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World Knife Travelogue 
in Edinburgh


  I am a knife collector. I have collected knives in many countries all over the world. This time I went to Scotland, where I spent three months studying English and whiskey looking for a local knife. 

One morning, when I left the dormitory and went to school, the sunrise was beautiful.

The school is about 20 minutes on foot from the dormitory. At first, I thought about going to school by bicycle, then I bought a Brompton; foldable bicycle at a local shop on the day of my arrival to Scotland. Why foldable? Because it's easy to bring this bike back to Japan. However, I noticed that most of this school route is a slope, and the traffic is heavy, besides, it rains almost every day, so it is not suitable for going to school by bicycle. Fortunately, the scenery of the city is so beautiful that I thought it would not be boring to walk every day.
It actually rained day after day, but there was no problem if I had a raincoat and a muffler to protect myself from the bad weather.

With my Brompton in a nearby park?on weekend

On weekends, I went out by bicycle to find a knife shop, but I couldn't find it. In France and Germany, knife shops can be found somewhere in town. But I realized that it wasn't the same in Britain.
Nevertheless, it turned out that there was a traditional knife called Sgian-dubh here. It seems that it is usually hidden in thick socks. Perhaps its primary use is as an interpersonal weapon. It seems that they are still often used as decorations for festival folk costumes, but I heard that local people often use toys with blunt blade at such times. Current British law is very strict on anti-personnel weapons. A Brazilian girl studying in the same class was accused by police of the spray she had for her self-defense, and was in trouble in court.

I easily found a Sgian-dubh online. However, the procedure was very complicated when I purchased it. For example, I was obliged to send a copy of my passport to confirm my age.

I also ennoyed living in the domitory.
I often studied in the shared room on weekend mornings because my room is too small like a prison cell. One day, about a month after arriving in Edinburgh, an Italian girl arrived in the morning. Check-in is in the afternoon, so she must wait for a while in the shared room with me. When she was asked if there was a snack shop nearby, I decided to take this opportunity to try out the plot I had been planning for a long time.

I suggested to her: "I'll show you around the hall. Then I'd like to treat you to spaghetti-napolitan in my flat kitchen."

I heard that the dish called spaghetti-napolitan in Japan was actually a Japanese creation, not found in Italy. I had always planned to pretend that I didn't know it and feed it to an Italian.
Fortunately, the ingredients are available. The only disappointment is that she is not a Neapolitan. She comes from the opposite northwestern province; Liguria. Is it like feeding Kyushu food to Hokkaido people? But she is anyway an Italian, so that's fine, I compromised.
She was also interested in Italian food made by a Japanese.

I think the result was a great success. She ate it, saying it was very delicious.

During the meal, we talked a lot about school and dormitory life. And after the lunch, when she was about to leave the kitchen, she looked back and said,
"It was a great lunch, but I think there's not such a dish in Naples ..." she shook her head.
When I confessed, "Well, that's a Japanese original," she started laughing.

It is regrettable that I did not picture the Napolitan lunch with her.?

Above is a parent-child bowl (Oyako don) made from materials that could be procured in Edinburgh.
I used arugula instead since there are no Mitsuba.
Japanese seasonings can be bought at a nearby Chinese stores and even at convenience stores in Scotland.
Besides, there were many Japanese restaurants in the town. But most of them were of which sell Chinese and Korean food as Japanese food.

It's a town full of ruins, so I enjoyed it wherever I went.
One day I found this in a place like an observatory in the town. As expected, this kind of knife does not seem to be treated as a weapon and is sold for everyone. In fact, this is very practical. And, unusually, it was made in the UK, which made me even more happy.


I stand at the highest point of the tower on a hill overlooking the town.
I can't enjoy it at all because of my fear of heights. So why did I climb?
A well-known saying in Japane; “Stupid and smoke want to go high”

Frequently asked questions in Japan and Edinburgh; why I chose Scotland to study English.
The reason, of course, is that it's full of delicious whiskey. On weekends, I often took a sightseeing bus to visit the distilleries. There are many other tourist destinations to see, but I still enjoy the distillery.

My favorite malt whiskey is Talisker, Glenfarclas and Balvenie, but none of their distilleries were included in the bus tour I found this time. This was very disappointing.
The next time I go to that country, I would like to stay in Inverness and take a closer look at the Speyside area.

At the famous Dewars Distillery


A Roman water supply


On Skye

Was this also in Skye?
The sunset over the Atlantic Ocean and
the moon are in front.

Some rare whiskeys I bought as a souvenir.

On my graduation day, with everyone in the class.

Many thanks to all of you for having made my stay in Edinburgh enjoyable.
Martin, Mazun, Saleh, AbdroAzis, Luisa, Ana, Natascha, and .....

Will we meet again in anywhere once Covid-19 is over ?

September to December, 2019

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