It’s a tradition. Whenever there’s a move to a new place, I make a list of things I don’t want to forget about the home that I am leaving.
So here’s the list of things I’ll never forget about Scotland and Glasgow:
– Friends. Always. The people are what makes a place, and I have met some of the best during our time in Scotland! <3
– The view from our bay window. It’s what every single visitor in our flat complimented, and it’s the one thing I definitely felt grateful for every day.
– Cider. I don’t like beer, but pubs are a must in the UK. Luckily, there’s a cider for every taste and I will forever remember the good company that I enjoyed them in.
– Edgar. If you don’t know Edgar by now, you’ve missed out. Our neighbour’s burly tomcat was the king of the neighbourhood, and always in need of cuddles.
– The Smell of roasting barley. For a long time, I was just mildly bewildered by the weird, rooty smell that sometimes seemed to waft through the city. It took me almost half a year until I grew conscious and curious enough of it to ask someone, and find out that the local breweries all had their roasting days – and you would always know when.
– Pubs. A pub is the British people’s public livingroom. Pubs are for everyone, they are literally “public houses”, and the British claim them with all their heart and soul. Wether it’s for pick-me-ups during a long week, Friday evening drinks, a rainy Saturday afternoon, or the quiz on a Sunday evening: The pub is the place where you can meet all your friends, hang out, bitch, have a good time, and not worry about cleaning up afterwards.
– Parks. Just as the pub is a British person’s public livingroom, so is the park their public backyard. This is where everyone and their dogs go for fresh air, an evening stroll, a morning run, football with the kids, or a natter with their neighbours. It’s hard to describe the friendly and empowering feeling that these spaces claimed by the people invoke, but I sure am gonna miss it.
– “Hen”. – “There you are, hen.” “Anything else fer ya tadee hen?” “Haw’r’ya doin’ tadee hen?”- Get over it. Glasgow ladies call other ladies “hen.” It doesn’t matter if you’re younger or older than her, if she’s serving you at the corner store, cutting your hair, serving your beer, or a student in the same dance class: Shamelessly, and classelessly, you will be her “hen”. Better enjoy it!
– Brother Kelvin. We lived in walking distance to the Clyde during our first few months in Glasgow. Big, lazy, oily old Clyde. What a difference to the Kelvin: Running, jumping, gurgling, blabbing through the park all day long, busy as anything.
– Indian food: Another thing the UK does better than anywhere else I’ve been before.
- Cones. It started as a silly prank on this statue, and now the Weegies (Glaswegian folk) see it as some kind of sport to try and put traffic cones on anything, especially when it’s high up. You just have to like them, silly old fools that they are.
– Driving on the left: It took a little bit of getting used to, but it quite grew on me, as did the whole non-chalant British style of driving.
– The Three Judges: Although I’ve got pubs on this list already, our local corner dig deserves a special mention. If it weren’t for their weekly changing craft beer and cider selection, it would be nothing but a dingy old man’s dive. But hey, it’s the inside of the glass that counts.
– Bagpipes. One of the things I wasn’t prepared for was just how unashamedly stereotypical Scotland actually is. I still had to laugh every time when at some point during my day, I could hear a random bagpipe recital. Which, believe me or not, happens often!
– The great outdoors. I’m not sure if I will ever go anywhere as beautiful as Scotland. Our outdoor adventures were numerous, but not numerous enough. There is always more to be seen, further to be walked, higher to be climbed. Thinking that I will probably never pitch a tent in the highlands again makes my eyes a bit watery. (Also, I have never seen such frequent, breathtaking rainbows anywhere!)
– Adventures in life. It’s been an eventful two years. Apart from hiking, camping, pubs and parks, there were spoon carving, outdoor birthday parties, yoga teaching, race running… oh, yes, and getting engaged (and subsequently, married, but not really.)
- Haggis: Feasts and elaborate cooking shenanegans were no rarity during our time with mostly hungry and culinary open minded people. But of all these, what stands out most in my memory was celebrating the Scottish national holiday (Burn’s night) with big haggis feasts. And if you haven’t tried one, you totally should.
Also: Midges, bogs, dickbutts, jellyfish, peatfires, fried marsbars, lawnbowling, free museums, hail storms, bonfire night, aurora hunting, incomprehensible locals, sweet neighbours, seagulls, binshoots, kangarooh people, and all the other wonderful things I forgot, but will never really forget.