Haggis and Curiosities

Had haggis this morning for breakfast. We’re in Edinurgh, winding down our tour. I wanted to try the dish, as the first and only other time I’d eaten it was during an international festival in Oregon years ago. It was awful then—a chunky, rank pile of glop, straight from the stomach it was cooked in. I’m not sure it was prepared properly. But this morning’s haggis was served in a little round sausage patty sort of thing, and I could clearly see the appeal. I’m just not a huge fan of offal, no matter how or where it’s served. But this, at least, I could understand, especially when accompanied by grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, beans and potatoes.

We’ve seen some interesting sights here in Edinburgh, and learned a thing or two. We arrived the night before last, hoping to catch a drink in the bar before retiring to our room. Just one drink—but instead, we were swept into the storm of a surly old coot (half English, half Scots) who pounded the table and spoke with abandon. Things quickly devolved after he told the hotel/bar owner to “shut up.” That was our cue to leave the bar. From the lovely bay window of our room, we listened to a brawl in the foyer, the arrival of cops and their departure an hour later with the offender in cuffs. Somehow, our travels always lead us to the strangest events.

In all of that, however, we learned a bit of local lingo. In the US, we say “one for the road.” Apparently in Scotland, the phrase is “a b*#ch for the ditch.” One for the road surely puts you in the ditch, and one for the ditch leads to the gutter. So we were told, anyway.

Curious, indeed.

4 thoughts on “Haggis and Curiosities

  1. One hopes that the venison burger and fries, plus artisan soft drinks and whisky samples at the Bow Bar then the SMWS … http://www.smws.com/ … made up to an extent for the ‘interesting’ behaviour of individuals at your hotel? This was a fun evening and it was great to meet you both … My Californian friend is about to become a mother so if Homeland Security ever do let me back into the US (despite my flagrant soccer-watching habits in Axis Of Evil outposts) I shall be keen to go gambling in your nearby facilities, wine tasting in the nearby vineyards, mountain climbing for the view and generally driving over bumpy things while listening to Let There Be Rock. Unless I’ve moved to Finland by then however… Meanwhile, great evening and lovely to meet you both.

    K

  2. K – No further interesting behavior at the hotel. Thanks for a fabulous trip into the world of whisky with plenty of Scottish history to go with it. Hope to see you sometime in the Southwest. Or come to Southeast Asia and we’ll fill you up on fermented fish and rice wine. Cheers!

  3. Karen, I’ll eat tarantulas but Haggis? I didn’t eat it in 2004 and I doubt I’ll try it ever. So I think it’s a tie. But you two got me when it comes to Prahoc. Glad you experienced the “full” scottish flavour, bar fights included. We saw our bar fight in Malaig. Near Isle of Skye..
    Safe journeys.
    andy

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