I make jokes all the time that you don't actually meet people from Edinburgh in Edinburgh, and with a bit of a stretch I could claim that the majority of my friends here in Scotland are from someplace else: Ireland, England, Australia, Canada... Very few actually Scottish people in my circle.
So meeting a very nice girl a few days ago who was actually from Scotland (Aberdeen, where the men where kilts and the sheep run in fear *grin*)was a lot of fun. Especially when she told me about her experiences in Canada.
"What drove me nuts," she said, "was when people would insist on telling me they were Scottish. 'Oh, you're Scottish? I'm Scottish too!' No, you're not. You're Canadian, and there's nothing wrong with that. I wouldn't mind be Canadian, except for the poutine. Do you all have to eat that?"
(I miss poutine -- it's french fries with cheese and gravy, except yummy.)
This ended up in a conversation about how I moved to Scotland to see boys in kilts (and they're mostly tourists, damn it!), and how people in Scotland feel when they see tourists in kilts. "It was great at first - you know, it's kinda sweet the way people want to do something Scottish when they're here."
"Yeah," said her boyfriend. "And we got money for it, when we sold them. Until they started making all the kilts in India. Now it's just annoying."
I get asked a lot when I'm here if I have Scottish ancestry. I just shrug and say, "Who knows? I'm Canadian." If I get pressed on it, I tell them we were Vandals, and we sacked Rome. I'm not terribly concerned about where my family came from, I'm more concerned about where we are right now. I don't really get the seemingly mystical connection people think they have with Scotland if their ancestors left this place behind. I mean, I get that it's interesting, but I don't really see how it's important in chosing where to go on vacation, or where to spend a year of your life.
In unrelated news, that job I worked myself out of last week? Called me back this week, and two days later, I am out of a job again. Turns out they expected me to be able to type between 10 and 15 reports a day. I type 26 to 28. They don't have enough work for me.
(I just gotta ask, though - how can you be from a country that makes deep fat fried mars bars, but fear poutine?)
(Oh, and for the person who asked, and didn't leave an email address for me to reply: Caledonia)