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Edinburgh: What It's Like In Your Twenties Vs. Your Thirties

RIP Flip.

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1. The Fringe in your twenties.

The 'burgh is braw when you're 20 and the festival is on. It's basically just booze and shows until 5am. Same time tomorrow, aye? Who needs sleep anyway?

2. The Hive in your twenties.

You love nothing more than getting pure smashed on flat Grouse and Coke while listening to the hottest new music. All your pals are there and it's cheap, so why consider anywhere else?

The Hive in your thirties.

You feel like the oldest person there. In fact, you probably are. Just face it: You're now too old to fully appreciate upside-down electro-grime fusion. Go home and get some rest.


3. Being a metal fan in your twenties.

You love hearing your favourite bands like Fall Out Boy, Black Veil Brides, and Bring Me The Horizon at Studio 24, Banshee Labyrinth, and Opium while crashing around in the mosh pit. The booze is cheap too!

Being a metal fan in your thirties.

Flickr: mikemurry / Creative Commons

You miss The Mission and remember when Edinburgh metal clubs used to play good music. And you can't go to Opium Rockeoke because it's on a bloody Monday. Even their booze tastes awful now. Again, what happened?

4. Cockburn Street in your twenties.

Flickr: morebyless / Creative Commons

At 20, Cockburn Street is all about piling in for a Pizza Hut buffet, before window shopping at Whiplash Trash or Applejack, then sitting on the steps with your pals.

Cockburn Street in your thirties.

It's nostalgic as all hell. You think of the friends you're no longer in touch with, reminisce about good times spent browsing posters at Kick Ass and, depending on when you were born, you REALLY miss shopping at Flip and Avalanche nearby.


Not being a student in your thirties.

Flickr: dun_deagh / Creative Commons

"They're building ANOTHER block of student flats on Leith Walk? What about homes for us 'regular' people? And why are they all 'luxury apartments'? That's not very character-building."

Fringe flyers in your thirties.

"Omg get out of my way."


7. Clubbing in your twenties.

At 20, you're not too picky about which "choons" are on, or what type of beer is on tap. As long as the beats are loud, you can bag the guest list for Opal Lounge, and your besties are there, it's all good.

Not clubbing in your thirties.

You'll still find yourself in Cab Vol for a night of nostalgia-fuelled debauchery from time to time, but once you hit 30, it's mostly about quaffing expensive craft beer at places like Brew Dog or lavish cocktails at Panda & Sons.

8. Fast food in your twenties.

Your metabolism is still firing on all cylinders, so going for a Cafe Piccante pizza supper at 3am won't kill you (even after a night on cheap Iron Brew WKD).

All food in your thirties.

Whether it's a drunken pie from Storries on Leith Walk or a cheeky ice cream cone during the festival, you pile on the pounds much faster at 30. Ugh.


9. Night buses in your twenties.

Flickr: sockenklaus / Creative Commons

You're young, hammered, and you don't have cash to blow on Edinburgh's expensive taxis. Even if you did, you wouldn't want to pay the dreaded "spew tax" after having an accident, so an affordable ride on a Lothian night bus is a great option.

Night buses in your thirties.

You'd rather walk home barefoot on hot coals, which are also covered in nails. Anyone who has taken a Lothian night bus filled with puke, annoying twentysomethings, and loud music on phones knows the pain.

10. Irn-Bru in your twenties.

Giver of life, killer of hangovers: Irn-Bru makes you feel invincible after a bender, just in time to do it all again the following night.

Irn-Bru in your thirties.

Spoiler: It no longer cures hangovers.


11. Clothes shopping in your twenties.

Congratulations! You're the right age to go into either Primark or H&M on Princes Street to buy skinny-fit jeans, slim-fit shirts, onsies, or T-shirts with old bands you haven't heard on them, and not feel like a roaster. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Clothes shopping in your thirties.

Flickr: 27718315@N02 / Creative Commons

Commiserations! You now lay awake at night worrying if the skinny-fit jeans you just purchased from Primark make you look like a wally, and if you'll even be able to fit into them a month from now.

The Mound in your thirties.

Flickr: 16190595@N05 / Creative Commons

It's a gauntlet that makes you feel your age, which you try to avoid if possible. Pro tip: Take the road up instead of tackling those steep steps by the National Gallery if you want to survive.


13. Wings in your twenties.

This hot new chicken joint on Old Fishmarket Close feels more like your bedroom at home than a restaurant, thanks to all the retro pop culture references on their walls. You won't "get" most of them but still, it's cheap and there's beer so whatevs.

Wings in your thirties.

Wings feels like a museum dedicated to your childhood, which has been overrun by young tourists who don't even know what a "G1 Transformer" is. After eating you'll sit there playing the in-house Mega Drive as younger people laugh at you because it's not in 1080p.

14. Pub lunches in your twenties.

Flickr: tnarik / Creative Commons

Go cheap or go home (or at the very least go for a burger and pint deal). Scream cards, undercooked chips, and 2-for-1 student offers are your friend here – anyone who has been to The Tron surely knows this one.

Pub lunches in your thirties.

"Forget the Standing Order, we're off to Holyrood 9A for a handmade burger and some imported craft beers."


15. Scottish sweeties in your twenties.

Flickr: chocolatereviews / Creative Commons

Highland Toffee, Irn-Bru bars, tablet, and all the free samples you can pocket from the Royal Mile Fudge Kitchen. Fill your boots while you still have your pearly whites.

Scottish sweeties in your thirties.

Standing within 10 feet of the Fudge Kitchen makes your teeth hurt, Barr's Red Cola is absolutely out of the question, and the cakes at Mimi's Bakehouse on the Shore are a "once a month" thing, tops.

Arcades in your thirties.

Flickr: sheeppurple / Creative Commons

Portobello used to boast one of the finest and best-stocked arcades in Scotland, but now it's just a knackered House of the Dead cabinet, countless puggies, a few sliding coin machines, and your fading childhood memories.

17. Sundays in your twenties.

You got in from Liquid Rooms so late last night that you feel like a skelped arse. Sunday is a write-off.

Sundays in your thirties.

Only one day off before I have to work again, so let's not waste it. What'll it be? Stockbridge markets, Omni Centre car-boot sale, Sunday roast at the Harp, or a big mug of artisanal coffee at Printworks?