the world's most magical toilet

May 19, 2020

Happy Tuesday! How was your Monday? Anyone else feel like they had really force themselves to be productive yesterday? Don’t get me wrong, I still accomplished what needed to be done, but I admit I felt like I was dragging through most of the day, and then next thing I know the clock says it’s 6 PM. Mondays, am I right? I felt like it was crawling, and then it was like I blinked and the regular work day was over! If you had a Monday similar to mine and didn’t get the chance to read yesterday’s post - “the banshee labyrinth… or, my first time trying buckfast,” you can click here to catch up! One reader reached out to me with one of his favorite hobbies, and it was amazing hearing about it because I got to take a stroll down memory lane. Does anyone else remember Dance Dance Revolution (DDR)? I used to play it on the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ during the summers and even begged my parents to get me the mat for my Playstation at one point, so thank you (he who shall not be named - who is also not Voldemort) for the opportunity to reminisce! Did anyone else love DDR? Let me know! Otherwise, let’s continue on our mini-tour through my first trip to Edinburgh, so strap in, kiddos. It’s going to be a magical day!

 

So much of my early evenings and nights in Edinburgh the first go-around were spent hanging out with my new comedy friends and going to see shows, which left my days wide open. When my friend (and former college roommate from Villanova) Therese found out I was spending some time in Edinburgh, she texted me about the café where J.K. Rowling started writing Harry Potter (isn’t it amazing when you have such good longtime friends who know exactly what hotspots you’d want to see in a foreign city?).  She also texted me that it was very important during my visit to the café that I make sure I go into the bathroom.  I thought it a strange request simply to go into the bathroom and not necessarily use it, but hey, some of the most amazing things that have happened to me in life haven’t been ones that most people would have classified as normal.  So, as I got myself ready to venture back out into the world, I pulled up my WhatsApp messages to find Therese’s suggestion and double check the name of the Harry Potter café.

 

I headed back towards Edinburgh and the Royal Mile by way of the canal (mentioned in a previous post). It was a fairly early morning walk along the canal to the café since I had planned on taking a workshop during the day with Chad Carter (more on the workshop in tomorrow’s post). It was a beautiful morning, slightly brisk but with ample sunshine. There weren’t many people out and about while I walked to the city centre, but the few people I did encounter offered friendly smiles (probably because I smiled first, but, hey, smiling’s contagious). When I made it to The Elephant House, there was a line! Luckily, I was only a party of one and most people were finishing up, so I only had to wait 10-15 minutes for a seat. When I sat down, I almost got the chills. I sat in a seat by a window looking out at Edinburgh Castle, which is what J.K. Rowling did as she began writing the Harry Potter series.

 

 

 

It was surreal to think I was in the same place, ordering off the same menu as one of the most successful and inspiring writers of a generation. All my friends and I grew up reading the books and eventually seeing the movies, so I was beyond giddy to be sitting where I'd been placed. I ordered a delicious coffee drink and sinfully good bakery item and soaked in my surroundings. I may or may not have whispered some magical spells under my breath, and I may or may not have felt my heart wingardium leviosa right out of my chest.

 

After I spent a solid hour and change at my table at The Elephant House, writing and enjoying my time, I remembered my promise to Therese, paid for my delicious nibbles, and went to scope out the bathroom on my way out. The walls were covered in writing from fans all over the world, signing their names and their favorite Harry Potter quotes and sharing in an experience with others like themselves who were so excited to visit such a real-life-magic type of place. It feels a bit odd to refer to a graffiti’d bathroom as beautiful, but it was, and I hope the pictures do it some sort of justice.

 

Have you enjoyed a similar experience whether it be visiting a place so important to one of your favorite works of art or literature, or perhaps finding overwhelming beauty in a totally unexpected place? I’d absolutely love to know! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page.  I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been getting a lot of really great, fun-to-read stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the country and the globe! How great was rediscovering Dance Dance Revolution? I had a blast! And the other stories of people’s travels that I’ve gotten to read recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about your hobbies or weird bathrooms you’ve seen and the friendships you've made through them! Especially during this time of uncertainty and pandemic, it's important to surround yourself with things and people (via video chats) that bring you joy; we're all in this together.  I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU!  From the bottom of my heart, truly,  thank you.

 

Sincerely,

Johny

 

P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):

1. Won't you join me?

2. grateful for starbucks and sandymount strand

3. Once Upon a December in the National Gallery

4. plant a smooch for that gift of gab

5. may the 4th be with you: Dingle style

6. cinco de mayo: the best Mexican food in Dublin

7. pizza in roma

8. mussolini’s window and the philosophers’ metro stop

9. father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife

10. it's the vatican, not the vatican't

11. spoiler alert: i did not lose my hand

12. more pizza and gelato and Neptune, oh my

13. craft beer, romper season, and volcano magic

14. bus singalongs and the okey dokey karaoke origin story

15. the beginning of the journey to the land of outlander

16. the boy who lived and the musical rapper

17. oh i just can't wait to be kingggg

18. fudge and haggis, quite the dynamic duo

19. the banshee labyrinth... or, my first time trying buckfast

 

P.P.S. - a couple extra bathroom photos for ya!

 

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Johny Walsh  |  Los Angeles, CA  |  Johny@JohnyTheGirl.com