A short synopsis of Scotland…
This being my second to last paper to write for this trip, I know this will be the most difficult one to write as well. An event in Scotland, that most do not expect to happen in a secure environment, happened to me.
Even though that sounds a little dramatic, it almost forced me to be due to the reason I was in a foreign country that was 3,701 miles away from home.
Before arriving in Edinburgh, and all of that happening, my perception was indifferent because of all the opinions I’ve heard since telling people this was one of my stops on my study abroad trip.
The day we arrived in Edinburgh via train, the city looked historically old with a eerie vibe, not only because it was cloudy and cold but the buildings were run down but that didn’t not make it pretty too.
The first couple of days spent in Edinburgh after arriving were free days, giving ourselves the chance to pursue the city as a tourist. Once walking around downtown and getting lost in an unknown area of the city, there was no one around. A group of three of us were the only ones on the street. This is when it clicked, where is the communication in the city? What if we were actually really lost, how would we get back to our location of where we began? Realizing this, I felt like this city was unsafe, but it was voted one of the most safest cities in the United Kingdom, unsure to say whether or not I believe that with my own experiences. It’s not to say I don’t like this city and it wasn’t worthwhile, because it was, just when you first arrive there just expect that there is a lot of warming up to do (figuratively and literally because of how far north you are and the wind involved!)
After the few first free days in Edinburgh that’s when a small group of us went to the Edinburgh Castle, it was amazingly beautiful to say the least. This day started off great: had some good tea, no wind, experienced the castle, had a great lunch and of course the weather turned out to be beautiful! But there must have been a gray rain cloud following me around that day.
When I arrived back on my ground level room at the University of Edinburgh it felt different. Why was my bed all messed up and why were the items in my suitcase thrown around the room? It hit me when I didn’t see my computer where I left it- I was robbed in a locked room and closed and locked window. My first reaction was to sprint to the reception desk area, where they luckily were more efficient than expected due to the way this city handles its customer service and communication skills.
The lady in charge of security had called the police and notified them to come and then we went to my room and she noticed my room was broken into by the window, of course. After realizing my room had been broken into, I wasn’t allowed to re-enter it because it was considered a “crime scene”. I sat in the lobby for three hours waiting on the police to hopefully come.
This was an emergency for me, was it not an emergency to the city of Edinburgh and the Police of Scotland? The communication definitely lacked here as well. I had asked the security office multiple times if and when the police would show up and they had not a clue. How could this be? What if this was a real emergency and someone was hurt in this situation? How fast would have the police showed up then? I have been wondering if the security desk called the non-emergency number for the police and this is why it took so long.
Communicating back and forth with the security office was difficult, they really didn’t know much. This is when I realized how differently issues are handled from the United States compared to the United Kingdom. Though I was a little frustrated, it made a point to me. I’m on a study abroad trip called Mass Media in the United Kingdom. Communication and the body language through one another is all a part of mass media. Having this problem put what we had learned over the past 4 weeks into perspective. This wasn’t classroom learning time with a tour or an interesting guest speaker, this was a real life situation where everything was put into real life terms and understanding how the world is all different comparing communication skills one to another.
After waiting for three hours for the police to show I was finally able to show my side of the story to them and what happened and why they should have come sooner. Though I feel fortunate the police were nice and helpful, I was still a little disappointed and fed up with the situation and lack of communication. But I also can’t complain because this is a learning experience & I’ll know how to deal with a situation like this in the future (actually, let’s hope not!)
It has been a week since the incident of my computer, charger, headphones and case being stolen in Edinburgh. I didn’t set my expectations high of hearing back from the police unless I followed up with a call. They told me the forensic guys came out and took a look, and unfortunately couldn’t help me. If I weren’t to make that call to verbally communicate with the police I still wouldn’t have known if the police found something or not.
The rest of the week in Edinburgh turned out to be nothing less of interesting. There is no reason for me to talk all bad about the country of Scotland, because unfortunate events occur like these everyday and it just happened to be me on this trip.
From going to the BBC Scotland in Glasgow, to seeing an incredible museum, and hiking up Arthur’s Seat multiple times, this was one of the biggest learning experiences on the trip thus far. Lots of laughs and lots of frowns and everything you can imagine.