The Land of Scots and Kilts
After a sunny (and then rainy) weekend in Amsterdam, I was headed to a destination with a much colder climate: Scotland.
I was looking forward to being in an Anglophone country again after four months in a Francophone one, but I quickly learned that I might as well have still been in France. I say this because during my week there, I probably only had about an 80% understanding of what was being said to me and what was going on. Basically, my French exchange experience for these 5 months. Though, towards the end, I finally got into the swing of it.
I loved the Scottish accents in Brave, and one time I had a Scottish proctor for my WPA exam – it was fun listening to that. However, in the actual country – full of Merida’s and King Fergus’ and that one MacGuffin who I still haven’t a clue what he’s actually saying – that there accent’s a hard ‘un!
I do have to say that the Scots who I had the pleasure to meet during that week were all very lovely, and would gladly repeat themselves after a tilt of the head, a confused look on the face, “EH?”, or combination of the three. It was greatly appreciated.
The plan was to meet my aunt in Scotland, who has family there, and stay with her for the week. Little did I know what this would all entail.
For someone who is introverted – and let’s be clear that being introverted doesn’t automatically label you as reserved or boring – being surrounded by so many strong personalities can completely drain you. My auntie’s family is all strong personality, and in these type of situations I will either want to keep up with everyone or not. I usually choose the latter and just watch the entertainment in front of me because I can’t be bothered to do things I don’t want to do. And I don’t think they understood that because all I heard/was told was that I’m quiet. I would say that quiet is a relative term. And like anyone, there are certain environments where one thrives. And to be honest, in pubs full of drinking Scotsmen and Scotswomen, all of whom are not my family, are fathers/mothers, married, basically at stages in life where I don’t plan to be for a while, what is there really to talk about? The weather?
They have to admit that they love to talk because it was a constant with all the relatives and throughout my weeklong stay. I, on the other hand, do not talk to hear the sound of my voice because frankly, I don’t like the sound of it. I would much rather be lost in my own thoughts than share them with people who won’t even listen. I’ve always been this way and I’ve always hated this about myself because I care too much about what others think of me. And maybe one day I’ll meet someone who can teach me not to and change that, but until then, I will continue to soldier on in this world made for extroverts.
I wouldn’t say that my entire week in Scotland was only this. It definitely had its highs and its lows. I had a nice time with my aunt. Her family is full of characters. But after 3 weeks to reflect on this, I’d say that if it were up to me, I would have done this trip differently. Nothing against my aunt or her family – they are all lovely (crazy, but lovely) – but it’s exactly that. It’s her family, not mine.
From my first night there to my last one, it was a roller coaster of an adventure with a huge family who admittedly isn’t perfect (though whose is anyways?) and would drop anything to be there for each other or even a couple of visitors from the States. It’s not my place to share all that happened, but I know three words to summarize the week I shared with them. It is that family is everything.
I will use another post to share my pictures from Edinburgh and Glasgow, but I’ll end this with men in skirts. Also known as kilts. ;)