Thursday night, I took a trip halfway around the world to Scotland. In a wonderful and over-the-top event known as the Bannockburn community awards dinner, I and about 100 of my college-mates were transported to a world of kilts, haggis and Scottish tunes sung in a slightly-drunken euphoria.

Let me rewind: a week ago, signs went up around my residential college for a free dinner known as the Bannockburn. I thought nothing of it at the time because I knew I wasn’t getting any awards, I didn’t know anyone that was getting awards and I didn’t need to sit through a *boring* long dinner. After talking to friends throughout the week it became apparent that heaps of people go to this dinner and I ought to attend, so I logged onto Emmnet and signed up for my free dinner.

Let the festivities begin: we arrived at 6:30pm. Cocktail dresses and suits were the fashion, though a few boys were sporting traditional kilts. Aussie boys in kilts do look quite dashing, I must admit. Dinner began with haggis, a sausage-like treat filled with brains, entrails and other various parts of meat that most people would never choose to eat. Apparently in Scotland of yore, the haggis was created to use up all of the lesser parts of a pig so none was wasted. Best of all, an entire chant, performed in old English speech, was performed to the crowd to “introduce” the haggis. Despite my queasiness, after all the hype, I did manage to try some. It tasted much like liver pate, and much like liver pate, I didn’t really like it. One bite was enough for me, but I had to give it a go.

After the haggis, the food steadily improved. Roast beef and veggies were followed by a cake with bananas and cream. Awards were handed out to many of the college students (turns out I knew awards recipients after all!!) and we finished off the evening singing 3 Scottish songs, including Auld Lang Syne, which ended in everyone holding hands and swinging arms. Once we began singing and everyone readily joined in, singing as loud as possible, it was no wonder the dinner had included free wine. 

After that, in a slightly less Scottish fashion, the students, after the adults had left, sang a lovely song together while encircling the dining hall with our arms around one another’s shoulders… I can’t even pronounce the name, but us Americans were a little confused at first. It was like a mix of “Singing in the Rain” and a chant. Good times had by all.

I had no idea that in my trip down under, I’d also be getting a trip to the Scottish highlands. And for the record, my apologies for having not posted in over two weeks. I don’t know if it’s because I’m upside-down on the bottom of the planet, but somehow time goes by really quickly here. I just can’t explain it. Cheers!