking myself for being so stupid not to have had everything arranged before I left.
Okay, my last chance was to find an internet café, so I could get on line with my laptop and email her. I asked someone in a train station store if they knew where there was an internet café close by. They looked one up on their smart phone and said it was a few blocks away. On my way out I bumped into an information booth for tourists. I went in and asked if it was possible to use their phone book to look up an address. They said people can opt out of having their number in the phone book, but he looked it up for me and found a J. Forde at a certain address and phone number. Okay! I figured if worse came to worse I could take a taxi to that address and hope it was her and her husband Jerry’s. Both Js. Before I did that, though, I figured I’d get to that internet café. But as I was walking I saw a cell phone company across the street. I asked them for help with my phone, but they said they were associated with Verizon and couldn’t help me because I was associated with AT&T.
I walked many blocks to the café and either I passed it or it was no longer there. Instead I saw a computer repair company, so I walked in and asked for help. They couldn’t help me because it was an Apple company, but they pointed me down a block to another company. The guy in there was so nice! He got me phone service and internet service, and told me I could use their service in the store (Some small consolation is that he didn’t have an easy time figuring it out either.)
I called Jacquie and got an answering machine. I finally got on line and saw a message from her that she was busy today and would pick me up at 6:25 when she was also picking up Jen Lucas, and have fun in Edinburgh until she arrived (4 hours later). Whew! Relief!
So I wandered—my backpack was getting really heavy by this time—over to the National Scottish Museum and looked at some of the exhibits, then went over to the public library because I needed to get my pack off, go to the bathroom, and sit down. I don’t know about you, sometimes, Jack.
It was pure luck that I bumped into Jacquie and Judy Banks as I roamed around the train station looking for Jen. Again I was wondering what I would do if I didn’t find them. But now it was Jen that was missing.
After about a half-hour, just before they were about to leave, I said, “Just let me run and check up at that exit up there (there were many exits), just to be sure she isn’t there.” I ran up and there she was, waiting and hoping someone would show up!
That evening Jacquie picked up the greatest fish and chips (second only to the one I had with Amy in Wales), and Jen, Judy, Jacquie, and Jack (wow, all Js) went out to hear a jazz band Jerry was playing bass in. I really liked them, but when I complimented Jerry and other band members on it, they all kind of pooh-poohed it as if they didn’t think it was good at all. Funny. Sorry, guys, you were good! I thought the clarinet player was the best. Soft jazz must be the most laid back kind of music to perform that there is. They even had an 84 year-old playing the tenor banjo, forcing me to see that there’s hope for me yet. I got to bed WAY too late!
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