Of course, he continued to ignore me and would not meet my gaze.
I honestly believe that he wouldn't have tried to pull that shit on me if I were a man, leaving me to believe that he was a misogynistic, Southern English asshole. Sure, I may be quick to judge him but seriously, if I wasn't some blonde North American and rather, a Glaswegian dude, there is NO way he would have tried to jump the queue.
In a country where people line up at a bus stop, people will not tolerate line-jumpers, especially angry Glaswegians who are only looking for an excuse to beat the shit out of you as it is. I guess I've assimilated more than I realise because I felt like smacking him upside his smug face.
Speaking of assimilation, a couple weeks ago, my step-father emailed me a story about a Scottish woman who moved to Toronto:
Scottish friends mocked me for sounding Canadian, while Canadians still treated me like a foreigner. I was in cultural limbo, drifting between traditions and dialects, neither completely one thing nor the other. At the same time, I was an invisible immigrant: a member of the visible majority to whom no resettlement services are offered. Although I obviously enjoyed many advantages to help me settle in, I was experiencing genuine culture shock. I looked the part, but under the surface I was a mass of insecurity and unhappiness, terrified of unwitting social, or worse, work-related faux pas.
Jesus, you're lucky to get three weeks holiday in Canada. It's usually only two weeks. Nevertheless, I had a similar experience when I first moved to Scotland. Why do stores close so early and rarely stay open late? Why is paper a different size here (A4 rather than 8 x 11")? Why can't I open a bank account? What the hell am I going to do with 5 weeks holiday?!
And again, this weekend, The Globe and Mail featured an article about a Canadian couple who moved to England:
Why did we up sticks and leave our home, jobs, friends and family, all of which we loved dearly? To have the experience of living in another country. To take up an exciting career opportunity. To be closer to France (among other countries). To shake things up. To leave our comfort zones. To drive on the other side of the road.
From then on, I'd face that question in just about every conversation with someone for the first time. It was the common thread in small talk with co-workers, neighbours, estate agents, farmers at the local market, pub landlords and bed-and-breakfast hosts.
I'm often asked the same thing, why did I move from beautiful Canada to gloomy and grey Glasgow? I answer honestly and say because I love this city; the people; this country.