Sep 9, 2014

Scottish Vocab, etc.

Perfect, crisp weather today.

We've been in Edinburgh for two weeks now...yay!  Even though I still have to carefully study each coin in my hand as I pay for a bus ticket, I am already feeling more comfortable with the area. I buy groceries almost every day, and am finally able to walk into the store with confidence instead of wandering the aisles aimlessly and leaving only with more Cadbury chocolate, and nothing on my actual list. Every day I learn new words for things.  Here are a few that I find amusing/confusing:

trash can = rubbish or litter bin
restroom = toilet (I just can't bring myself to ask someone to use the "toilet")
trunk of a car = boot
stroller = buggy or pram
elevator = lift
sweater = jumper
line = queue
lettuce = salad. Also, any type of vegetable that goes on a sandwich (tomato, onion, etc) is considered "salad". I was disappointed when they asked if I wanted salad with my fish and chips to find it was just sitting on one leaf of lettuce.
baby = wee one
doctor's office = surgery
french fries = chips
potato chips = crisps
crib = cot
apartment = flat
ham = gammon
vacuuming = hoovering 
gasoline = petrol (which is about $10/gallon here, by the way!)
cell phone = mobile phone (I know it's not that weird but everybody says "mobe-ayle")
diaper = nappy


For the most part, I can get past the accent and understand people I speak with. But there have been several times where I just nod and smile without a clue of what they said.  A few days ago, Neal and I left our flat early in the morning and were stopped by an elderly man who appeared to still be under the influence of several pints from the night before.  I was carrying Eleanor in the baby bjorn and he kept reaching out to touch her and asked several slurred questions about her in a thick brogue. He went on and on for several minutes and we kept politely nodding and laughing. He ended with "it brings good luck to give a wee one a bit of silver", patted Eleanor on the head for the tenth time, and put a 20 pence piece in her little hand (which of course she shoved directly into her mouth, making me cringe). It was both sweet and creepy. As we parted ways (finally), Neal muttered exactly what I was thinking, "I couldn't understand 99% of what that guy was saying".

Laundry will be the death of me. A small load takes about 2 hours to run in the washer, then we have to hang them all on our clothes horse. I can only do one load at a time, because that's all I have room for on the drying rack. And one load takes almost 48 hours to dry completely (especially cottons). Then I have to iron everything. Even socks, and washcloths! And I do not iron (it's on the long list of domestic things I do not do).  Neal has always been the designated family iron-er, but I know that's not going to fly here. He's been really proud of the only-slightly-wrinkled T-shirts I've been producing. Could someone ship me a dryer please?

Bright side of laundry: Free movie for this lass.

I've also noticed that almost nothing comes "resealable"...shredded or sliced cheese, lunch meat, etc. I'm going through zip lock bags like nobody's business.

I have yet to figure out if this is a cultural thing or what, but...Neal and I have been going on a daily run down by the canal, the result of feeling guilty as we filled out our NHS registration forms at the "surgery". The form asked questions about exercise frequency and I whispered to Neal, "I have to lie. I'm completely sedentary!" The next morning, he woke me up with "let's go on a family run!" Ew. And we've gone every morning since. It won't last long, if I can help it ;). Anyway, he pushes Eleanor in the stroller as he runs (an embarrassing distance ahead of me), and other people on the pavement always stare at him. At first I thought it was an "aw, how nice, a father running with his baby" kind of look, because everyone smiles huge and rubbernecks as he passes. But then I saw people literally pointing after he had passed and two girls were doubled over laughing. There are soo many strollers here, and so many moms walking their babies on the canal, I don't know if it's because he was running with the stroller (now that I've started paying attention I haven't seen any runners with strollers), or because he's a man, or what. I can't figure it out. I'm going to have ask around and get the input of some locals. Neal claims it's his good looks, and I can't deny that as a possibility.

So I realize this post seems like I'm complaining about all the differences between Scotland and the States. It's actually really, really fun and refreshing to adapt to a new way of life. Especially when everyone we meet is so friendly and kind, there's beautiful scenery at every turn, and to know it's only for one year. It's time to let go of what we don't have and miss from home and to appreciate the new and exciting. Even if the new and exciting does cause carpal tunnel and a bad back from hunching over an ironing board. ;)

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