Monday, 18 April 2011

Sorry? Are you mocking me, Scotland?

After nearly six years, it is rare that I have to ask a Scottish person to repeat himself when speaking. But I’ve just returned from my local butcher, where I had to resort to my confused “sorry?” response on three separate occasions during the short time it took me to by beef strips and chicken fillets.

When I’m out and about (or oot and aboot, as it were), I can feather my Canadian accent with a bit of a lilt, thereby allowing me to blend in enough so I don’t get asked where I’m from. I like this - blending in.

But when I am making a right idiot of myself, either not understanding something or when I need directions, I switch to naïve Canadian mode, wedging my accent so firmly into the “I’m not from here” corner that people will assume I’m either just arrived or a tourist. I don’t know why I do this. I suppose it’s another way of making myself forgettable. Let people draw a quick assumption and have it over. And so my dance of social awkwardness continues.

Every since my beloved and I have been discussing the idea of moving back to Canada, Scotland has been mocking me. The clocks have changed and suddenly the world is filled with light, blossoms and of all things, THE SUN.
The fields are green, the air is sweet, and the warmth pushes through me like it is trying to erase every memory of the horrible winter that just passed, when I was listless and depressed for months.

One of my work colleagues said something that is weighing on me. He said I underestimate my attachment to this place. I wonder if I do. If we leave, it will be very hard for me to come back. Not just the starting from scratch yet again, but all the cost and applications that would be required. I have moved many times in my life and the desire for a porch and a hammock is replacing my once irrepressible nomadic itch.
This two countries thing is difficult. No matter what you choose, there will be a void on the other side which you cannot reach to fill. It will always be there, and all your beautiful memories will both shine and cut like glass.

In the meantime, Scotland mocks me. Sigh. Oh well. When in doubt, cake.


ellen abbott said...

seems like it doesn't want you to leave. but, um, correct me if I'm wrong, doesn't Canada have just as cold winters?

PurestGreen said...

Very true! Good point Ellen. But where I am thinking of moving us is to an area in the interior of BC which is very dry. The summers are very hot and in the winter it is dry and cold but the short days have a lot of sun. I think it is the repetition of black-grey-black-grey that wears me down, as well as the damp cold. But all that damp gives all this spring green beauty. Swings and roundabouts.

a Broad said...

I understand, very well, the thinking in whichever place you decide on, you will still be missing the other.
And not wanting to make a mistake.
Thus basing such a move solely on one aspect of life (weather) is risky.
I really dislike summers here. I am not a lover of heat and humidity, and I just had skin cancer surgery so who wants that bright sunshine every stinking day ???? well, we all do .. at least part of the day.
I lived in Oregon and loved it. .rain and gloom and all. My husband couldn't get out of there fast enough.
But there is so much more to a place than the sun or the rain ..
I worry I won't like the people wherever I move to next ( as much as the people here) .. I worry I will realize we made a huge mistake and there is nothing we can do about it.
Just thoughts, similar to what you are doing .. sometimes it helps when you don't have a choice :)

Zhoen said...

Canada Haunts Me.

Anonymous said...

welllll, this winter licked giant monkey ass here. But, wait, the spring has been worse: grey days, snow blowing across highway pavement, empty grey gravel everywhere. no green, just hard, bare ground. your pics of scotland made me cry a tear. I miss colour so much.

PurestGreen said...

@ a broad - nice to chat with you on email. It helps when someone else can share her story about immigration and all the emotions it involves.

@Zhoen - hilarious. So many things haunt me, not just Canada.

@Moe - Why is it that as I get older that winter seems to lick giant monkey ass more and more? I remember that Cariboo grey that happens on the cusp of every spring, before the flower baskets are hung out.

Cheryl said...

I've been considering the same thing, moving to another country (Argentina, of course! But who knows where I could end up?) but, as I get more and more used to being back home I find myself debating over how wise a move this would be. Harder to get to that long longed for interview at Pixar if I'm ten thousand miles away. Then again, I'm not getting any younger, and my current job as a freelancer does allow me to work from anywhere. Why not take advantage of it while I can? Not sure what to do, though it does seem like life is pushing me towards relocating. I guess no decision is totally right, only a different journey. Choices, choices...

Sophia said...

Very beautiful photos. Wow! And I cannot imagine the torment you're going through on deciding whether to relocate or not. Ugh. Sigh. I do wish you the best in your decision. Hugs. :)

Cheryl said...

Thanks, Sophia :D