Intro to Extreme Tourism

        Some of the greatest days were Saturdays during high school: getting up 7am for a debate tournament, straining my brain over the next 8 hours, driving as fast as I could to wrestling, and then pushing my body to the point of laying down panting. I wasnít great at either activity, but it really doesnít matter now how many wins and losses I ended up with. The important thing was having a great time exhausting myself.
        These pleasantly trying days donít happen often enough. At college, it got somewhat crazy during studying for finals, but I really didnít have any other commitments then or study all that much. Right after arriving in London, I definitely had a few: navigating for and taking care of myself so far from home was challenging for awhile, but I settled into a leisurely routine soon enough. Today approached sufficient busyness: weaving my bike between big buses across the city to arrive at work on time, madly shuffling papers all day, biking wildly back home, deciding which underwear had been worn few enough times to pack for the weekend, running to the webcafe to upload damn journal entries, and still catching our train was nice and active.
        I told Mike our goal should be to meet 6 new people on our way to Scotland. By the time we arrived in Edinburgh, we had mat well over 10, including several people ridiculously smarter than us, a soccer club / drinking team, an old lady who wanted to get a Tabasco Sauce shirt like mine, and this little old Scottish guy who explained exactly which Canadian ciders I should try while we waited at the trainís bar (yes, alcohol smooths public transit throughout the U.K.). As you probably can tell by now, this was the most enjoyable 5-hour transit Iíve ever had.
        Before we could even finish checking into our hostel, some Scot bought me a beer! It happened to be a guy, but Iím not going to turn down a free drink. My London flat is so pitiful that the hostelís luxurious. When I go back to the U.S., my house will feel like a mansion, my dorm a 5-star presidential suite.
        Some Scottish men abuse their kilts: they wear dresses to pick up girls. I saw one turn onto a street alone and, by the time he got past where I was standing, there were a good 8 girls at his side. After seeing this happen a few more time, I asked one of the kilt-clad Scots in more polite terms why heíd go clubbing in a dress. He confirmed my suspicion: itís totally to get girls. Good for them, though: if youíre willing to spend upwards of 1,000 pounds ($1,400!) to buy a fancy dress and have the balls to let them hang free, you deserve to be a ladiesí man!
        Itís great to feel like Iím having truly full days. Gotta get used to running around: extreme tourismís the way to do it.

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