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24 Struggles All English People Face On Their First Trip To Scotland

"I just...don't understand what you're saying."

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1. The first thing you notice is how damn cold it is.

Summer weather in London = 28°C. Scottish equivalent = 16°C. In short, you haven't brought nearly enough coats. Buy more coats.

2. You thought Scotland would be all lochs, magic, joy, and mountains, but quickly discover that isn't the case.

"They have depressing town centres here too. FML."

3. You quickly discover that you can't understand a single thing anyone is saying.

You literally don't speak the language, even though that language is "English." You weren't prepared for this at all.

4. And woe betide anyone who actually strikes up a conversation with you or asks you a question.

After they repeat themselves for the fifteenth time, you actually think you're going to die of embarrassment. Eventually, you just mumble something and run away.


5. And when you bravely attempt to pronounce unfamiliar words, you inevitably mess it up...

"What are you doing tonight?"

"Going to a Kay-Lid-Huh."

6. ...especially when asking for directions in the Highlands.

“Excuse me, how do I get to Beinn snghurth hnnnurth?”

7. Hearing people actually say "wee" out loud will accidentally make you giggle.

And you won't believe the number of annoyed looks you get when you do.

8. But once you've been in Scotland for a few days, you find yourself unconsciously copying the accent.

It starts with the occasional wee; before you know it you're basically just doing bad impressions of everyone you talk to. And then you can't stop. Awkward.


9. You almost have a heart attack the first time a busker fires up a set of bagpipes as you pass by.

Who knew they were so painfully loud? And – let's be honest – they sound pretty bad: like distorted whale song played through a kazoo.

10. Your first breakfast in Scotland is essentially an I'm A Celebrity-style bushtucker challenge.

"What the hell is that black thing? And those square things?" You thought you'd have more time to psych yourself up to eat haggis. You were wrong.

11. And you're inevitably taken in by the old tourist-baiting joke that a haggis is a real animal.

" do you hunt them?"

12. In fact, every food decision you have to make is fraught with difficulty, particularly in chip shops.

You play it safe and order pizza, but get a deep-fried...thing instead.


13. Even ordering a simple portion of chips can end up going very wrong.

Server: "Do you want salt 'n' sauce?" You don't understand the question, so you just say "yes" and end up with watery brown vinegary stuff all over your dinner. 😭

14. The first time you see someone casually strolling about in a kilt you inevitably lose your shit.

"Don't stare, don't call it a skirt, don't stare, don't call it a skirt." But you will stare anyway, and also take a sneaky picture. And they will see. And they will be cross.

15. Some famous Scottish sights inevitably leave you a bit underwhelmed, especially if the weather is bad.

"What do you mean there's no guarantee of actually seeing the Loch Ness Monster? That's false advertising."

16. While others will blow your mind so much that you can't even handle it.

"How is this actually in the UK? Why don't I live here? WHY?"


17. You'll inevitably meet at least one Scottish person who is very, very angry at you because of history.

Protesting that your ancestors are actually Welsh or Irish will cut very little mustard. Just apologise for everything the English did instead. It's much quicker.

18. Another thing that you'll be totally unprepared for are the scariest animals on the planet: Midges.

You thought max-strength Jungle Formula was designed for canoe trips to the Amazon; it was actually formulated for visits to Fort William.

19. But an even worse shock to an English person's system is the fact you can't buy booze after 10pm.

"How is that even possible? How do people live?"

20. ...unless you go to a pub, of course.

Pubs are open until 1am, but then you're back to a) struggling to understand what people are saying and b) risking fury by asking for ice with your whisky.


21. But after a while, you realise you've finally found your feet. You start to understand what people are saying...

"Why yes, kind sir, I would like to hold your bagpipes."

22. ...and you discover that (almost) all the patter has been incredibly friendly all along.

All those angry noises were actually kind words: Who knew? And even that guy who called you a fanny meant it in a nice way.

23. You realise that Scotland is actually your spiritual home, just in time to leave and go back to England again.

So sad :(

24. But hey: Look on the bright side. At least you can have normal pizza again.

Not a single bit of batter in sight. As it should be. 🍕

Thanks to Emma Palmer, Claire Rackley, Nick Tann, Mary Robbs, and Kris Wood for additional suggestions.