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Dear T--,

The castle is more famous for its position than for its relics,

perched, as it is, atop a smoked-out volcano. I saved

my 18 quid and walked the Royal Mile to Holyrood Park,

where you can see out to the Firth of Forth for free. You must

tell me more about the thin orange and gray striations in the rock

and the sheer drops where I imagine some Scott heroine tore

her corset in heaves of frustrated desire. This morning I saw

two men kitted up in kilts and sporrans go into Starbucks,

then order lattes and Chai spice muffins. Just an hour ago,

a man who looks exactly like my Uncle Hok-Wei was playing

bagpipes in Parliament Square and smiling for photos with German

tourists. It's funny how many pubs advertise "authentic haggis,"

as if daring passerby. Maybe it's no coincidence

this city has so many vegetarian restaurants.

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