Monday, 29 September 2008

PostHeaderIcon Scotland: August 14th - September 1st

Hello. I've been back in Japan for just under a month now. Although time has gone fast in some regards... it still seems a lot longer than that. The memories of my summer holiday seem to have vanished as I return to the routine of my life here. Nevertheless, I'm going to try and write up about them despite my lack of desire and my seemingly new lack of confidence in writing blog updates.

I've already complained to most people about just how f**king long my journey to and from Glasgow was. I was awake for about 48 hours and ate more airplane meals and drank more coffee than I care to remember. I had terrible seating positions but I wouldn't have been able to sleep even if I wanted to. I think I was close to dying on the last few hours from Dubai to Glasgow. I was watching the plane's journey on the map and it took forever to fly over Turkey. I did have a moment of culture shock in Dubai airport as I was pushed around by a variety of arrogant nationalities and their fat, ugly children. The best moment was finding two entire stands of English newspapers... I almost cried with joy.

I was greeted at Glasgow airport with a miserable little arrivals building.. After travelling around the world in all these brand spanking places, Glasgow was kind of embarrassing. There were about 300 people crammed into one tiny corridor, one side was an escalator that wasn't working and the other people were waiting to get their passports checked by about 3 people. I was then questioned by a female police officer just at the final door:

Her: Excuse me. Can I ask you a few questions?
Me: Of course.
Her: Where have you come from?
Me: Errr.... Dubai.... well Japan... via... Dubai
Her: Can I ask why you've come to Scotland?
Me: Err a holiday I guess but... I like... live... here... I'm Scottish..
Her: I see. Can I ask why you were in Japan?
Me: Well... I kind of.... erm work there.
Her: What do you do?
Me: I guess I'm an English teacher
Her: Thank you. Enjoy your holiday.

Then I met my with my parents and my mum reacted exactly like I expected she would. The first evening really messed up my mind to be honest. I don't know how much of it was a lack of sleep but I struggled to merge these different lives in my head. The main thing was that it didn't seem strange to be home and at points I kept trying to think of things in Japan to remember that I had been away for a year. That vanished after a good night's sleep and I got back to things without any other weird mental problems.

Things that I did notice were how luxurious my wee semi-detached house appeared to me. Lying in the bath and relaxing was amazing. The water, towels and clothes were so soft and comfy as well that I don't feel even slightly embarrassed admitting it. Also, I enjoyed being able to buy lots of newspapers and being able to do things over the phone etc where I could talk in my own language with ease. I think it was the wettest August since records began but the weather was amazing since I had just come from the height of the Japanese summer. A surprising thing that struck me was just how annoying adverts in your own language can be. I wanted to strangle just about every overly pronounced Scottish accent on the radio. Also, it took me a few days to adjust to the food and at first a lot of it just tasted like the fatty crap that it is. However, I soon grew to love fry-ups, crisps, Irn-Bru and beer that isn't Asahi or Kirin.

I spent my first weekend in Fife with my mum and dad. This was a really nice time as we just relaxed and went to St Andrews for the day. The days that followed that were really miserable and depressing in retrospect. All my family and friends were at work and I went to useless doctor and dental appointments. The last year I lived in East Kilbride proper was a bit depressing and it felt like I had slotted back into that era and I didn't like it one bit. So... I quickly planned an extensive trip across Europe the following week that I'll write about later. Things in Scotland picked up again when my little brother came back from America after teaching football for a few months. Looking back at our childhood... I was the football mad athletic one whilst he was chubby, ejjit kid with a vivid imagination. Now things have reversed nooooooooooooo. I went to the football with him and my dad, had a family reunion thing in my house, went to Edinburgh for the festival... that was about that.

It was really nice to see everyone in my family but I don't really think I talked about Japan much at all. It was definitely more different for me as I'd been doing all this stuff for a year whilst they just hadn't seen me for a few months more than usual. Also, I kind of regret not seeing some friends when I was back. My time was tight and I took a rather selfish approach to my schedule. It was hard to meet up with people as they've moved all over the country and have jobs now. Still, occasionally I had to explain to people that I couldn't just swing around for the weekend because I had about two of them in Scotland over two years.

I spent the last day in Scotland at a music festival by a loch/castle a few hours up the road. I was kind of hoping it would be a nice summer's day and I could chill with my brother with a few beers. Instead, it absolutely poured down with rain and the two of us spent about 5 hours kicking about being wet, muddy and miserable. We did see a few decent bands whilst waiting on Sigur Ros but it was pretty dreich (Scots for wet/dismal). However, the sun did come out right at the end of the day and Sigur Ros were absolutely amazing. It just about salvaged the day but the pair of us were knackered from travelling and a lack of sleep. I felt a bit sorry forcing all the invites on my brother but it was a good last day. After only another few hours sleep I got up the next day and set off on my journey around the world again. It wasn't as hard a journey coming back and I felt (worryingly) at ease being back in Japan. I was glad to see my family and the whole trip proved to be an important separator between the years in Japan. Good old Scotland.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

How strange they stopped you at the airport in Glasgow. Made me laugh thou'

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About Me

I am a 24 year old Scotsman currently teaching English to Japanese schoolchildren. I live in a small town on the east coast of Kochi prefecture.

Shashins