"There is perhaps nowhere else in the world--and certainly nowhere so far from its roots--that boasts a Scottish heritage like Dunedin, the South Island's second largest city. For those who have walked the centuries-old streets of Edinburgh in Scotland, let alone lived there, a trip to Dunedin (which actually means 'Edin on the hill') is somewhat disconcerting. Immediately, you will notice the echo of Scottish architecture--grand buildings of stone, built to last, that go far beyond the merely functional and, in true Scots tradition, defy inclement weather. The streets are blatant in their similarity, even sharing the names of Edinburgh's most famous--Princes Street, George Street and Moray Place--and presiding over the scene, in its very heart, a statue of one of Scotland's greatest sons, the poet Robert Burns. Now, as you ponder his gentle expression of intellect, with the seemingly ominpresent seagull perched on his head, you cannot help but wonder what he would say about this pseudo-Scots city, so very far from home."
I took the Taieri Gorge Railway today through a remarkably Scottish landscape. There was the industrial wasteland leaving the city, and the rugby stadium. Soon enough, though, the railway line entered a wide valley, full of sheep farms.
They'd even laid on some genuine Scottish summer weather: cold, wet, and dreary, with leaden skies and rain. It occurred to me there was such a thing as too much authenticity.
Friday and Saturday nights seem to be, as in Scotland, the nights for high schoolers to cruise and promenade. Here, many of the boys, and some of the girls, seem to be driving Japanese cars souped up to various degrees around the Octagon and along the center city. The carless content themselves with hanging about George Street.
From a giggling teenage girl to another:
"I'm not drunk, even if you are! So I still have shame, even if you don't!"