Sunday, 1 November 2009

Scottish Oddities (slash amazing things I wish we could adopt)

Scottish Oddities
-All of the public restroom toilet papers dispensers are actually “one sheet at a time skinny sandpaper dispensers”
-Driving on the left side of the road. I’ve almost gotten killed at least a dozen times by not looking the correct way when stepping off the curb, the last time by a bus going full speed.
-The bartenders are slow…and I mean SLOOOOOOOOOOW. No tips means there’s no reason for them to work faster. I will give them credit for the fact that many of the ale taps have to be pulled, so you can’t pour more than one beer at a time, but the vast majority are not. I know people like to make fun of American beer and bars, but they are orders of magnitude faster than the Scots.
-Most of the people here that I have met have been very reserved, at least to start a conversation. Once you get them going everyone is absurdly friendly, but it takes them a few minutes to get over “why is this aggressively friendly American talking to me”
-They make fun of me for American beer all of the time, when they only thing they’ve ever had is pisswater (Bud light shows up here a lot). I continue to try to inform them that even we don’t drink that unless forced to by our current economic status, but few have listened.
-Drinks are often served warm here…
-Vocab that is strange to me and has gotten me in trouble (word – brit meaning)
Pants – underwear (this one got me in trouble when I had to buy a coat over here. It was a waterproof north face one and the sales lady asked me if I needed other waterproof gear. I told her ‘No Thank You, I already have waterproof pants’)
Lemonade – lemonlime soda
Shandy – a weird concoction of beer and “lemonade”
Fanny – how do I put this…its exactly opposite of what we would call a fanny
Fag – cigarette
Pull – variously used to mean kiss, get a number from, or go home with, a person from the pub
Nappy – Diaper
Jumper – any sweater like overshirt
-The public transport here is amazing. I have never needed a car and in fact when I ride one of the trains I have trouble getting off of it. Some of the trains have food and drink service!
-People walk EVERYWHERE. No driving 30 feet to go the store.
-Everyone use’s reusable grocery bags instead of the horrible-for-the-environment-plastic ones
-The accent is incredible. It’s also impossible to pick up due to the innumerable different ones. My plan was to come home with a perfect Scottish accent, immediately meaning I could pick up any girl I wanted. Scratch that plan. My attempts at it sound worse than the Mel Gibson Braveheart accent. Complete rubbish.
-Terms we need to make more common in the American lexicon: rubbish, bollucks, result, pull, mate.

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