Posted by & filed under Travel Country: Scotland.


While I was in Edinburgh in July, one of the last places I went to was the Job Centre in Tollcross, to see what sort of jobs were available. I explained my situation to the guy at the reception desk and he said that if I was only here for a few days visiting, then the best thing I could do was to have a look at the jobs on the job machine, which is an online list of local, regional and national jobs. Some of the jobs you could enquire about over the phone at the Job Centre and others, most of them actually, were jobs which you had to apply for online. I printed out six that I wanted to apply for and because I didn’t have my laptop with me on this trip, I had to wait until I got back to Amsterdam to do that. I was invited for interview for one of these jobs and that was part of my next visit to Edinburgh.

This job was a part time job at the University of Edinburgh as a Receptionist. It sounded like a very interesting job to me and so I booked another flight back to Edinburgh. I had the interview and it went ok. There were only two interviewers, but I didn’t find that there was any click at all between me and them. There were four written hypothetical questions that we had to answer in ten minutes. I must admit that I’m not great at these sort of questions if I haven’t been in those situations but they were interesting questions. They also asked some unusual interview questions which I’d never been asked before, like if you had the opportunity to go to dinner with a historical person, who would it be and why? Weird question! I chose Padhraig Pearse or James Joyce. If anyone is interested, I’d like to find out what is the weirdest interview question you’ve ever been asked?

I was only in Edinburgh this time for two days and it was during the Fringe Festival. I knew that it was going to be difficult to get accommodation. So as I mentioned in my previous blog entry, I had been offered a complimentary stay at Smart at iQ by the manager there. I took her up on this offer and at the last minute, asked her if I could stay two nights in August. It was only a week before I was due to arrive, so it was very short notice but fair play to her, she said she’d be delighted to have me stay. I was very happy.

I arrived the night before the interview and I had been given one of the luxury studio flats this time. It was equipped with a little kitchenette, ensuite bathroom and again was very clean. There was more space in this room compared to the one I had the last time, it was bright and sunny and in the main building, four floors up. In the bathroom was the card that had the towel policy on it, there were also extra toiletries like shampoo, shower gel etc and there was even a bath robe and slippers in the wardrobe. The following day, after I got back from the interview, I noticed that the towels had been changed and it looked like the room and bathroom had been cleaned. So there was an improvement this time on the housekeeping, which was good to see.

I wanted to try and get to see one of the free acts that was going on during the Fringe Festival. I picked up one of the leaflets with the programme on it and decided I’d go to one of the comedy acts in the Jekyll and Hyde pub on Hanover Street. It was on at 10.30pm. On my way there, I was passing the junction of George Street and Frederick Street and to my right hand side, a red firework exploded in the air just above the Castle, followed by three or four more multicoloured jets of light. For the next fifteen minutes, I was enthralled by a great fireworks display in the sky above Edinburgh Castle. It was wonderful. I stood there transfixed by the beauty of it. There were other people standing there on the corner too, with smiles on their faces, watching it. The combination of the whizzing of the fireworks and the fabulous colours and shapes of these exploding phenomena in the night sky was dazzling and I was carried away into a fairy tale world. It was a lovely surprise and I must admit, the highlight of this trip.

I carried on to the Jekyll and Hyde Pub on Hanover Street and went downstairs to where the comedy act was on. I got there five minutes before it was due to start and in my rush to get there, I went into the room downstairs and asked for a rose wine, at what I thought was the bar but on further investigation, I stupidly realised that this counter was the podium where the sound was set up. The woman who I asked for the wine said, “This is not the bar. You’ll have to go upstairs to order your wine”. It turned out that the woman was one of the comedians and I’m sure this would make a great piece of material for their show – dipsy Irish woman walks up to the sound podium and asks for a rose wine !

Anyway, after I sheepishly went upstairs to get my wine, I came back down to the show which had already started. This act was a guy and a girl, James and Amy, called The Dysfunctional Friends and the show went on for an hour. It was good actually. I enjoyed it.