Wednesday, October 22, 2008

. . . Even If the Overall Stink was Disgusting

Maybe you read my post (see below) about how I'm just not thrilled by fruits or vegetables or non-European countries and maybe you're wondering why I would mention that. I'll tell you what inspired me. I was reading a book about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Andrew Lycett. In this book Andrew Lycett describes Doyle's ancestors and where they are from. He has this to say, "Edinburgh was attractive enough even if the overall stink was disgusting." Wow! Scotland must really not thrill him. This surprised me because, while I have never been there, I love the idea of Scotland. If I do go there, will I be disappointed? I mean, Anderw Lycett is credible enough and seems to have good judgement. His indictment of Edinburgh is enough for me to avoid Scotland altogether. I mean, it's not like I have plans or opportunity to visit Scotland. I would really have to go out of my way to get to Scotland and now I just don't see myself pursuing it.

In addition, Lycett explains the lonliness of Doyle's dad abroad: ". . . [It] might not have mattered if he had found someone who shared his quirky view of the world. But Scots' humor was rather more boisterous." Boisterous humor isn't necessarily a negative thing, but coming from an Englishman who thinks Edinburgh stinks, I get the idea he is not thrilled by Scots' humor. I started to wonder if Andrew Lycett was somehow racist against Scots. And then I came around to the idea that there are lots of places that don't thrill me either, and I certainly wouldn't consider myself a racist. Is it racist to hate Arizona because it seems hot and stucco-y? I think not.

The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a pretty good book. It's way more interesting than you think it will be.

17 comments:

  1. My mom just got back from Edinburgh and said it's a big loud dirty city. So there ya go. And Arizona is hot and stucco-y. But it is really pretty at night.

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  2. I want to staunchly defend Arizona instinctually, but it is hot and there is a lot of stucco. Though, I believe I could show you parts that would make you love it. Even Tucson.

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  3. I'm certainly open.

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  4. Scotland is not disappointing and Edinburgh no longer stinks. But I found it very difficult to understand people in Glascow.

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  5. And yet, I always thought of it as Glasgow.

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  6. Scotland is absolutely incredible and Edinburgh in a-maz-ing. And being from Arizona, it hurts me when you say you hate it. But I guess if you are looking for negatives you can find them just about anywhere.

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  7. I look at it like this...

    I love NYC. I recommend it as a vacation spot for all. But it smells to high heaven (to steal an expression from my mother).

    Should you miss out on something merely because it smells?

    And yes, you can find negatives if you are trying. I can find a negative about everything. And I mean everything.

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  8. When I went to London for study abroad I went to Scotland for a weekend, and it did really used to stink. Okay, I'm probably the worst source for this info, but on one of the walks we went on guided by a tour, the dude told us that they all would just throw their buckets of crap (really) out the window and it would flow (eventually) down the street and into the local loch. And that since there were so many people that lived there, after a hundred years of sewage draining into the loch it just stunk throughout the city, all the time. Eventually, when they got hip to sewage systems, they had to dredge and clean up the loch, so that there was NO stench when I got there in 1999. :)
    I didn't think Edinburgh was dirty or loud (well, not more so than London, at least), I thought it was gorgeous and really memorable.

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  9. Edinburgh is amazing, but big, old or dirty don't bother me in a city. It's like when I was serving my LDS mission in Rome, Italy and people would complain about it being old and dirty. They really should do some renovation on that Colloseum -- it's falling down, for heaven's sake! And I just returned from AZ, where, when I arrived at the airport at 10:30 at night, it was still 97 degrees. That's just not right.

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  10. I really love Europe, but if someone offered me a trip to say South America, the Orient, or even Hawaii, I wouldn't turn it down. I can't believe people thought you should renovate the collosseum--it is so amazing seeing it as it is.

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  11. And Sherlock Holmes is totally awesome, is he not?

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  12. Ok, Sherlock Holmes is awesome, but Arizona IS NOT!! Sorry, but I was just there last week, and (well, Phoenix anyway) is all sagebrush and sand and hardly any trees. I am from New England and I LOVE IT HERE!

    So, if you don't want to go to Europe (or those other countries which we shall not name) --come visit me and I will take you to all the historical beautiful places in New England!

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  13. I've been in Arizona for 12 years, so I clearly don't hate it... but IT IS too hot and stucco-y. It's ok. We know.
    ~Kelly

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  14. I think you have to realize too that Scotland and England have a long brutal history of not liking each other. It really did stink back then but why would an englishman want to go there when England was so much better in his eyes? I love London and Ediburgh (not Glasgow). Both are beautiful, old (dirty) cities. Arizona is defintely too hot for me but so is Nevada for that matter and a lot of other states.

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  15. Arizona drives me nuts too - all landscaping is comprised of Cacti and rocks - you can't find anything uglier!

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  16. Sorry, im just dropping in. Im an Edinburgh resident and i love it here. Its probably my favourite small city in the world and Scotland in general is beautiful...

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  17. Edinburgh IS awesome. I didn't just visit, I lived there. Downtown. For four months. Yes, it can stink. There are breweries downtown, but if you LIKE the smell of burnt cheerios then maybe you won't think it's so bad. There are buildings so old it would blow your mind. AND there's castles (more than one) right there. And good shopping. And really good tours about body snatchers and ghosts and underground parts of the city that were closed off and abandoned during the plague. Could there be anything cooler? No, there couldn't.

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