Abandoning Paradise

Chapter Six     Crossing Scotland

Belly Buster Bistro

After being in Scotland for some time, a place I have come to love is the Belly Buster Bistro on Ferry Road in Leith. Maybe it will amuse you that the storefront immediately beside Belly Buster is a place to make funeral arrangements and it has a convenient list of functions they perform listed in the window. I did not see putting strawberries between the toes of the deceased but I wasn't paying much attention to more than whether there was any traffic between Belly Buster and the funeral place, with or without strawberries. No, there was not.

The price list in the window for the funeral shop has one item which reads, Care for the Deceased. I am not a professional but I was under the impression that being deceased meant that you are beyond care but, for whatever can be done for them, this is the place to do it. My biggest concern in care for the deceased is generally the prevention of sleep walking.

Strawberries are very important in the history of my family and are even on the Clan crest but ... perhaps I digress.

Belly Buster
36 Ferry Rd
Edinburgh, Midlothian 
United Kingdom

Open Monday to Saturday 
7:30 am – 4:00 pm

I’ve had extraordinary difficulty in finding WiFi hotspots in Edinburgh but the WiFi service at Belly Buster is very good and it’s free. They make the best Chicken Noodle Soup anywhere, the people are lovely, and with the free WiFi it was inevitable Belly Buster would become my home away from home.

WiFi is not accessible elsewhere due to an exceptionally-stupid reason but there's no story in that as we can all find our own examples anywhere we live. The absence of even WiFi for computer work is one sign amid a number that it will not be possible to stay. There is very little money for eating in the last weeks of the month, I can't afford heat in the flat, and, most of all, it's impossible to stream a performance into Second Life. No eats, no heats, no beats ... no Silas.

Belly Buster is run by Wojtek (pronounced Voisek) and he knows what I want on a sandwich as soon as I tell him which kind I want. He’s from Poland and Cat tells me Poles are much like Greeks in the way they take care of each other. He has been very generous with me as I’m broke most of the time and he doesn’t have a problem with me coming in to use the WiFi even when I don’t buy anything. I always ask politely before doing it but every time he waves it off as nothing. Of course, go ahead, he says. I know even as I sit about here that I will never forget anyone here.

Wojtek goes far beyond anything any shop owner has ever done in the past in what he does because I have been having so much trouble getting my passport renewed. Without WiFi or access to a telephone, I was stopped cold but he has let me use the Belly Buster telephone for contact with the Embassy and he has also let me use the shop as a base for connecting with the courier who would take the passport renewal application to the Embassy for me. Using a courier wasn’t laziness on my part as that’s the only way the Embassy will accept the delivery.

Without Wojtek’s help, it would have been close to impossible or at least extremely difficult to handle the passport application and I’m deeply appreciative. I don’t know how to spell it but Thank You in Polish is pronounced jen-koo-yeh

Of course, now the American government shuts down so it can spend a lot of money to show how much the other party is wasting. These things never make sense and the only thing one can do is wait until they're over. The prospect of going back into that stupidity is not appealing to me but choices have constricted heavily. The most important thing is how much Wojtek has helped in getting through this. How much longer of this remains is not clear but there will be no passport in my hand until the American government starts pretending it's working again.

Jenkooyeh to Wojtek and everyone at Belly Buster on Ferry Road. Leith is the docks area of Edinburgh and there is no obvious separation between it and Edinburgh proper. If you ever visit here, please do stop in and say Hello to him and, hopefully, buy a sandwich. Definitely try that glorious Chicken Noodle Soup.

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