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Edinburgh Life

A friend described being an Edinburgh native during the Fringe thusly:

Your flatmate’s throwing a house party but you’ve got to be at work in the morning, it’s two a.m., and he refuses to keep the noise down.

I think he’s being far too charitable. Living in Edinburgh during the two major festivals (the Fringe and the International Festival) is like that for maybe the first week, though you might get to see some decent shows anyway. By the time you’ve had multiple weeks of not getting a seat in your local pub, of having the bus you’re on nearly side-swiped by one of the pack of idiot tourists who don’t understand red lights, of walking into people who take the pavement ten-abreast and stop at random with no thought for the people around them, of having your bus to and from work delayed by people who treat bus drivers as tourist-information points, of screaming mobs wandering the streets at all hours, of fearing for life and sanity every time you have to cross the Royal Mile, of having people demand directions to places that change names just for the Fringe… well, I’m a little less charitable than he is.

Your flatmate threw a house party on Friday night, and invited everyone on Earth. It was fun for the first couple of nights, but they finished off your guest-available booze on Saturday, and by Sunday had polished off your reserves of the good stuff. So many people attended that every room in the flat is heaving with people shouting and screaming at one another to be heard. It’s now Wednesday night into Thursday morning, you’ve had no sleep because to sleep is to have your face covered in crudely-drawn cocks, and you need to be suited-and-booted for a meeting with the CEO at 9a.m. sharp. You’re trying to sleep but can’t get anyone out of your room, let alone get them to shut the fuck up. And then, at three in the morning, someone vomits in your wardrobe all over your work clothes.

That’s the festival and the fringe. While it’s great that the city hosts them, nobody involved seems to remember that the city has residents who live and work here and want nothing to do with it.

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