21 Things Scotland Has That The Rest Of The World Needs To Get In 2016

Pie vending machines and two days off after New Year, for a start.

1. Not one, but two days off after New Year.

Flickr: smudie / Creative Commons

Giphy / CMT


This also means our first week back at work after the holidays is only three or four days long, which is far more humane.

2. Draught Irn-Bru in McDonald’s.

Our fizzy, caffeinated orange nectar is the perfect accompaniment to fried food; every single McDonald’s in the world should sell it.

3. Not to mention Irn-Bru ice cream lollies.

Churned in Scotland from girders.

4. A truly sensible (and fair) method of queueing.

If we’re waiting, we form one queue and have the person at the front go to the next available space. Boom: No more anger that another queue is going more quickly.

5. Pie vending machines

Filled with lovely Scottish baked treats, like Scotch pies, bridies, and sausage rolls.

6. Free, well, pretty much everything.

Giphy / AMC


Scots get free prescriptions, free eye tests, free uni education, and free bus passes when we retire, by which point we can sleep on a bed of all the money we saved.

7. Porridge vans

Sod ice cream vans: Scots like to stay warm, and what’s warmer (or more delicious) than porridge? If you ask nicely, the Stoats crew will even add a splash of whisky.

8. Burns Night

Flickr: ambernectar / Creative Commons

Flickr: praxinoscope / Creative Commons


January is crap, which is why it’s good to break it up with a celebration that involves plenty of food and booze. Forget drynuary; celebrate whiskuary instead.

9. Buses that only accept exact change.

It’s a bit annoying until you get used to it, but it helps the buses run on time, and everyone’s happier as a result.

10. Pubs that stay open until 1am.

Flickr: brostad / Creative Commons

Giphy / NBC


Which is part of the reason we need bakery vending machines and that extra day off after Hogmanay.

11. Highland games

Highland games are amazing. There are people chucking cabers, axe-throwing, and even (yes) sack-racing. No wonder the Queen likes them so much.

12. The option to add a slug of booze to any hot drink in the vast majority of cafés.

“I’ll have a Russian Tea, please?” “What’s that?” “Tetley with vodka.”

13. And the option to add chips to almost every meal you buy.

“Stick some chips on the side of that salad, pal.”

14. Ceilidh dancing

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Callers tell you exactly what to do, so you don’t have to worry about your moves. It’s great exercise too, and there’s always a chance someone will fall on their arse.

15. Highers

Never mind A-levels or International Baccalaureates: Highers are where it’s at. There are loads more available subjects for one thing, including Mechatronics.

16. Munchy boxes

OK, so they’re not exactly healthy, but every country needs its signature drunk food, and ours is basically every single drunk food in existence – in a pizza box.

17. The roll and pie

This majestic creation is, yep, you guessed it: An entire Scotch pie in a roll. If it looks dry, don’t worry: The grease from the pie is a fantastic bread-lubricant.

18. Kilts

Specifically: Men in kilts. Even more specifically: Hot men in kilts.

19. This amazing way of helping the homeless.

Andrew Milligan / PA WIRE

Social Bite is a Scottish café chain where customers can pre-pay for a homeless person’s lunch at the same time as buying their own. They also provide employment to homeless people. George Clooney visited the Edinburgh branch in 2015.

20. A truly laid-back approach to life.

Which is definitely helped by starting the day with whisky porridge.

21. And, most importantly, a sense of humour.

Scottish man ‘deported’ from Kyrgyzstan after comparing national dish to horse penis https://t.co/PVh6SqKbr2

— Yahoo UK News (@YahooNewsUK)

It kind of does look like a horse penis. Sorry, Kyrgyzstan.

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Hilary Mitchell is the Scotland editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Edinburgh.
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