Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A YEAR AND A LIFETIME

It's hard to believe that it has been exactly one year since i arrived in Glasgow, slightly sedated from my overnight flight from Toronto (and a Xanax). One year since i arrived in a country that i had not spent more than two weeks in for 7 years; one year since i naively stepped up to immigration and declared my intentions - only to be greeted with a grimace and forlorn grunts. It's hard to believe that in one year i relocated to another country with no job, no house, no security and only two suitcases stuffed to the seam with my worldly belongings - not to mention those that were left behind in Canada. It's a sad thing to admit that you miss your vinyl collection and pistachio-coloured Kitchen Aid mixer.

It took me a couple months to realise this but now i admit it freely: i am so glad that i took that step; transitioning from the safe world of Toronto to the unknown paths of Glasgow. i can't imagine what my life would have been like if i hadn't but i envision it being swathed in an overwhelming sense of anxiety, depression, and yearning. i feel as if a weight has been lifted and i'm elated that i no longer have to say i wish to move back here.

And what a long and strange journey it's been. If i had never gone to Queen's University (i shiver to think of it now), i would have never gone on exchange to Glasgow University. And if i had never gone to Glasgow, i would have no idea how amazing this place is. And i would never have met the friends that i did whilst "studying" on exchange - friends who helped and encouraged me to come back.

In the past year i have experienced so much: from eating in my new favourite restaurant whilst in close proximity to the lead singer of Franz Ferdinand (what's-his-name-Alex-Something) to getting into law school to exploring world class museums and dodgy flea markets (i.e. The Barras) to working at Scottish Television and the Opera. In the past year i've never felt more fiercely Canadian and have never felt so homesick for family and Toronto. In the past year i've never appreciated and loved my friends and family as much as i do now.

And if i had never moved back here and walked into the right bar at the right time, i might never have met Paul. Apart from the plethora of brilliant sweets and chocolates, meeting Paul has been one of the most amazing aspects of moving to Scotland. Of course, that amazement of meeting has worn off now (that was sarcasm, just in case you didn't realise it).

My alcohol consumption has increased and dental hygiene is all but a distant memory now. And so, Glasgow, i drink to you, you pasty-white old whore, you. Here's to another year of drunken misadventures, salty chips at 2am, sticky night club floors, reading the Guardian on Saturday mornings, lemon curd and milky tea, Tunnocks Tea Cakes, Diet Irn Bru for breakfast, Scots Porridge Oats, and Schemie boyfriends!

Here is the Bird that never flew
Here is the Tree that never grew
Here is the Bell that never rang
Here is the Fish that never swam

3 comments:

Katie said...

Here's to Glasgow! Except for the Irn-Bru bit - that stuff is foul. :)

Katie said...

Also, fill out this expat questionnaire if you get a chance - it's interesting to read people's responses:

5 things you love about your new country.
4 things you miss about your old country.
3 things that annoy you about your new country
2 things that surprise you about your new country
1 thing that you'd really miss if you had to leave your new country.

Cursed Tea said...

Hi
I like your blog. Katie @ longayelander linked you and I followed.
I am Scottish but living in New Orleans - I've been in the US for 7 years.
I'm glad you are enjoying Glasgea. I'm from the North East - but am quite fond of wedgie land - especially Mother India - by far the best Indian restuarant in the world.

I understand the homesickness thing - although I've found it gradually fades as concepts of home become more complex.
I had to spend a year in Scotland when my hubby and I got hitched and he had to come back to the US (how how I love US immigration!!!!). I then got over my homesickness pretty quick!!

I also got tagged by Katie with the questionairre thingy - so I'll be back to see if you follow her wishes....!!
Best Wishes
Kirsty