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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Scotland, anyone?

    Um... I have asked my hone University for a student exchange program. I managed to grab a spot in UWS, University West of Scotland. Sigh.

    Now, I have no idea what to do. Go there and try to finish my studies there?

    First problem - it's 1000 km away. What if I don't make it (that is, don't acclimatize there)? I have received offer today, and the studies supposedly start September 20, so I'd have to make an arrangements real quick. Especially a place to live.

    I have an experience of living away from home, I guess (5 years 300 km away at my current Uni), but that will be totally different. Especially in a foreign country. I'd have to re-learn my life from the start.

    Second problem - I will make every effort to fill any gaps, but I have no idea if what I have learned in my home, backwards country even prepared me to pass any exams here. Sigh. Supposedly, this was second best university in country, but I wonder how it will compare, from course descriptions it seems we are so behind it isn't even funny (like F-22 vs F-14). I hope I won't end up with straight 2.0 at the end of the semester. By the way, it isn't Erasmus, with it's loose requirements, I'm supposed to take actual 4th year any student there takes

    Aaaand, third problem, I have no idea how British culture actually looks and feels. The internet is full of US culture and language, so that's what I had the opportunity to learn. I wonder if Brits will treat me like just another dumb immigrant, especially with the crisis going on. British is more difficult than US English, and Scottish accent is supposed to be even worse. On top of that, I have slight hearing disability, I wonder if I actually can communicate with anyone at all. Hell, I tend to prefer e-mails over phone even in my main language. Plus, here, I can train only written English, my spoken one is much worse

    All these inches, foots, different energy plugs, left hand driving, constant rain and water from two different taps scares me. And, if I fail, I end up with unfinished studies, debt, and a shame for the rest of my life. Hmmm, I wonder if students in Scotland can somehow both work and study at the same time.

    I waited for this opportunity, but now I wonder if I should give up, finish here and go look for some job
    Above Us Only Sky


  2. - Top - End - #2
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Well, KuReshtin, I believe, moved to Scotland from Sweden (or was it Norway? One of the two Scandinavian Bifurcated-Peninsula countries)... So, I hate to offer up someone as an example (sorta) of your kind of situation to bug by asking, but he seems fairly easy going about relating his experiences, so yeah...

    Plenty of peeps around here who live in the UK, though I think most are Londoners or from the southern reaches of the main island.

    If this UWS is near/in Glasgow, then, yeah, the accent might be an issue, considering Glasgow is known for either the thickest or least attractive brogh.

    ...Though I was under the impression that the UK had converted to Metric, aside from still measuring their personal weight in stone, which are 14 pounds each, for some reason. Anyway, feet and inches can be converted to, or you can just do some flashcards of their conversions and then find physical objects to drive the comparison home. Though it is probably not worth that kind of effort, so not really worth sweating.
    Last edited by Coidzor; 2010-08-31 at 08:25 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    It's not too bad.
    I moved to Scotland from Sweden, so I know about the worries about language, and it did take a few weeks to get to grips with the accent, but after that, you'll be fine.

    You will most likely be able to get housing from the University. Just contact the Uni and ask them about it, and they'll sort you out.

    Do you know which campus you'll attend? UWS apparently have a few different campuses, the main one being in Paisley. I have a few pals that study at UWS and a few that have previously studied there, so if you want to, I can try to find sstuff out from them.

    Driving might be a bit intimidating at first, but if you've been driving for a while, you'll soon get used to it. It took me about an hour on the road before I felt comfortable and didn't have to constantly think about what side of the road I needed to drive on. Having the steering wheel on the right side of the car helps. Shifting gear with your left hand instead of your right is a bit weird for a while, though.

    As far as extra curricular activities go, there will be stuff for you to do.
    UWS has a football (American football) team that will start their season at the tail end of October if you're interested in that.
    I'm also pretty certain that the student union will have lists of other activities for you to join.

    Personally, I haven't attended the UWS, or in fact any uni over here, but if you have stuff to ask, then gimme a shout, and I'll try to find answers for you.

    edit: ninja'd.

    edit: Edit: Also, randman is going to start at Strathclyde Uni, which is in Glasgow itself (only about 15 minutes by train), so you'll have at least two playgrounders nearby.
    Last edited by KuReshtin; 2010-08-31 at 08:25 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Archonic Energy
    Thanks KuReshtin, Chief Nerd-Hurder of the UKitP Clan.
    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy View Post
    KuReshtin too, because he's awesome and a Swede, and therefore double awesome.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Which campus would you be based at? Paisley, Hamilton, or Ayr? If you're looking at Paisley or Hamilton, you'll be close to Glasgow, which is a fun, friendly, and exciting city. It's definitely worth spending a year there. (I did my teacher training year in Glasgow, and loved every minute of the experience.) If you're looking at Ayr, that would be a bit more rural and further away from large cities.

    In general, the people from the West of Scotland have a reputation for being the friendliest in the country. I suspect that if you go they'll make sure you have a great time.

    I don't know about what ranking UWS has in the university league, but it does have an excellent reputation for all kinds of vocational courses. If you're doing a vocational course, then it sounds like a good opportunity. If you're worried about being behind in your studies, or finding them difficult, then take the first possible opportunity to talk to your new academic advisor and course tutors - these people are being paid to help students adapt to and make the most of their studies. Use them.

    In summary, my advice is: accept the offer and go. Enjoy your new experience. It'll be fun.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Oh, and on the subject of weights and measures and stuff, the speed limits and road signs measuring distance still use miles and if you ask someone how far it is to walk somewhere, they're very likely to tell you in miles and/or yards. Not too difficult to remember though, as a yard is just slightly less than a meter (1 yard = 0.91 meter) and a mile is 1.6 kms.

    Stores and supermarkets all have weights measured in grams and kilos, but with a comparison price for pounds as well.
    Milk comes in cartons of 1, 2 or 4 pints (although some brands are straight 2 litre cartons), but there's also the litre amount listed on the carton labels as well.
    So it'll say "4 pints / 2.273 litres" on the label, so you'll know how much it is.

    As I grew up in Sweden, I grew up with the metric system, but getting to grips with inches, feet, yards and the like isn't too difficult.

    1 inch = 2.54cm
    1 foot = 12 inches = 30.5cm
    1 yard = 3 feet = 91.4cm
    1 mile = 1609 meters



    Edit again: Also, if you do accept and move over here, you can tag along to the UKitP meetup and meet a bunch of cool people. And Archie.
    Last edited by KuReshtin; 2010-08-31 at 09:07 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Archonic Energy
    Thanks KuReshtin, Chief Nerd-Hurder of the UKitP Clan.
    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy View Post
    KuReshtin too, because he's awesome and a Swede, and therefore double awesome.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Go to Scotland. If you don't end up going to Scotland, can I go to Scotland for you?
    I have a webcomic about a commando and a bear! Jack & Voytek

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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    It's a big step, but I don't think you need to worry too much. It sounds like a really exciting opportunity. Scotland has a very good reputation, both for being a friendly and beautiful country, and in academia, so it's a really good place to spend a college year at.

    With any culture, it can seem weird and different when you're outside looking in, but I don't think Scotland will be any more difficult for you to settle in to than the US. The Scottish accent as seen on TV is a bit mad, but actual Scottish people don't usually talk like that, same way Irish people don't talk like leprechauns and English people don't all talk like the Queen. If English isn't your first language, it'll take a bit to get used to, but that would apply to anywhere. No one speaks slow, clear, proper English in RP all the time, except maybe BBC news anchors. The best way to learn better spoken English is to immerse yourself in the language (by moving to Scotland!).

    Changing from metric to imperial is annoying, but since a lot of English speaking countries use a weird mish-mash of both, most people in my experience have some idea of where the other scale is in relation to their own, so you'll get by once you get the basics.

    Also, my father's advice for getting used to driving on the other side of the road is to follow the car in front of you. That way you're fine unless they do something stupid!

    Cheerfairy, Kenderwoman and Geologist by Succubus, Feminist Geomancer by Astrella, Kender Wizard by me

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Um... thanks for all the replies. You guys won't mind if I PM you, right?

    So, looks nice, I'm not sure what campus, if any, I'll have at the start. I'll check.

    Successful moving stories are also encouraging, I do imagine though people speaking Germanic language will have much less trouble transiting than I will :P

    And, a pity that 150 views yielded only 5 replies. C'mon, I don't bite, give me more!
    Above Us Only Sky


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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Irbis View Post
    Um... I have asked my hone University for a student exchange program. I managed to grab a spot in UWS, University West of Scotland. Sigh.

    Now, I have no idea what to do. Go there and try to finish my studies there?

    First problem - it's 1000 km away. What if I don't make it (that is, don't acclimatize there)? I have received offer today, and the studies supposedly start September 20, so I'd have to make an arrangements real quick. Especially a place to live.

    I have an experience of living away from home, I guess (5 years 300 km away at my current Uni), but that will be totally different. Especially in a foreign country. I'd have to re-learn my life from the start.

    Second problem - I will make every effort to fill any gaps, but I have no idea if what I have learned in my home, backwards country even prepared me to pass any exams here. Sigh. Supposedly, this was second best university in country, but I wonder how it will compare, from course descriptions it seems we are so behind it isn't even funny (like F-22 vs F-14). I hope I won't end up with straight 2.0 at the end of the semester. By the way, it isn't Erasmus, with it's loose requirements, I'm supposed to take actual 4th year any student there takes

    Aaaand, third problem, I have no idea how British culture actually looks and feels. The internet is full of US culture and language, so that's what I had the opportunity to learn. I wonder if Brits will treat me like just another dumb immigrant, especially with the crisis going on. British is more difficult than US English, and Scottish accent is supposed to be even worse. On top of that, I have slight hearing disability, I wonder if I actually can communicate with anyone at all. Hell, I tend to prefer e-mails over phone even in my main language. Plus, here, I can train only written English, my spoken one is much worse

    All these inches, foots, different energy plugs, left hand driving, constant rain and water from two different taps scares me. And, if I fail, I end up with unfinished studies, debt, and a shame for the rest of my life. Hmmm, I wonder if students in Scotland can somehow both work and study at the same time.

    I waited for this opportunity, but now I wonder if I should give up, finish here and go look for some job
    Quote Originally Posted by KuReshtin View Post
    edit: Edit: Also, randman is going to start at Strathclyde Uni, which is in Glasgow itself (only about 15 minutes by train), so you'll have at least two playgrounders nearby.
    Yup. I'm moving there as well, and have only a little bit more of an idea what to expect. I went there to check out the uni I'm going to once, and it seemed like an AWESOME place. People were friendly.

    So you're not the only person who'll have to figure out what the hell is going on.
    This avatar by Phase.

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Irbis View Post
    Um... thanks for all the replies. You guys won't mind if I PM you, right?
    Sure thing. If there's anything you need to know, feel free to PM me and I'll do my best to answer any questions you might have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Irbis View Post
    So, looks nice, I'm not sure what campus, if any, I'll have at the start. I'll check.
    The biggest campus would be the Paisley one, so that'll probably be where you'll be based.

    Quote Originally Posted by Irbis View Post
    Successful moving stories are also encouraging, I do imagine though people speaking Germanic language will have much less trouble transiting than I will :P
    There are a lot of foreign student in and around the Paisley/Glasgow area, so I don't think you'll have any problem. As has been said before, the Scots are generally a friendly bunch.


    Quote Originally Posted by Irbis View Post
    And, a pity that 150 views yielded only 5 replies. C'mon, I don't bite, give me more!
    I think I've generated a fair few of those views, to be fair. I've been in and out of this thread to see if I could come up with anything more to post, and then decided against it since it'd just be random generalisations and possibly not decent advice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Archonic Energy
    Thanks KuReshtin, Chief Nerd-Hurder of the UKitP Clan.
    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy View Post
    KuReshtin too, because he's awesome and a Swede, and therefore double awesome.
    Stig-atar by Irbis.

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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    I don't really think the Germanic part is that helpful, what is your native language may I ask?

    It sounds like a fabulous opportunity. I used the easy Erasmus programme so you will have to work a lot harder ( I had to do 15 hours of classes in five months time, really, took three classes just to keep busy).

    A new country, a new culture, I'm quite jealous of you actually. Of course it can be daunting but it's not like you are moving into a desert with people speaking Swahili. You have proven on this board that your English is excellent and Scotland seems quite normal (except for the mountains, they seem unnatural ).

    Good idea to contact Scottish people in the Playground, shows initiative!


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    Wouldst thou have practiced on me for thy use?
    Songs about me and my Werewolf statistics

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Irbis View Post
    And, a pity that 150 views yielded only 5 replies. C'mon, I don't bite, give me more!
    Well, not everybody in Britian lives in Scotland, and there are differences between, say, England and Scotland. (There are huge variations withing England, for that matter...).

    The best advice I can give you is not to worry too much. Contact the University (and also the Student Union, who the University can put you in touch with) for advice on housing and other bits. You won't be the first foreign student in the place, after all.

    And the locals are generally quite friendly, unless you are sassenachs in the process of invading them, and we haven't done that for a while. There are probably a few places to avoid in Glasgow, but that's true of any city.
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Oh and about accents, I was taught RP English all my life and when living in England everybody had a Mancunian, Welsh or Leeds accent. Since there are so many accents in one country I'm sure Scotland will have many variations too. Yours will just be from a bit further down the road (or tunnel)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kneenibble View Post
    What shall I say to thee, rakkoon, thou cruel,
    Ingrateful, savage and inhuman creature,
    That knewst the very bottom of my soul,
    That almost mightst have coined me into gold
    Wouldst thou have practiced on me for thy use?
    Songs about me and my Werewolf statistics

    Thanks to Smuchmuch for for the avvie and banner!

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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Scotland also has excellent geology, if you're into that kind of thing. Which I totally am!

    Cheerfairy, Kenderwoman and Geologist by Succubus, Feminist Geomancer by Astrella, Kender Wizard by me

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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    So... if I were to ask... which period in England was the worst one for you? Directly upon arrival? Later? Or maybe they were better than present one?
    Above Us Only Sky


  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Irbis View Post
    So... if I were to ask... which period in England was the worst one for you? Directly upon arrival? Later? Or maybe they were better than present one?
    Well, we weren't altogether happy with 1066...On the other hand both the English and Scottish were quite happy with 1604.

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    1066: Battle of Hastings, and the last time the English lost at home. 1064: James the first of England is the first monarch of both England and Scotland


    Oh yes - remember to pack warm clothing - the winters can be very cold in the north of the country. Bradford was bad enough. (YMMV, of course. If you come from a very cold country, yoiu may find it quite warm...)
    Last edited by Manga Shoggoth; 2010-09-01 at 04:05 PM.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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    Pieromancer in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Welcome to the civilised side of the pond. Yes, that is a joke if the smilies don't tell you

    My experience with foreigners? You already seem to have a good grasp on the english language, and accents don't take that long to get used to - the worst, Jordi(Geordi?) [Newcastle accent], I've had dealings with once, when someone moved south, and it took about 2 weeks to understand it. Almost certainly, by the time you leave Scotland, the people in your home country will think you sound scottish.

    My advice would be to get involved in everything you can. AFAIK all universities have a week for freshers to look into societies. Sign up for all the societies you are interested in. Throw yourself into the life and you'll get used to the new culture, and the people will get to know you (and have lots of fun either teasing and/or going "ooooo" over your accent).
    "I'm just going on motive and opportunity here and the fact that if the earth got swallowed by a black hole, I'd look suspiciously in your direction first."
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  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    England? I thought we were talking about Scotland..

    I've been here for 11 years now, so I've had a lot of ups and downs over the course of my stay.
    Difficult to pick out one or two best or worst moments.
    Quote Originally Posted by Archonic Energy
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Castaras View Post
    Jordi(Geordi?) [Newcastle accent]
    Geordie. But this is straying off topic. While Newcastle is pretty north, it's not in Scotland.
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    Pieromancer in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thufir View Post
    Geordie. But this is straying off topic. While Newcastle is pretty north, it's not in Scotland.
    No, but it's even more incomprehensible than Scottish. Why I was using that example (2 weeks to understand Geordie) was to to show it isn't too difficult to learn to understand different accents.
    "I'm just going on motive and opportunity here and the fact that if the earth got swallowed by a black hole, I'd look suspiciously in your direction first."
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    I immediately joined the squash team. Good way to socialise and work out

    Get involved is the ticket.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kneenibble View Post
    What shall I say to thee, rakkoon, thou cruel,
    Ingrateful, savage and inhuman creature,
    That knewst the very bottom of my soul,
    That almost mightst have coined me into gold
    Wouldst thou have practiced on me for thy use?
    Songs about me and my Werewolf statistics

    Thanks to Smuchmuch for for the avvie and banner!

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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by rakkoon View Post
    I immediately joined the squash team. Good way to socialise and work out

    Get involved is the ticket.
    I agree completely with this.
    one of the things that has kept me here for 11 years is the fact that I branched out from just work and found other social circles as well.
    I started playing American Football, and since the scottish Claymores were still going strong at that point, i went to their games and met people with similar interests as me.

    Over the years, i've seen so many people come here, keep to their little group of people that arrived at the same time, and then, after a while when they start dropping off one by one, the others in the group don't have anyone else to relate to, and end up leaving as well because they get home sick or feel lonely or whatever.

    Finding people to hang out with outside of work/school is very, VERY important.
    Quote Originally Posted by Archonic Energy
    Thanks KuReshtin, Chief Nerd-Hurder of the UKitP Clan.
    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy View Post
    KuReshtin too, because he's awesome and a Swede, and therefore double awesome.
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Sigh. I'll see about that, seeing how I have troubles with socializing even here.

    But then again, having so liberal views in backward region is always difficult.

    Ok, I'll send papers today, maybe they won't kick me out immediately :P
    Above Us Only Sky


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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    So... it looks like I might be catching a plane to Scotland today. Wish me luck! :P

    I hope I'm not making a mistake here :P
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Have a safe flight!
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Irbis View Post
    So... it looks like I might be catching a plane to Scotland today. Wish me luck! :P

    I hope I'm not making a mistake here :P
    (Slight gravedigging here, but...)

    Luck wished, and if you wanna meet up some time, I think there're enough people around Glasgow for a mini-meetup.

    EDIT: Also, Irbis, clean up your PM box.
    Last edited by randman22222; 2010-10-03 at 04:01 PM.
    This avatar by Phase.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Troll in the Playground
     
    KuReshtin's Avatar

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Yup, there should be at least a couple of us available for a mini-meet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Archonic Energy
    Thanks KuReshtin, Chief Nerd-Hurder of the UKitP Clan.
    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy View Post
    KuReshtin too, because he's awesome and a Swede, and therefore double awesome.
    Stig-atar by Irbis.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    rakkoon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Has the plane arrived?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kneenibble View Post
    What shall I say to thee, rakkoon, thou cruel,
    Ingrateful, savage and inhuman creature,
    That knewst the very bottom of my soul,
    That almost mightst have coined me into gold
    Wouldst thou have practiced on me for thy use?
    Songs about me and my Werewolf statistics

    Thanks to Smuchmuch for for the avvie and banner!

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Troll in the Playground
     
    KuReshtin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Largs, Scotland

    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by rakkoon View Post
    Has the plane arrived?
    It must have. I don't know any passenger planes that can keep flying for 48 hours straight.
    Quote Originally Posted by Archonic Energy
    Thanks KuReshtin, Chief Nerd-Hurder of the UKitP Clan.
    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy View Post
    KuReshtin too, because he's awesome and a Swede, and therefore double awesome.
    Stig-atar by Irbis.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    rakkoon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Scotland, anyone?

    (defensively) It could have been shot down by Scottish natives...



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    Quote Originally Posted by Kneenibble View Post
    What shall I say to thee, rakkoon, thou cruel,
    Ingrateful, savage and inhuman creature,
    That knewst the very bottom of my soul,
    That almost mightst have coined me into gold
    Wouldst thou have practiced on me for thy use?
    Songs about me and my Werewolf statistics

    Thanks to Smuchmuch for for the avvie and banner!

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