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How not to leave Edinburgh

UNITED KINGDOM | Sunday, 30 August 2009 | Views [743]

Two different ways of making travel arrangements:

The sensible way. This involves planning things in advance, getting cheap deals by booking ahead, spending your time knowing exactly when you're going to leave and mentally preparing yourself, seeing what you want to see and having the experiences you want to have in good time, then boarding a plane for a short flight to your next destination and arriving clean, pressed, minty-breathed, and instantly forgetting the journey because of its smoothness and lack of trauma.

Another way is to have no particular plan and to keep procrastinating until the only available option comes up and spits in your face, forcing you to leap to attention, make hasty arrangements, say hasty goodbyes, lament the things you didn't get to see or do, realise how wasteful you've been because you had no deadline to work against, and then unceremoniously and violently eject yourself from your comfortable perch back into the chaos to which you obviously belong.

You will hurriedly collect your belongings, jump on one bus then an overnight bus then another bus and emerge 15 hours later, greasy-haired, fuzzy-teethed and exhausted into a world of bright light and clean people. You will be forever scarred by the experience and in years to come you will suffer flashbacks to sitting contorted and half asleep in the unending darkness of the British motorway system.

I wasn't expecting to be the first to leave the bike shop. We were all meant to be pissing off on the 31st but with my lack of organisation I expected to hang around until the 1st or 2nd. Then Chris from Mission Beach "04 tells me to come down to Southampton because he's got the 2nd and 3rd off work and an incredible lineup of English experiences for me. Then there are no tickets from either Glasgow or Edinburgh for the 31st or 1st, but there is one Megabus ticket available for tonight.

And suddenly, unexpectedly, unwillingly, I have less than 10 hours left in Edinburgh and I have to get my shit together and leave my adopted family of strays, and remember what it's like to be travelling.

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