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Two Thin Laddies

At Tollcross there is an excellent little café or restaurant or watchamacallit. Bistro, according to the door. It is rather unobtrusive, announcing its presence in the corner of a building opening onto a square with important bank people and some less well dressed ones looking for a pub. The only other indication is a (granted, very yellow) sign on the side of the wall (as seen to the left). I felt very clever when I first found it. Nobody had pointed it out to me. It looked like someone had tried to hide it. And I was hungry. I was fairly sure I was in heaven. Since then I have tried, every now and again, to bring other people in on the secret. But the secret resists revelation. Not only do people seem to have less than full confidence in my ability to pick a good lunch place, whenever I suggest to someone we go there for dinner they invariably stop serving food just as we enter.

When, after a fruitless trip to the Consulate, we agreed that lunch should be had before going to the library for a tough bout of productivity, Tor laughed at me when I tried the ploy of suggesting that Tollcross was practically on the way and that this would be a good chance to sample the delights of this wondrous place. I know it sounds shocking, but Tor sometimes doesn't believe that all my ideas are good ones.

I batted my eyelashes, however, and a short trip up (or down, if you are crazy or Scottish or both) Lothian road later we reached our destination. Tor still had the expression that says "I am humouring Camilla for now; I am sure my reward will come in the afterlife or some such". He agreed that it looked rather nice and friendly. The art on the walls spans from dreadful to really rather brilliant, which can be good as a conversation starter and is always something you can return to when you are done discussing how absolutely mad and funny the mathematician Hardy was.

Their prices are average. You think. At first. When the lady comes over to take your order. Then you chat about the art and your plans for the day for a little while. And then you realise how utterly wrong you were. As they bring you enough food to feed a small nation.

We had landed on the quesadillas with chicken on our perusal of the menu. Strange as it may sound, I am also a great fan of their macaroni and cheese. There is also always a home made vegetarian soup to be had. But that is a story for another day. Today we had quesadillas. And if you now have images in your head of dry, rather boring over-spiced or greasy food, you couldn't be more wrong. There is nothing of the fast food horror in this creation. I am talking about a carefully composed melody of flavours, with a generous helping of fresh coriander that can only be described as a stroke of genius.

Tor was profusely sorry to have ever doubted me, lavishing praise on the establishment as I mocked him for his lack of faith all the way to the library.

In conclusion: when hungry in Edinburgh, Tollcross is rather a good bet. Here is Tor after having seen the light:


Tor,  21.08.09 14:43

I can vouch for this. It really is a very nice place to have a rather large lunch.

Mary,  21.08.09 15:43

Why did you have to go to the Consulate? I have had enough of consulates to last me four years. Fortunately, I'll not have to go to a consulate before four years have passed.

Also: If I had been there, I would have gone to this restaurant and listened to you without doubting! Honest. You should take me there one time after I get to Edinburgh, as now I am curious about the macaroni and cheese. I am a fan of good macaroni and cheese.

Shame on you Tor for doubting!

Camilla,  21.08.09 16:05

We had to go to the Consulate in order to vote. But alas. No voting today. Monday it is.

I will take you there in a few days' time.

And yes, shame on Tor.

Mary,  21.08.09 16:11

Dammit, I bet that means if I want to vote in the 2012 election/state elections I'll have to go to a Consulate too. Damn and double damn.

Tim,  21.08.09 18:18

I used to see the sign for that place every day from the bus (it's not that well hidden) and have always wanted to know what it was like. I'm very glad you've tested the water for me. We'll have to take a trip sometime soon. When is their kitchen open?

Mary: generally you can vote by post. I think there's some weird reason Tor and Camilla can't do that this time round, but I'm not sure what it is. Just make sure you are registered to vote at your mum's address before you leave home. You might not be registered already since you weren't 18 last time there was an election, and it's a lot harder to register once you've left the country.

Mary,  21.08.09 18:41

Yes, I am definitely not currently registered to vote. I don't think I'll have time to register before I leave, either. I think it is harder to register in ear that haven't got any major elections; you have to actually go to a government building or something. I suppose I should google it.

Tim,  21.08.09 18:55

Have looked around a bit on It sounds as though you can register to vote for the first time while living abroad, but I imagine it'll be harder. My thoughts were that if you register now, then in four years' time it'll be easier to register again as you'd be on the records from 2009. To be honest it'll probably involve a trip to the embassy either way.

Living abroad doesn't affect your entitlement to vote in Federal elections, but if you want to vote in Indianianian elections you might have to see whether they consider students going abroad to still be resident in IN even though they're not there most of the time.

Re-elect Obama in 2013!

Mary,  21.08.09 18:58

Yeah, it looks like I can register for the first time abroad, and that's probably easiest. There aren't very many important Indiana elections anyway. :P The ones in my town always go the same way (Republican) by a very large majority, so my vote won't matter there. I guess I'll have to look into it for voting for the senators/representatives/governor, though.

I can't believe I forgot to register to vote before now.

Camilla,  22.08.09 13:46

Tim, I have never heard of voting by post. That sounds like a highly dubious system with a high risk of fuckup.

Tim,  27.08.09 21:19

Voting by any means at all has a high risk of fuckup. But what else are you supposed to do if you are on holiday on election day? Or, for that matter, if you are infirm and can't leave the house?

Apparently, 20% of Norwegians vote by post, and the Norwegian postal service takes postal votes very very seriously.


Camilla,  27.08.09 21:23

But if you are away on election day there is ample opportunity to vote long before then. I think that is what the 20 percent refers to. I have never heard of anyone voting by post, but early voting is very common (nearly all students who are registered as living at home would do that).

Tim,  27.08.09 21:24

How do you vote early?

Camilla,  27.08.09 21:53

You go to an office in the centre of the town where you were registered and vote like normal.
Two Thin Laddies