Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Diary of Dundee, Part V

I had been waiting for some time to get to walk with Chad, and Wednesday promised to provide us with a grand opportunity, since we did not have to be at Elim until one. The crest of the dawn seemed lost in the har, which had given up being a seaside attraction and had become a full-fledged fog, melting into the overcast sky and creating a cold white canvas, wet and chilling. We decided to walk to town from Broughty Ferry.

It should be noted, that Chad, whom I had not met until arriving at the airport the previous Saturday, is probably as opposite from me as a person can be. I am given to be overly-reticent in new situations, just to deal with my own social fears. Chad is usually the class clown for the same reason. He is a self-proclaimed Redneck. I roll my eyes inwardly (if not outwardly) at every “Git-R-Done” and pontoon boat and Ford diesel bulletproof Howitzer that I see sucking gas down the interstate. Chad kills things to feed his family. I like pressed tofu. So I’m not too passionate about it, just marginally so. So my first inclination in meeting my roommate was to roll my eyes at God and ask, “Okay, what do you want me to learn?” But as the week progressed, and even more as we began to walk along the seaside road toward central Dundee, we were forced to get to know each other.

It wasn’t all that painful, especially as we both appreciated the view down a tiny lane towards the Tay, where we turned to take photos of the alien cityscape drenched in fog. We also found blackberries growing by the side of busy roads, in October. They weren’t just any blackberries though. These were the size of your thumb. We thought about getting a bucket and begging Rose to bake us a pie. The other berries we found will go forever unnamed. But it shall suffice to say that if you are walking along the road from Broughty Ferry to Dundee in late October, and you happen to pass a bush with glistening ruby-hued berries, they are not edible. In fact, once you get past the gorgeous exterior, they smell eerily similar to rotten meat. And the smell sticks to your hands and jeans. The smell says, “Don’t eat me. I will give you raging influenza, lupus, and the gout.” Realizing through the berry-induced delirium that we were late (no, mother, we didn’t actually eat them), we hopped a bus and caught up with the rest of the crew for lunch at Elim before setting up. The schedule for the night was that I would play, Gary and Matt’s band would play, and then Chad would give a testimony.

The high school kids that came weren’t much less rowdy than the kids at the Hub, but there wasn’t any reason for complaining. They were there, and that gave us opportunities to build relationships. Amongst the crazily juxtaposed itinerary, we met a few of the Cadets who had shown up. Still, the crowd was not much into folk music until I brought out my cowboy hat. It’s not really a cowboy hat, but it passes for one to most Scottish people. Tammy makes a habit of stealing it and wearing it around until I have to go somewhere else. It is still amazing to me the change affected in the attentions of a crowd by resembling the consummate American archetype. I mean, I’ll never be the Marlboro man, but they don’t seem to care. Talking to Pete later in the week, this became an interesting recollection when he told us that half the reason that we were effective was because we were a novelty.

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

I have a few more pictures from Scotland that I will put up on my Flickr page soon.


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