Lessons and Observations from an Immigrant Volume # 1203
Life as an immigrant is all about the Three A's: adjusting, acceptance and assimilation. Being a Canadian, I've had it a bit easier than other immigrants as English is my first language and the Queen is still on our money (and Head of State in Canada). Nonetheless, I'm still perplexed by Scottish (British?) behaviour and customs.
For example, I'm still perplexed by flooding. How on earth is it STILL possible for trains to be delayed due to flooding? How are streets still capable of accumulating water and resembling a dirty marsh? It's not as if rain is entirely foreign to Scotland?! Scottish engineers have had since the Industrial Revolution to figure out appropriate drainage systems.
However, I've now adjusted and accepted to this aspect of life in Scotland and do not walk anywhere near amassed dirty water on flooded streets, as passing cars have been known to drive right through them, leaving a typhoon effect in their wake.
Another aspect of Scottish life that I've accepted, adjusted to and assimilated alongside? Text and email kisses. In all my working life back in Toronto, I don't think anyone ever signed off an email with a kiss ("x") nor did any of my friends - which many Scots seem to do. Initially I was perplexed ("Why is my colleague ending her emails with three kisses?") and would RARELY reciprocate. Perhaps it's because I'm an awkward and aloof Canadian averse to displays of affection.
In all honesty, it took me about three years in Scotland, before I would add a kiss at the end of work emails (YES, WORK).
Not to mention texts. Oh my god. They are mad for adding kisses at the end of texts.
Initially, I didn't mind adding kisses at the end of texts to girlfriends but to male friends? Forget it. Baby steps. It took me a while before I could add those to dudes. I mean, I didn't want to give the wrong impression (i.e. I didn't want to kiss them). Not to mention the whole other conundrum of dating (when do you add kisses to the end of texts, if at all? How soon is too soon?) I'm not the only one perplexed by kisses at the end of texts.
And as an immigrant, I've now fully adjusted, accepted, and assimilated. I am now KISSING mad!