Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Revelations In Auld Reekie

When you think of Edinburgh most people think of the Festival, the Fringe, fantastic architecture, the Castle, Holyrood, Princes Street, Jenners and many others. The downside has always been expensive parking providing you are lucky enough to find a space, over zealous parking wardens, appalling roadworks and many traffic jams.

Well I have to say this had improved hugely on my recent visit. Everything flowed beautifully and though the traffic wardens were still plying their trade at 11 at night, they seemed to be scowling less. Perhaps the bonuses have been that good that they can afford a smile.

The proposed tram which has been a major bone of contention amongst Edinburgers looked to be progressing at a faster rate than usual. There was even a demonstration tram parked in Princes Street for people to board and look around. It looked smart and clean. Whether it will be worth the money and go to the right places, well who knows?

Lothian Buses, however really have got their act together. They went through a period of general dumming down where the smart maroon and white livery was replaced with some fluorescent colour and a logo which looked as if someone had thrown up all over the bus on a Friday night following a beer and pizza supper. But now they are very much on the up. The new double deckers have jazzy tartan seats which could well have been designed by Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen and there are enough cameras (I counted eight on the top deck alone)to make even the most nervous feel safe.

I picked my nose and regretted it as I saw myself in this unpleasant pose on the large tv screen down the front of the bus. Knowing bus companies, the images will be downloaded to a mainframe computer in their offices and lord knows where they may go from there on. I sat incredibly still thereafter for fear of my bogies ending up on You Tube.

Thankfully some things never change in Edinburgh. You are always accosted by someone demanding money. This time it was a person demanding money who had a sense of humour:

"Will you give me 80p?"

"What for? What will you spend it on?"

"Beer. I believe honesty is the best policy."

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