How did I fail at becoming Scottish?

I moved to this beautiful, but cold-as-hell country, four years ago. I came ready to conquer and soak up all the culture and the weird words you guys say. I had read a lot about Scottish stereotypes, and since those articles are always true, I thought I had you guys figured out.

Four years, and a lot of saying, “yous, ay, yer, wee”, later – and I’m still being asked if I want a tax return receipt every time I buy something.

Even if I’m buying milk, 30 rolls of toilet paper and the cheapest wine they have at Tesco – they still mistake me for a foreigner. Well, they are not mistaken, but I like to be right. Just ask my boyfriend. Besides, what maniac tourist is going around buying 30 rolls of toilet paper?

The question is, what is giving me away, and how did I fail so miserable at integrating? I drink and swear excessively, I’ve become overly apologetic and nice to strangers, and I quote Braveheart at least once a day. Yet, you guys somehow won’t accept me.

Let’s break it down. I’m Norwegian but don’t necessarily look it. I’m short, have curly and brownish hair and I’m wearing tartan for crying out loud. I even gained like 8 kilos a stone during fresher’s week.


Author of the article, Constance Maria Enger

I also try to sound like yous, but judging by the laughter I receive: I’m not always doing that well. Living with 6 Scottish girls from around the country was a recipe for a confusing dialect, and not to mention a disaster.

It wasn’t until I travelled to the land of hillbillies and Clinton-supporters that I was finally mistaken for a Scottish person. I’ve never been happier. “Yooo, dude, are you like, Scottish or something? You sound weird”, in which I lied: “Yes, yes I am.”

Maybe the thing that is giving me away is that I’m so obviously trying to be Scottish: Just like I try to speak French in France. When I say try, I mean fail, and when I thought I said burger – I said salad.

The fact is, tourists always make a fool of themselves while trying to pretend they are not in fact tourist.

In the end, it would take me years and years to perfection your quirks and even then I would probably be caught by some know-it-all.

It’s strange feeling at home in a country that constantly reminds you that you’re a stranger. I don’t really fit in, but you guys don’t really care about that. It’s all in my head.

I shouldn’t be offended when someone offers me help with directions – I should be grateful. because I’m usually lost anyway. The point is, I’m still treated like the princess I am, and I feel welcome everywhere. That should be what’s most important.

Maybe, just maybe, I need to take a chill pill and just be myself. Perhaps if I act like I do at home – Scotland will finally be just that.

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