Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Hope you all had a lovely Christmas.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Lately I've been feeling homesick; but it's ok, it happens a couple times a year and after living in Scotland for almost six years now, I'm used to it. Actually, it might just be general malaise rather than actual longing for Canada. I mean, damn, especially after waking up this morning to find that Canada has pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol. Forget the USA and the dark days of George W. Bush - Canada might just well be on its way to becoming the shameful nation that inhabits North America. No longer is it the country that I recognise or the best part of North America. What the hell, Canada?!

So, yes, perhaps it is just a case of the Single-During-the-Holidays-Sads rather than actual homesickness itself. Although, I do love the snow and seeing as it's been raining since Friday over here, I'm probably more than a little depressed for the snow and crisp winter sunshine.

Also? My lovely friend, Lauren, performed in an orchestra (she plays violin) on Sunday night at City Halls and my motley crew of friends and I went along to support her. They even performed a beautiful rendition of The Pogues, Fairytale of New York. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I even got a little choked up at one point (I think it was during Bach...)

Now, before moving along to the photographs, I have one question for my fellow weegies. One that has alluded me for years....

1. Where is an awesome place to go dancing in Glasgow? N.B. Not skanky clubs but actual somewhat-cool joints that play wicked music so you can properly shake yo' ass.

Suggestions in the comments!

Can you spot Lauren? See the bottom of this post for additional video!

You guys? We need to talk about Aldi. Yes, you know? The German discount grocery store. I am seriously in love with it- not to mention a little addicted. Remember when I was a Fresh off the Boat Immigrant and all about Tesco? HOW COME NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT ALDI!? It's even cheaper and better than Tesco. Sure, it doesn't have all the organic stuff that I love nor middle-class cooking ingredients like walnut oil but it does have DISCO BISCUITS! (Non-UK people: "disco biscuit" is slang for the drug of choice from the late 90s: Ecstasy). Hilarious, right?

Seriously though, Aldi is great. It's cheap but the quality of the food isn't. Besides, all my fellow immigrants seem to shop there too and we all give each other the look of approval. You know the one right? Kinda like, "yeah, we got this" one?

And what's a weekend without hockey? Not a very Canadian one, eh? Lauren and Erica (who are now fully-fledged puck bunnies) came along and we made a night of it. Beer, heckling, laughing and teddy-tossing (doin' it for the kids).

Later that night, Erica and I attempted to go dancing - we hit up Nice N Sleazy and Blackfriars but never ACTUALLY danced. Nice N Sleazy seemed to play "bleepy bloopy" music that tried SO hard to be obscure. I don't mind bleepy bloopy obscure music but please don't play it for the sake of being obscure; we came to dance, not to sit in the corner and nod our heads along to the beat. And I'm not going to discredit my argument by saying, "I guess I'm just old" because: (a) I'm not (fuck you. 32 is not old) and (b) I'm super immature and usually like bleepy bloopy music.

Blackfriars just seemed to play sped-up disco tunes. Again, we wanted to dance; not be in awe of a DJ speeding up vinyl. Although, to be fair, DJs using old-school vinyl is nice.

So, are we eternally damned to dance in the basement of Oran Mor? Or, if in town, The Flying Duck? Suggestions? Thoughts? A telling off? Email me!

Back to the hockey....


And now? Behold! Lauren and the Merchant City Sinfonia, performing Handel.

Monday, December 05, 2011


Sometimes I underestimate just how much of a cultural difference there can be between Scottish people and Canadian folks. Or, at the very least, Torontonians (and maybe the rest of the world?) The problem is, such differences can be quite subtle and not necessarily apparent on the surface of things. Indeed, even after residing in Scotland for almost six years now, I still find there are collective cultural experiences that many Glasgwegians refer to (for example, the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival), that I have never heard of. Nor fully appreciate the significance of.

On numerous occasions, I have had work colleagues and friends tell me how straight-forward and forthright I am. One of my fellow colleagues even admitted to being intimidated when she first met me. It was only after working together for a few months, that she realised I was just a bit odd and...well, Canadian? In fact, she recently went on holiday to Canada, and when she came back to Scotland, she said, "Jen. I totally get you now! And I get where you're from. Canadians are so damn honest, friendly and nosey!" Indeed, she couldn't believe how forward Canadian men were - asking her to her face, if she was single - gasp! I mean, can you imagine that happening in Scotland?! (No).

Side note: I am such a nosey bitch too. Whenever I go round to my friend, Claire's house, she always warns me not to go through her kitchen cupboards. It's such a bad habit. Not to mention weird. See? That's me being TOO DAMN HONEST. Whatever. I just wanna know what y'all are eating and if I can have some.

Then again, maybe it isn't entirely a Canadian thing? I remember in high school (back in Canada), one of my teachers asking me if I was of German heritage as I had a tendency to "march" up to him, state my intentions ("I will be late to your class tomorrow and I hated our homework assignment!") and marching away again. So, maybe it's just me?

Speaking of German, I am in the midst of learning it. Or trying to, anyway. (ICH LIEBE DEUTSCH!) And it is hard y'all. Anyone who is fluent in another language besides their mother tongue? Much. Damn. Respect.

The British love nothing more than sitting down at the pub for a good banter and pint. Brits and Scots also love word play, wit and puns. And after six years of living here, I've learned that they also love panel shows comprised of comedians, participating in meaningless games for points that don't really matter. Take, for example, the very popular BBC panel show, QI. Personally, I don't really like panel shows because - and here is where our cultural differences comes in - I just get frustrated and think, "just shut up with your stupid witticisms and ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION!" When, really, it doesn't matter what the answer is - that's the point. It's a mere vehicle for said comedians to wax their comedic skills.

And maybe, that's what is at the heart of it all: British/ Scottish people want to talk about EVERYTHING BUT the issue to hand, and I just want to cut to the chase. Does that make me Canadian? Or just impatient when it comes to small talk?

In short: subtle cultural differences; my forthright Canadian-ism; and shy Scottish men do not make for a successful mix when dating. Actually, that sounds like I'm actively dating when, in reality, I'm not. You see, despite my straightforwardness, I am actually quite shy. And Scottish/ British men are notoriously shy. What's a brash North American bitch to do?

Go to hockey and drink beer with girlfriends, of course!

Best seats in the house!

Look! It snowed in Glasgow today! I love the snow and wintertime!

You know what I don't like? Glasgow City Council's inability to salt/grit cycle lanes. Each year I wake up after the first snow fall and each year I think, "maybe this will be the year that Glasgow City Council salts the bike lanes and I won't have to fear wiping out on my way to work!" I am an eternal optimist. WHEN WILL I LEARN?! Look at that!