Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's raining outside and I can't go out to play...

I am worried that I will never truly assimilate to life in Scotland if I don't learn to love Irn Bru. It's all anyone here drinks (other than booze).

Imagine super sugary children's Delsym. Sickly sweet and yet somehow mediciney. Add carbonation, and you've got Irn Bru. This is not your mother's orange soda. This is disgusting. It's such a big thing in Glasgow, and both times I've had it (in regular and diet), it's made me want to vomit. I tried it again today, when sitting in the cafe in the John McIntyre Building, and still. I had to choke the stuff down. I so badly want to be like the Scottish girls, all so effortlessly swilling down their Irn Bru and keeping their hair straight in the rain and their pant hems dry in the rain and their whole lives dry in the rain, but it's one cultural barrier I don't think I can break.

Some things are better on this side of the ocean. Some things are not. Soft drinks are one of them.

An old woman in the Boots on Byres Road approached me today, and had taken a box of baby wipes off of a counter where they were being displayed on sale. And she pulled me aside and handed me the brick of baby wipes, and asked me, "Is this bread?"

I realized she had some vision issues (bread ≠ baby wipes, in any country), and quickly told her they were wipes. She didn't get it. Whites? Right? What? She couldn't understand me. I tried using other words, after repeating "wipes" for the fifth time and her having no idea what I was saying. "They're cloths to wipe the baby when you change its nappy." She still didn't get it, and repeated again, "Is this bread?" And it was then that it dawned on me that she was old and a bit senile (which was sad). But I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't thankful that my language skills weren't the problem, and rather it was just her mental faculties. I feel so self conscious about how different I automatically am every time I open my mouth.

I am already excited because the extended forecast is calling for sun and a few clouds on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. However, if three days in Glasgow have taught me anything, it's that I shouldn't get my hopes up for the sun. I'll believe these three consecutive dry days when I see them.


At September 16, 2008 at 9:58 PM , Anonymous kathleen said...

i felt the exact same way in ireland... most times i would try to smile as much as possible so i didnt have to speak. love the blogging !

At September 17, 2008 at 3:45 PM , Blogger lah said...

Oh my gosh. Irn Bru! I was drinking this in a pub one night - Irn Bru & vodka, when my Aussie roommate decided that instead of ordering more drinks, we should just take them from the two older gentleman we had been talking to. So we did, and I drank... and didn't sleep the rest of the night between the shaking and the crying. Turns out Irn Bru & vodka tastes strangely similar to Red Bull & vodka when you're already 4 drinks in...

Don't sweat the Irn Bru. It's much more important that you like the Tennent's! ;)


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