Holiday 2009: Scotland II – The Thing about Scotland Is…

There’s a joke that states that you will meet a Glaswegian anywhere in the world if you’re a Glaswegian. It’s kind of like a law that states the further you are away from the city the chances of meeting someone from it increase somehow. Like a force that pulls us all together and tightly binds us in a terrible impossible whirlpool of interconnectedness. Anyway, this law doesn’t just apply to Glaswegians, as it is impossible to fly anywhere now for me and not meet someone working in the Oil and Gas industry. It’s like a curse that I have had cast upon me. Case in point: on a flight from Glasgow to Newark I was sitting next to an engineer, a Chemical Engineer no less.

And it must be the same for anyone in anything. Any city, any company or industry, and we think it’s a big deal because it happens to us. On this trip, however, there was no chance of meeting anyone from Glasgow at any point.

The thing about Scotland is that whilst you think you’re Scottish for having lived here, you’re not really Scottish until you’ve seen the country through someone who isn’t Scottish’s eyes. We stayed in four different locations and in each location we could’ve blended in perfectly as a local, or at least a native, because… we are one. We are from here, we all grew up in the same place, and know the same things. There’s no culture clash because we are of the same culture and even though some lived in towns of thousands of people and myself, who went to a school of a thousand people, there’s little between us.

Seeing tourists though is a novel experience. Sitting in a pub in Inverness a group of what I can only describe as “foreigners” walked in. We knew they were foreigners because of how they looked – they looked cool, lovely, pretty, and they were gesturing with their hands. Italians they were, and they looked like they wanted to eat some food. So the barmaid, in the most obnoxious way, made the international symbol for “Go away” and tried to shoo the Italians to the door. The kitchen was closed.

Now, this is delving in the past of my blog but seeing as I have a considerable back catalogue of posts (and a massive Excel file where all the titles and posting dates have been kept in order) I know that I have already mentioned this problem in a post. In my post entitled The Tale of Rock Steady 2: Racism and Twatness As Standard, posted on the 26th February 2007, I mention in the title of the post (but not in body, for reasons only known to me 21 year old self) of the “international sign for fuck off” which related to my attempts to try and move the Italians from the Stadium after their famous victory at Murrayfield.

This exchange was quite hilarious, probably more hilarious than it actually was because of the slightly inebriated state I was in. But made for an interesting question: What nationality would you be if you could choose? And I chose Italian. Just something about their culture that makes it so interesting – the food, the family, the look of an Italian, the language (possibility being the most romantic of the romantics) and generally just wanting to be Italian. It’s probably got something to do with Mario and Luigi.

And hearing endless stories about foreigners enjoying their holidays in Scotland I finally understand why we should be proud of living here – because this country is mine, it’s where I grew up and it’s fucking beautiful.