Social Dilemma #231

Riding Solo in Taxis

Whenever I am in a taxi by myself, I am always confused as to if I am supposed to carry on a conversation with the driver or not. Sometimes they start one (generally about politics or the vacation they had to the States...though there was the time the driver talked to me about some swingers (the married kind, not the dancers) and that was just weird...that story is pretty much worthy of its own blog!), but lots of times it just ends up awkward. I always just want to sit there and veg, but it feels like I am riding in the car with someone and NEED to talk to them. Then I wonder, is it rude to just put in my headphones? Or chat on the phone? I wish there was some sort of taxi edicate list somewhere so I knew how to respond! I also wish they would just play the radio to diffuse the situation altogether, but that would be way too easy!


It's come! My absentee ballot has come! I couldn't be more excited about this. Now to sit down and cast my vote. I am sure you all are wondering how I am going to vote, but I'm not telling!

American Pride

The pride that American's have for their country really does not seem to be matched anywhere else. This came up a lot during the olympics and I have discovered that other people did not grow up saying a pledge of allegiance every morning, nor do they put their hand over their hearts and stand for the national anthem to be played at sporting games. This pride comes up a lot in my conversations with my coworkers. Here is a conversation from the other day:

AC (Anonymous Coworker): Jessica, can you change the daily offerings board in the morning?

Jessica: If I remember, and feel like it, I will. (Oh yeah, I am still the same sarcastic person I was before I moved over here...but I think it is much more accepted over here!)

AC: If not for me, then do it for America.

Jessica: Well since you put it that way, I will definitely do it. I don't want to let my country down!

AC: I knew you had enough pride to not let your country down.

Seriously people, conversations like this happen on an almost daily basis, about everything! Though, I would like to give you a little warning on how this pride works against you. When Americans travel abroad, they like to point out everything that is different than America in a derogatory way. This is not good! Even though I am a prideful American, I am protectful of Scotland and hate it when people do this. So the next time you travel abroad, don't say aloud the comments you are thinking of America being better than the place you are in...this will keep you from getting spit on in the streets, or yelled at by a fellow American!

A Blind Person, the Police and Making Mistakes

Some "highlights" from my week...

A Blind Person: I was standing at my bus stop the other night, waiting for the bus after work, when the girl next to me stepped forward toward the bus, right into a blind lady walking down the sidewalk. The blind lady apologized, spanked her dog and told the dog to pay more attention. The sad part was, it wasn't even the dog's fault! The girl (who is actually in her 20's, so I don't know why I am referring to her as a girl), stepped in between the dog and blind lady, making it her fault and didn't even apologize. The blind lady can't even why should she be apologizing?

The Police: The police showed up at my door the other night...immediately, my guilty conscience got nervous. There is a little way that Ian and I are "sticking it to the man" and I thought the police were here to "get" us. As it turns out, they were just passing out fliers about neighborhood watch. And my mom assured me that I was flattering myself thinking the police were coming to get me!

Making Mistakes: I know it may come as a surprise to many of you, but I am not a perfect person and I make mistakes. In my work, I really do strive for perfection and have even been told I need to be easier on others and not expect everyone to be perfect. Anyway, I made a mistake at work this week, locking myself out of the safe. It isn't the worst that could happen, but I was still worried what the ramifications would be. Thankfully, all I got was a talking to and told to be more careful in the it is back to perfection (at least until my next mistake!)

When the Moon Comes Out...

One of the many reasons I love Edinburgh is the moon. On the nights when it is actually not raining and we can see the moon, it always seems to be spectacular. Something about it always seems like it needs to be in a creepy movie. But, it seems like we are closer to this creepy moon than we were in California and it always seems so clear. Seriously, if I look hard enough, I actually see the ant people living on the moon!

Now that winter is headed our way, we are seeing a lot more of the moon. Gone are those long summer (it is just a name, not an indication of warm weather) days when the sun was up at 3am, and not in bed until 10:30. I loved those days! The extra sun added a little bounce into my step! Getting up at 4:30 no longer seemed early, as the sun was already out. Now, the sun doesn't begin making it's appearance until 7:30, and at the worst of it, we won't be seeing it until 9 or 10! It's funny how sunlight becomes an indication of what I should be doing with my time. I am thinking of setting up a fake sun in my house to keep me being productive! Okay, so not really! Well my friend (the sun, that is), I will miss you when you are gone, but I know you will return with all your glory come spring! And as for your enemy (the moon), I will be seeing more of that creepy, perfect looking thing as winter moves on.

Voting Outside the Country

This weekend I took a crash course lesson in voting outside the country. Armed with my computer and the knowledge that I NEED to vote in the upcoming election, I weaved my way through a plethora of information to figure out how to vote outside the country. I discovered it is much like voting absentee in the states. Did you know that most absentee ballots are submitted by people living outside the US? It makes me wonder just how many of "us" there also makes me wonder why we choose to live in a country where we cannot vote, yet still want to vote in the country of our birth (or citizenship). I know my answer, I still plan on living back there someday, but it is still ironic when you think about it. The thing about voting absentee is that they don't even count the ballots until after the election is over. It makes me feel like my vote doesn't even count...the decision is made, THEN they count in my vote. Woohoo! Though the decision will still be made basically without my vote, I still find it my duty, or more, my privilege, to to cast my vote in the upcoming election.

Are Dreams Real?

I've heard it said that you dream about things you think about in your subconscious. But, what about things in your dreams happening in real life? How do you explain that? On Friday night, I was dreaming that I was drinking and it went down the wrong pipe. I woke up choking, as if it really happened. What explains that? I have had a similar experience before. It is as if my dream became a reality. Most of the time, I only remember glimpses of my dreams, but sometimes I remember them vividly, almost as if I lived the experience. I have gone shopping with friends, out to eat, to visit people and more. Most of the time, my dreams cause all parts of my life to, friends, work mates and more are all together at one place. Distance does not cause a problem. Everyone can be together. Come to think about it, dreams are usually quite fantastic because so much of my life comes together in one place (in ways it can't when I am awake), and yet I still don't have control of they are unpredictable. I am thinking tonight I am going to dream about getting together with all my favorite people at The Griddle Cafe for's to making that a reality!


Winter seems to have arrived in Edinburgh and so have my wellies! As the weather gets colder outside, and the streets get wetter, I decided it would be wise to invest in a pair of wellies. That way I can leave my shoes at work and wear these back and forth between work and home and my feet will stay nice and dry! Last year, I tried doing this with my Uggs a couple times, but soon realized those are no where near to being waterproof!

Right now, the weather over here is about 45-50 degrees. People over here call this autumn, I call this the worst winter LA has ever seen! I remember my boss in LA making fun of me for wearing scarves as an accessory, as he thought they weren't really necessary. At the time, I thought they were necessary. After living in Edinburgh, I now understand the true necessity of a scarf! The wind over here can push the cold air thru gaps that are usually undetectable in clothing. Layering has taken on a new meaning to me! Just this morning, standing at the bus stop, I was thinking about how it will soon be time again for me to wear double layers on my legs. I already have begun layering up top...jackets over sweaters, over shirts. Believe it or not, my work doesn't actually have any heating. In fact, in the cafe area itself, we actually run the air conditioners year round. But, get off the shop floor (away from all the coffee machines and panini grills) and it becomes arctic temperatures! Thankfully Starbucks has some "stylish" fleeces for us to wear...this is actually because they expect us to go out sampling in the arctic temperatures! The funny thing about the fleeces is they only provide them in an XL and everyone at my store, including the guys, is quite small.

All I really want to say is, while you LAers (and some of you outside LA) are enjoying your 90 degree weather, still frolicking around in your tank tops and heading off to the beach, think of your friend Jessica who is wearing three layers too many and fondly thinking of office space heaters!
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