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What you DON’T need in Edinburgh

When I decided to upend my life at 29, I went to Scotland because it seemed the least scary for a big move. To wit – I wanted to GET AWAY, but I knew a fair bit about the UK and Ireland because lots of friends had been there – Winchester, Galway, and Glasgow were on my list. I had the first three months there planned – wow, adventurous – and arranged for a job at a venue in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, because I figured at least I’d be among my people.

Now. Ever since I had decided theatre was going to preoccupy my existence, I had heard about Edinburgh. When high school drama students in Calgary, Alberta, Canada are aware of an event…well. A mere two months before I went, I happened to meet a lady ( and she was a LADY) from the Fringe office itself – I think it was at an information session for Magnetic North. She showed me that year’s program for the Fringe… It was, it is HUGE. I was heading for C Venues – their listings took up two pages. She cheerfully told me I wouldn’t sleep for the full three weeks and would need a liver transplant in the end.

Everything I heard about it was true… times one million.

One night, I was walking home to the flat I was sharing with 6 Fringe co-workers, and a frenzied looking fellow asked me out of nowhere:

“Oi! Wan some Ecstacy?!”

At that moment, about half a dozen young people ran by us, shrieking with laughter, wearing nothing but strategically placed glow in the dark duct tape.

I turned back to the guy who’d just tried to sell me drugs and said “What for?”

Seriously. I know Edinburgh is the setting Trainspotting. But considering the walking pianos, giant fruit, and gigantic purple cow with its legs in the air I saw while there…. I honestly wondered why you’d ever NEED drugs in Edinburgh. Going for a walk and watching the show is cheaper!