Monday, June 8, 2009

Saucy Scotland

She was a Viking princess who embodied the wild spirit of Scotland. While her home resided in the purest beauty of Scotland, she indulged in scandalous acts. Most people knew her as Saucy Mary.

            She lived on the Isle of Skye and used her wit and charm to make money from local sailors. Blockading a water passage between the Isle and the mainland, she charged boats a fee to cross through.

            When sailors caught on to her scam, they began sailing a longer route to avoid her fees. However, Saucy Mary did not want her business to die. She decided to throw in a bonus.

            Saucy Mary realized that bare Scottish passion could entice sailors more than a solely shorter passageway. So, if a sailor came to pay the fee Saucy Mary would wish them well by flashing a little skin.

            Stories surrounding Saucy Mary are legend, like most stories are that are told on the Isle of Skye. However, there is some truth to this tale—Scotland is truly a place to lose your inhibitions.

            Today, Saucy Mary’s body is buried on top of a large mountain on the Isle. It is rumored that her saucy spirit still dwells on the island.

While I am not sure if Saucy Mary was the force behind my feelings on the Isle, I felt something truly liberating while being in the place where the wild Viking lived.

Pure highland air intoxicated my being and all sense of reality was lost. Sitting on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, I felt the magic of this place in a deep way. I looked at the unbelievable scenery, the water, the mountains, the people and the system of life. It seemed peaceful yet so alive, more vibrant than I expected. This fantasy world held me in its arms and provided a place apart from the normalcy and ordinary routine of home.

Loch Alsh sits still and untouched, an alluring site in the company of large mountains. A piece of wood floating near the shore creates a hint of movement. Ripples in the water radiated a mysterious quality and reminded me of Loch Ness I saw a few days earlier. Here I was not looking for a monster to rise from the loch but something did appear to be living within these waters—a mystery and a call for the spontaneous.

A wild romance whispers through vast land but can be heard most clearly through voices of the people. Scottish cheers in the pub, couples laughing in the streets and conversations lasting long into the night.

I stayed at a hostel named after Saucy Mary and spent most of my night in the adjoining pub.

Sitting among my tour group and Scottish locals, I participated in the chatter and fun. I watch as people unleash a holiday attitude and let the atmosphere wash over them.

Live music entices a couple at the bar to bring the floor alive with dancing. More people join in as the night goes on and the music swells among conversation. Soon talking and singing goes hand in hand and the night sounds like a joyous melody.

Bodies twirl in ecstasy. Lips drink liberally. A game of Never Have I Ever breaks out at my table.

Ladies who never have more than two drinks were taking shots and smiled a little looser than usual. Scottish men swoon American women and enjoyed each others company. Fears and troubles did not exist here. The structure of life seemed like a mere figment of imagination. Feelings of love and happiness floated here.

This was not a sloppy night at the bar or a hippy festival gone wild. This atmosphere indeed embodied a carefree disposition and a liberal attitude, but somehow the night remained charming and classy.

Somehow the desolate beauty protected the wild actions of everyone there. Deep Scottish Love was a strong enough power to captivate and nurture a few scandalous actions. Scandal was not scandal here, instead it was the way of the land—the magic spell cast on all who came. It is impossible to resist.

            The music died out, but the party attitude lasted through the night. People split their separate ways to socialize with new friends or kiss the lips of a charming face. The night was wild, but fun. No one went to bed without a smile—no regrets, only saucy Scottish love.

            The air is the purest, the scenery is the grandest, the people are the friendliest, and the pubs are the liveliest here. It is no doubt that people cannot help to be a little saucy when they visit.

Before the night is over, I take another breath of highland air outside. In the window, an outline of a young woman can be seen. Her topless figure flirts with outside eyes but disappears into the darkness of her room, taken in by deep Scottish love and a wild spirit that she cannot explain.

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