Playing host!

Over the past few days, Joe and I had the pleasure of playing host to my uncle and his lovely new wife as they made a slight detour up to us here in Scotland on their way to visiting the States from India. It was a bit of a new experience for us (and I was actually a little stressed out before they arrived), as we haven’t really had guests over besides a couple of days with my brother and a day-ish of a stay by a cousin from London, but of course it ended up being a really enjoyable visit.

Since Mama and Mami were only here from Saturday afternoon until very early this morning, we made sure to pack as much as we could of beautiful, old Edinburgh into each day. The list of “experiences” we covered (for want of a better word) while they were here included a walk up Calton Hill, a haggis & whisky dinner, an underground history tour of Mary King’s Close, fresh Scottish shortbread, more whisky, a hike up and around Arthur’s Seat, a visit to Greyfriars Kirkyard (and Thomas Riddell’s grave), an evening of live traditional folk music at an old pub, a deep-fried Mars bar, and the mandatory visit to the vet school. Many, many walks were taken, from the Royal Mile, to the Grassmarket, to the grocery store, to the Scott Monument… feet were sore and legs were tired, but hell, we had fun.

As lovely as it was to have Mama and Mami here with us, it was kind of weird too (in a completely non-negative way). Mama’s always been the one to take us around all over the place–some of my fondest childhood memories are from trips he’d arranged with the family, seasoned heartily and happily with songs and stories along the way. It was really weird for me to have the roles reversed after so many years.

Sometime a very long time ago!

It was fun, though, to get to show off “my city.” Edinburgh, as I’ve told you before, is a beautiful, fascinating town, stuffed full to the brim with ancient stories, quirky traditions, and magnificent sights no matter which way you turn. Oddly enough, I felt pretty proud getting to show Mama and Mami around (as if I have anything at all to do with the magnificence that is this place. One can pretend).

Plus, it was so good to have company in the flat, besides just Joe and myself. It’s not very often that I get to have family around these days (especially extended family), and it was only too disappointing when the time inevitably came to return my guests to the airport. I had known it was coming, and of course I have plenty of work left to do this summer, but of course the trip back from the airport was still a bit of a bummer. Our time together with family is always too short, but I guess that just means in a weird, reverse-logic kind of way that we really enjoy ourselves while it lasts. (And at least there was the massive batch of delicious khichuri that Mami had cooked up for us waiting on the stove when I got home. Mmmmmm tasty.)

(Joe and I basically spent all day today alternating between sleeping and downing bowls of khichuri.)

Speaking of tasty food, Mami made an awesome Bangali dinner for us two nights ago. I’m still “mmm“ing around thinking about that shrimp. If only the serving bowl had been slightly larger, I could have fit my whole face in there to actually lick it clean.

Yes, I enjoy food. To the fullest extent. :D

I think I’m on the verge of rambling, so it’s probably about time for bed again for me. I got a text recently from Ma saying that Mama and Mami had reached home there, so I guess now it’s my parents’ turn to have the pleasure of the lovely company Joe and I got to enjoy for the last few days.

The next time I get to see family will be in a little more than a month and a half, so I guess while I count this last set of days down, I’ll just have to think of this past week and smile about the fun times until then. I’m really lucky to have family that can come all the way up to Scotland for a pit stop, and to have the type of family willing and enthusiastic about being dragged around all over a city with unlevel cobblestone streets and pestering, indecisive weather patterns.

And I’m pretty lucky, too, to live in such a city in the first place. I had my brother here previously, and I just had my aunt and uncle here, and both times, Edinburgh never failed to please (or at least so I hope). This lovely little city of mine is a charmer, and I’m glad to have something to show off.

Their first dinner in Scotland! Haggis for everyone!

Up on Calton Hill (photo by Mama)

(photo by Mama)

(photo by Mama)

We spent a lot of time this trip exploring various Closes. (photo by Mama)

Folk music night at a pub with our new Mami! (photo by Mama)

Mama and Mami atop the Salisbury Crags of Arthur’s Seat

Mama, enjoying his whisky!!

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