But our first day was spent in the great city of Glasgow. Went to the Science Centre and the Botanic Gardens.
The Science Centre was for children. I appreciate that all science museums are very child-friendly but they usually dedicate a good amount of floor space to things that adults can enjoy. Not the Glasgow Science Centre. It was the exclusive preserve of children. I saw maybe two other couples in there looking as disappointed as me and my lady friend. Everywhere else, it was kids running around and parents/grandparents.
It was also really small. We were in and out of there in 30 minutes. Yes, we didn't really look at the exhibits much but there wasn't much to see. And it was like £11.50 or something per ticket. I can't even imagine children enjoying that place, although, I did see many children enjoying the place so maybe I'm wrong.
But yeah, £11.50 for an adult? No way. It was so bad that I considered asking for my money back. This place was clearly for children. They should have told us this when we entered. It was screamingly obvious that we as adults would not like this place. It's like going to Legoland and saying to your adult girlfriend, "Aw yeah! This place is going to be awesome". The person manning the gates would surely stop you and say, "I'm sorry, but this place is for children. There's nothing here that would be of interest to you." That's what should have happened at the Science Centre.
Then we went to the Botanic Gardens. It was nice. There are various plants on the grounds and two big glasshouses with a lot of other plants in them. Plants from all over the world. Giant ferns, cacti, they had them all. Nice koi pond too. Some cool terrariums with tiny fish and snails in them.
A lot of elderly people chillaxing. That's nice. Good to have a place to just hang out after retirement. Also some gangs of breastfeeding mothers. A few kids running around playing hide and go seek. It was raining most of the time but still nice and not crowded. I know it was raining and a Friday afternoon but I compare these things to London where everything is crowded all of the time no matter where you are. Hyde Park at 1.00 pm on a Wednesday is mobbed full of people.
So I say to my lady friend, "No botanic gardens in London, are there? Score one for Glasgow." And she says, "I think there is. Kew Gardens or something." And I say, "Oh, yeah. You're right." And she says, "Still, you wouldn't expect something like this in Glasgow. People think that Glasgow is run down but it's really not." Indeed, it's not. I guess some parts are but much of Glasgow is nice.
Then next day, we went to Edinburgh for the Fringe. I think it's mostly a comedy thing but I didn't think that either of were suited to comedy shows. We're not outgoing. Don't laugh. We both find clapping uncomfortable. Forget about footstomping or standing ovations.
So instead, after much searching the night before for stuff to do (there's a really helpful app that you can download that gives you all the acts at the Fringe but my lady friend didn't use it) we found three things to do: A Streetcar Named Desire, a modern dance production, and a singing thing.
First, A Streetcar Named Desire. I saw the film at least twice. My lady friend never saw it. She never even saw the Simpsons episode.
So we get there. We're behind some loud, stereotypical American woman in her late 50s, perhaps, henpecking her husband. I hate this emasculating behaviour. There's nothing clever about it, there's no irony involved, it doesn't make you a feminist, it just makes you an asshole.
We get into the venue. Not many people there. The venue is about 1/4 full. Maybe 1/5. About...30 people, maybe.
Then the producer comes out and informs us that the actors are all from Georgia and they'll be performing the play in Georgian. There will be English subtitles. Some people look like they're about to walk out. It was intersting, though. I already knew the story. They cut some stuff out. But yeah, it was alright. Have to appreciate people putting on a show for 30 people. The tickets were £10/each. There was also a two for one deal if you paid £30 to become a "Friend of the Fringe". So I suspect that a lot of people did that which cut into the profit margins.
Then we walked a short distance to the next venue which was some modern dance production called Union. Outside of gay porn, it's probably the gayest thing you'll ever see. I know that dance in general is gay but this was super gay. Guys dancing with guys. Sexual dances. Man on man action.
There was even one scene where the two dudes were doing this sexual dancing, rubbing up on each other, they're both only wearing boxer-brief underpants, and as they pull away the one guy has a huge erection. The other guy was still probably really, really gay but just wasn't into that particular guy.
I did enjoy the chubby blond girl, though. When I wasn't watching that guy's boner, I was usually watching her. Her wobbling thighs were really hypnotic. And it's good to see some female dancers who clearly don't have eating disorders. And it's no problem. She was able to keep up. These guys (who were all muscular and half-naked throughout the performance) were able to lift her no problem. So why not? There should be more women with big titties dancing.
Afterwards, I learned that these were all second year college students. So they were like 17. That's just gross. I mean, it doesn't take away my appreciation for that chubby girl but it's gross to make these guys, who may or may not be gay (maybe there are straight male dancers, I don't know) do such homoerotic dances. There's some flaming choreographer out there who really enjoys his job. Actually, I think maybe it was students who did the choreography but they had to have some teacher supervising this stuff. And even if it is another student, it's still not right.
Then we went to something called The Voice Festival. These last two things were chosen by my lady friend. She just say "The Voice" and connected it to the amateur hour tv show.
Had she delved deeper, she would have seen that this was a one night only acapella performance. It took place in an old church. There were different groups from all over the UK. Mostly England, actually. I think only one from Scotland. There was a big school group from London. All male. Probably...40 or 50 guys. But all the other groups had between 5 and 15 people. Some all male or all female, some mixed gender. All university groups except for that London one and the Scottish one was 5 middle aged women.
I appreciated the effort. I even enjoyed it. There's nothing inherently gay about singing, although I'd wager that at least 50% of the males were gay.
But what I didn't enjoy was the two MCs trying to pump up the crowd. "Put your hands together for our next act! Weren't they great? Show some love for our next act! You've been super! Clap, stomp your feet, really give it up for our next act! How about you in the back? Enjoying the show? Let me hear you!"
Fuck off with this shit. I also hated the audience participation that some of the acts did. They'd encourage you to clap in time. Don't rely on us to be the metronome. Figure it out yourself. Keeping in time is part of your craft.
Anyway, each group did one serious piece and one "comedy" piece. I use "comedy" loosely. But again, I appreciate all of the effort. Don't take my half-assed applause as a sign that I didn't enjoy it. It's me. I'm just a reserved guy. I don't whoop it up. I've never once raised the roof.
It did seem to go on too long, though. There were about eight groups. I started to notice how uncomfortable these church seats were.
So that was the Fringe. There's something for everyone. All the shows I saw were £10-12 per ticket. Most shows had this two for one offer that I mentioned, though. There's also a lot of free shows.
There's also some burlesque shows. While we were waiting in the queue for this Streetcar Named Desire, I was looking at the posters across the way and there was one with just a giant buttocks. My lady friend asked me if I'm interested in burlesque and I said, "No, but it's difficult to miss this giant buttocks."
Then we were talking about the burlesque options at home in the evening and I told her that I don't even think that there's any nudity in them. It's a camp sort of thing. Like fan dancing or something. Although, the shows were all 18+ and were at midnight so maybe they are more exciting than I think they are. My ladyfriend suggested that she had a bigger bum than the woman on the poster so I proposed that she work on her act and she can apply for next year's show.
That was just the stuff that we saw, though. There's plenty more. Some stuff that's more gay and some stuff that's maybe a bit less gay. But to be honest, you have to have some acceptance of homosexuality if you're going to see anything at the Fringe. You can't go in and expect manly expressions of creativity. It just doesn't happen. But yeah, magicians, dancers, singers, musicals, legitimate theatre, comedy theatre, stand up comedy, monologues, weird openly gay shit, BMX stunt shows, whatever. There's shit to do but plan ahead. Don't leave it until the night before.
Then on the third day, we saw some Culzean "Castle" near Ayr. It's not a castle. It's just a big house. Costs £15 to get in. Not really worth it. There was a short tour that we stumbled onto. It was informative.
Then we had to get back to Ayr. But it was Sunday and we discovered that there's only a bus there every two hours. So I had to walk back to the entrance (a bit of a distance) and get the number for a taxi. Nobody answered. So I went back again for another number. They were closing up by this point. Got another number. Only open Monday to Friday. Got a final number. Guy answered, said he would be there in 15 minutes. He arrives, says, "There's not many buses around here on a Sunday". Took us to Ayr station and it cost £20, which is exactly what I told my lady friend it would cost. I didn't tip him, as I believe is the custom in the UK, but he seemed a bit annoyed by that.
I remember giving a tip to a taxi driver in Ireland who then gave it back to me. He was insulted. The tip was perfectly generous but he didn't want tips. I think it's the same tipping culture in the UK but I don't know. Maybe because this was like a minicab they expect a tip. But there was no meter. This guy could have charged whatever he wanted. If he wanted a tip, he could have said "£22".
Then we just went home. Watched Easy Rider on my computer. She wasn't overly thrilled with it, even including my riveting production facts throughout the film. Which rednecks were real redncecks and which were actors, what they're saying in Spanish in the beginning of the film, that the music producer in the film is played by Phil Spector who was a real music producer and is currently in prison for killing his girlfriend, how the final scene is reminiscent of the downed helipcopter shots that they would take of the Vietnam War, et cetera.
Then afterwards, I was asking her about Glasgow and how she liked the area and so forth. I said that she's welcome to stay with me and she was surprised by that. I told her to think about it and she said that she would. She was receptive, though. Said that she'd have to find a job. We talked about different options like we could move to Edinburgh and whatever.
So that's good. Whether she moves in or not, I don't really have a strong view. Both avenues have their advantages. It's nice to have somebody to do stuff with, the potential extra income,, potential family, et cetera. But it's also nice to be free to do what you want, live where you want, masturbate when you want, go out with whatever painfully unattractive women you want, et cetera. Either way is fine with me.
« Back to index