cardinals and coins


a visa!

This morning, I went to visit the lovely Brits at the UK Consulate-General on 3rd ave and 52nd. I had to make an appointment last month, print out the confirmation email and show it to a man standing in an orange security vest outside the building. Then, he gave me a sticker with the Union Jack on it and I went to the man at the desk inside. He scanned me for metal objects and looked through my purse. Then everything I brought went on a conveyor belt and I got to go up to the 10th floor. I waited in a very short line and then talked to a very nice man who assured me that everything was in order and that I would absolutely love Edinburgh. I waited for one hour, reading my book and watching a video playing in the waiting room that convinced me I'd rather be British. Finally, another very nice man gave me back my passport. My visa was glued into it and I was good to go! On my way home, I made a very short stop to look in the windows at Burberry, in honor of my new home.

Here are some facts about my new country. To give you some basis for comparison, you should know that lists the population of New York City as 8 million people, all living in 785 sq km. Alice says that the population of Manhattan is greater than the population of the entire country of Scotland!

Full country name: Scotland
Area: 78,772 sq km
Population: 4.99 million
Capital City: Edinburgh
People: Celts, Anglo-Saxons
Language: Gaelic, English
Religion: The two largest religious denominations are the Presbyterian Church of Scotland (47%) and the Roman Catholic Church (16%), with 28% claiming no religious affiliation at all. Non-Christian religions account for only 2% of the population, mostly small communities of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Jews.
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II
Head of Government: Prime Minister Tony Blair

GDP: US$99.15 billion
GDP per capita: US$18,000
Annual Growth: 3%
Inflation: 3%
Major Industries: Banking and finance, steel, transport equipment, oil and gas, whisky, tourism
Major Trading Partners: EU & USA
Member of EU: Yes


Edinburgh, Scotland

less than six weeks! but who's counting?