Sunday, September 29, 2013

Leaving Aberdeen

I only have one home; it's where I was born and raised, and spent the first twenty-some-odd years of my life. That said, in late September of 2012, Aberdeen became my base-away-from-home for what turned out to be just over eleven months. It hosted highs and lows - mostly highs - and served as a hospitable venue where I learned a great deal and had some amazing experiences. It was a hub for my transit to a variety of locations that most people never even attempt to visit. With my dissertation complete, and after forty-nine weeks, it was time to leave.

As I finished my dissertation about a week before most of my colleagues (CN Homeboy finished his a month early - still not sure what to make of that!), I had the opportunity to sort myself out and say a few goodbyes. I met for a wonderful lunch with CN Conquistadora, whose friendship I thoroughly enjoyed during the second semester; and with CN Wanakum, who is one of the most genuinely good-natured people I've ever met in my life. I said my (temporary) goodbyes to the Director, and a variety of other folks of whom I've grown quite fond. Finally, the day came.

My last evening began where you might expect it to begin: at Lionel's, where I enjoyed one last (for now) meal of chips, cheese, and schwarma with garlic and sweet chili sauces - truly delicious. From there, I went to the pub that became my "local" in the end: The Tippling House (which will be featured in more detail in an upcoming post). My good buddy, CN Constable, was working behind the bar, and even thought the place was jam packed on account of Offshore Europe 2013, I was able to get my picture with both Constable and one of his colleagues, the only Andorran I've ever met. Constable is continuing the tradition as a Strategic Studies '13/'14 student, and he became the recipient of many of my textbooks as I worked to lighten my load.

I thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality of the Tippling House's staff, to include its fetching floor staff. As we were getting a couple of quick snapshots, we were able to wrangle a couple of them into a pose so that I could have something to remember them by. I ran into one of these two later - she was supposed to have gotten off work at 22:00, but didn't leave until 23:15. It was bedlam in there; in fact, it was bedlam throughout the entire city. Before I ran into her for the last time before my departure, even I was impacted: I ended up being sort of strategist-napped into continuing my pub crawl by a drunk girl from Thurso who was enamoured with my American accent. With the help of an Australian and another American, I found myself impersonating a roughneck in order to get into the Old Schoolhouse, which had been hired out by executives from NLI; in fact, that late in the evening, they'd enjoyed too much alcohol to care. What an unexpectedly hilarious end to my year in Aberdeen!

I finally snuck away, and caught the last bus back to the Hillhead Halls of Residence - "Camp Raymond B.", after Joanne's father, as I liked to think of it - which I can now reveal to have been my base of operations since arriving in Aberdeen last September. I said one last goodbye to the folks at World Yummy, the central building's Chinese restaurant. Ying, Hualiang, and Byron made sure I didn't starve during my time at Hillhead - particularly during the extremely bleak winter, when everything was closed down for the better part of a month. Having spent the better part of the day cleaning my room out and packing the remainder, I crashed for a few last hours before clearing at the front desk and catching a cab. With that, I was on the train to Inverness to extend Operation Highlander by commencing Operation Bold Brigand.

No comments:

Post a Comment