With A Little Help From My Friends

With A Little Help From My Friends

Student Tours Scotland's Unsung Heroes

Student Tours Scotland is basically running around Glasgow and Scotland with a ginger guy - that’s really the easiest way to describe. But this ginger guy could not do everything by himself. Craig keeps him sane; Roo helps him get energised; Luca made the tea; Alex brought the focus; Anderson was the planner; Thomas was creative; Amanda is determined; Kinai oozes enthusiasm; Yuri buys the drinks; Renan brings the music; Havs tells the jokes (bad ones); Freddy is my psychologist; Eveline helps when I complain; Rodrigo knows how to keep me grounded; Vini is the tech guy; Webber brought a much needed moment of silence; Tutti brought the madness; Leo brought the hugs when things got too tough; Caio brought me back down to earth when I needed it and I just don’t know where I would be without Tino.

These guys are the unsung heroes (and there are plenty more that have helped a lot elsewhere over the years). Without the help they provide (emotionally as well) I would never have gone four years in business. However, each of them has that one epic or embarrassing; hilarious; stand-out moment that (good or bad) I remember all too well. This is for you guys! This is for keeping me alive these fours years!

THOMAS - Poor Thomas, he was so young and naive when he first arrived in Scotland. Fresh from his home country - which is warm by the way - and straight into the cold, dismal madness of Scotland. On his first ever tour he decided to not listen to the weather warning. Rain be damned. So when we arrived in New Lanark and the Heavens opened, poor wee Thomas looked like a drowned rat. I didn’t really fancy having my first student death so I bought him one of those human condom things (most normal humans call them rain ponchos) and he looked even more miserable than before. Luckily he did not die and went on to be a source of creativity. Student Tours Scotland is more than thankful man!

FREDDY - There are few people who have put more hours into Student Tours Scotland than Freddy. I remember the good times: weddings in Germany, whisky in Glasgow, tour after tour after tour. But most of all Freddy I will never forget December in Oban, when everyone was happy playing cards and drinking whisky and you sat there in the corner like the Original Grinch, talking about how much you hate the holidays. I dunno if it was the whisky or if you were just having a bad day - but God help anyone who gets involved when you’re on your very own kind of ginger rage.

ANDERSON - Really there was nothing too stand off about Anderson. Sure he accidentally set fire to the student halls once (not really by the way, just burned a cake or something less epic than what I said) but he did cause me MORE than a headache on a selfie scavenger hunt. This fun event was turned into anything but, when he and his twin brother demanded more than one recount on their results. I’m sure they still didn’t win that day. I’m actually surprised he came on any more tours but as Student Tours Scotland was enhanced by his presence - I’m more than happy he did.

KINAI - Kinai is amazing. She is full of this energy that you just can’t find easily. But she is another one who was none too pleased with the results of the scavenger hunt and demanded a recount. I was pretty sure that my head would be ripped off and thrown to the lions after she didn’t win anyway. But thankfully she’s been on several Student Tours Scotland events throwing in her support. So either she is biding her time and waiting to get me back - or she’s secretly happy to share the prizes.

ALEX - Alex worked so hard for Student Tours Scotland while working a job and studying and so he more than deserved a holiday. Sadly for Alex, after travelling all the way to London he realised he had forgotten his passport for the only holiday he would actually ever take that semester. Luckily for me he never had to plan any trips abroad for Student Tours Scotland. At least it gave us something to complain about over coffee.

WEBBER - Webber is hard to get good stories from. He keeps himself free from trouble. But I will always remember sitting complaining about New Years while playing Playstation 1 and drinking Irn Bru, watching South Park. On the tours he was alert and helped manage the crowd but even the combined efforts of our focus counting help us notice that while we enjoyed a game of Crash Bandicoot, all the neighbouring flats were being broken into! Oh Webber, at least we paid attention on Student Tours Scotland tours.

PEDRO - Or, NuPedro as we called him since there were so many - he was great fun. Hilarious, mad and just a bit insane at times he was always useful on the tours. Great for taking photos, awesome for just being amazing BUT DO NOT SURPRISE HIM. As if he was fully embracing the city of Glasgow when I made him jump while we were drinking he accidentally smashed his glass into the table and looked terrifying. Needless to say I never scared him again.

YURI - Nothing was a problem for Yuri at Student Tours Scotland. He worked hard, he had a laugh and he got drunk to celebrate. Although there was that one time he partied a little too hard and despite the tour already starting he still was not here. But like the professional he is, when we departed and drove past his halls of residence, he came running out with his bag in hand and jumped on board as if nothing had happened. What a legend.

EVELINE - Another epic source of humour and fun is Eveline. She is loud, she is energetic and she takes good photos. But if you ever need her to really focus, just make sure there are no cats around. I’m still pretty sure that the only thing I will ever remember about Dunkeld is not the cathedral or the amazing river but the fact that essentially a cat led the tour group as we followed it around just so she could get her fill of cat-time.

RODRIGO - So many tours and so much awesome energy. But the most important thing about Rodrigo is the fact that he surprises you. I honestly think he must be one of the X-Men. Whenever you are feeling down or whenever things go wrong, Rodrigo is always there. If you’ve always thought things go smoothly at Student Tours Scotland it’s basically because of him - even if you cannot see him.

TUTTI - This guy is nuts, usually in a good way. Speak with Tutti and you’ll get a good chat and maybe something rather deep. But you better hope and pray that there is not a Highland Cow around. When Tutti’s friends went home and left him in Glasgow for another few months he decended into a deep madness that only a Highland Cow teddy bear called Gisele could liberate him from. You can actually follow Gisele on Instagram and if you are very lucky she will ‘moo’ in response to your questions. I think I may have broken Tutti at some point. His mind will heal over time...unless he sees another Highland Cow.

HAVS - Havs didn’t help out that much with the tours - but at least the guy knows how to leave memories. I still get students who ask where the guy who tells the awful jokes is. I had a simple task for Havs. DO NOT talk on the bus. So he did not .... for a time at least. And then he said, “What if Steve Jobs worked for Apple and Microsoft? Would he be Steve TWO Jobs”. It pains me to say that students really loved his humour.

AMANDA - Amanda works and never complains. She listens to me moan, she listens to me being a total complainer at times but she always does everything she needs to and then does something extra. But I don’t think I will ever forget her face when I told her she would have to lead a walk to Sighthill Stone Circle to see a bunch of pagans dance while I was at a conference. She got me back though for it. Students still consider it one of the best organised walks Student Tours Scotland ever did - and I was not even present!

LEO - Loud, energised to inhuman levels, Leo always brings the fun. He’s like a little brother to me - he might not be blood but I both love and hate him all the time. He’s also insane. He was partially responsible for the continued madness that poor Tutti had with the Highland Cows but he was also responsible for knowing exactly what buttons to push that would make me evolve into Ginger Rage Ball. To this day I’m sure he only did it for fun - although after the San Marino Incident (see a previous post) I think he learned that the Ginger Beast is best left undisturbed.

LUCA - Luca was always there for me in the tough times. He always made the tea and let me vent and bitch and moan. He was great on the tours - especially for photos. However one night before a tour he got a little too drunk, showed up late and slept the whole journey. Almost. He woke up second before a toilet break and vomited all over a student who was on his first tour. Luckily the student was very understanding - although thanks to Luca doing this, I’m pretty sure he won’t be visiting Brazil any time soon. The memories will still be raw.

RENAN - Me and Renan organised a whisky night for a Danish group. They loved it. So many whiskies, so much Scottishness, and some amazing food. Bar after bar was memorable. When I asked them what they remembered most, they said it was drunk Renan singing a perfect rendition of The Offspring (almost the entire Americana album). The word whisky or Scotland never appeared once in their feedback of the fun that they had.

VINI - Vini still does some tech work for Student Tours Scotland. The guy is a legend. A diva at times, but a legend. We both know way too much about each others lives and could probably ruin each other professionally if we really wanted to. I think that means I can’t tell you all the awful things that happened around Vini. Luckily each one is well balanced with great tales as well. Although we both know it’s the awful ones that are the reason why we are best friends.

CAIO - I really needed a lot of help from Caio over the time he was with Student Tours Scotland. He was essential in helping me plan the semester ahead. Sadly he was also essential in giving me a heart attack and forcing me to double check everything I had planned after I discovered that my ‘planning-inspiration’ expert had accidentally booked flight tickets for his holiday a month earlier than he meant to and had missed his holiday. Suddenly I didn’t feel so inspired.

TINO - Without Tino there would not be a Student Tours Scotland. Gingers apparently can be total divas themselves and make mountains out of molehills. Tino is the thing that grounds me and helps make things work and stay focused in 2016. I mean, SURE he almost got us kicked out the Christmas Market for breaking the rules about public alcohol and yes I almost flooded my car trying to pick him up but the good things out weigh the bad.

CRAIG and ROO - There are not many Scots who help me with Student Tours Scotland but to this day Craig and Roo are the guys that have helped me more than anyone else has. It’s hard to talk about one over the other. They are so similar and yet so different. Craig got me a little too jolly one St. Andrews Day and thanks to him egging me on to have my face painted like the Scottish Flag I think I am not welcome back in a particular hotel in Glasgow anymore (drunk Gary decided that instead of washing the blue and white paint off his face he would just spread the paint all over the room instead - yikes!). Roo on the other hand is just bonkers. Everything about the guy is crazy. I think it’s the fact he’s from three different parts of Scotland. Everything he does is pretty much something that I cannot put on paper in case everyone involved is called in for a ‘chat’. Despite the stories and the mad moments, I would be no where without either of these guys. I really cannot thank you enough.

There are so many others that have helped over the years: Sasha made me feel better; Pedro and Lu gave me a shoulder to cry on; Janou and Hannes kept my spirits up and so many more than I just can’t find the time to say thank you. You are all wonderful people and I owe you so much more than I can ever give.

Thank you for being a part of Student Tours Scotland. Let’s hope this is just the beginning. Cheers!