Scots Make hae
Even with about two weeks to the Festival, Embra is already heaving with humanity. And the town is already in full Professional Scot mode-souvenir tat shops and instant Kilteries crammed with mostly American back packers and continental yuff and general purpose middle aged looking for the Bernstein, Dubois and Metternich tartans-can do Sir if you come back in an hour; in the meanwhile how about a ceremonial Claymore-genuine late twentieth century. Buy one Nessie get two at 2.5% discount. Or the Genuine Scottish Joke Book-slim enough for your wallet and full of tartanned up Irish Jokes-now no longer appropriate or funny in the blossoming Celtic Tiger Hibernian community.
In the midst of all this international commerce and frenetic sightseeing the mendicant pipers are at full strength-no less than three from the Fleshmarket Steps to the Old University and impossible to stay out of sound for long. Young tourists are not good payers-happy shots with their cell phones and then move on when the music stops and the Tam 0' Shanter comes around. The most generous givers are the new class of visiting sub-continental who are visibly impressed with what Ould Reekie has to offer and exclaim 'well played sir' as the lament dies on the wind and shower the begging bowl with much specie. Ould Reekie has made an impression-I overheard one Indian visitor say loudly to his wife' So like the Old Country and I can honestly say, my dear, that St Giles Cathedral is the answer to our dear Taj Mahal.' So what Mc Tavishes' Genuine Scottish Souvenir Emporium, over crowded, over heated and over priced is the answer to, one shudders to think.
The Black Hole of Calcutta, perhaps?
NB The piper portrayed above was not
one of the mendicants mentioned above but borrowed from flickr. Possibly photographed in Oz
Labels: Embra, Mendicant Pipers