I’ve spent maaaannnyy years of my life facing this odd interaction with people. Apparently, normal folk don’t say “Hiya”.
It’s a simple, friendly greeting that implies informality and playfulness, and just, well, it’s fun. And yet, everyone thinks I’m saying “How are ya” in some strange short-form.
The accents do amuse me here. You get your average Edinburger who sounds clear enough to understand, unless they’re rushing through their name and business on the phone to where I am working, of course. And then there’s the Weegies and the Highlanders with the broad accents who just look at you funny when you ask them to repeat, like it’s insane that you might not catch what they are saying.
Oh and the mumbling. If it’s not fast or broad, it’s mumbled. I get so tired of saying “Sorry?” to folks that I sometimes try to hazard a guess – ill-advised in the corporate sector, unfortunately.
One thing I am getting used to, however, is the UK keyboard, with the ” being where the @ is supposed to be and such. I was seriously confused the first time I had to type a quote into an email, staring dumbly at my fingers like they had forgotten my 13 or so years of geekness and completely failed me. It still throws me when I switch to my home laptop, however, and can’t type an email address correctly..
Other things I am finding are silly problems like not knowing area codes, not understanding place names, not knowing quite how to follow the road signs and some intersections. I started driving manual again on the weekend, and while the concept of it came back to me quite quickly (which I was very surprised by – 2 days practice and I feel quite confident), the idea that I had to start getting ready to go on the 2nd amber light that they throw in here, made my head a little spinny. And the roundabouts that Dave calls the death traps, where you have to stick to your lane fastidiously or get taken out by a truck, or worse, a Merc.
But the most exciting thing in my week so far has been my first sighting of a fox. The concept of not having foxes, squirrels, badgers and the like completely confuses and bemuses Dave, having grown up chasing them out of his garden, but my first fox jumped over a wall, hid behind a tree, then decided to lift its head and stare right at me. I smacked Dave in the chest in surprise reaction, startled by how big they are and how they seem to slink through the night. Last night’s fox decided to spend some time in the Corstorphine suburbs in the low fog that was settled, and I thought it was very nice of him (or her) to linger and take a glance my way. Dave quipped as we started to pull away again, “What are you going to do when you see a badger, then?”
So really, all is well in the land of the Scots. I am speaking a wee bit Scottish and aye, I have started to roll my rrrrrs a little. Work is varied and I’m looking forward to starting a long-term position in August after we go to Seattle and Victoria (!), Dave and I are just great and all I really need now are some friends.
Not advertising just yet, though.