Holiday Shorts: Scotland? Where’s that?

Girl to me at the horse-riding-on-the-beach experience in Florida: So, where are you all from?

Me: Scotland

Her: Wow! How long of a drive is that?!

I felt really bad having to explain that it’s actually on a whole other continent and you can’t drive from it to Florida. I really wish you could, though.

We’ve also had, “Is that in Canada?” and “Is that in Texas?” Ah, the fun of living in one of the more obscure corners of the world! (I should add here that I don’t expect many Scottish people would be able to point out various American places on a map either, so I don’t think it’s an “American” thing, particularly, just a consequence of living in a country not a lot of people know much about.)

Another fun fact about living in a small, obscure country: not many airlines actually fly here, which is why, for our planned winter holiday, we’re either going to have to a) fly to London first, thus making the trip much more expensive and lengthy or b) just go to the freaking Canary Islands again. Because everywhere else we’ve thought about going, it’s a case of “can’t get there from here.”  Or “can get there from here, but it’ll be freezing at that time of year.” Gah.

Needless to say, pretty much ALL I’ve thought about since we got back is “where can we go next?” Nope, STILL not over them blues…

29 Comments

  • Gemma says:

    On our recent trip to LA my friend Shirley refused point blank to explain that Scotland is near England…

  • Alex says:

    It's not just Scotland.

    When I told a lady on a 2004 trip to Disney World that I came from London, she said "is that where Eurodisney is?". So I understood why it became Disneyland Paris.

    Again, I don't think it's just an American thing and she was so sweet and interested I felt sort of rotten explaining it was a whole other country but I find Disney tourists (perhaps obviously) are some of the nicest and friendliest in the world. She obligingly squirted me with water when I overheated, so all's well, etc…
    .-= Alex´s last blog ..Conferences: Institute of Fundraising South West and Gorkana Sky News Briefing =-.

  • Camilla says:

    Hee. But don't you have an accent that might give you away as not American?

    I start planning my next holiday before I even go on holiday but I think that's highly practical of me.
    .-= Camilla´s last blog ..Yawn =-.

    • Amber says:

      You would think that, wouldn't you? Apparently not, though, although I guess they do hear a LOT of different accents in Florida – they probably all start to merge into one another after a while! And the planning ahead is definitely practical – I do it too!

  • Sarah says:

    I went to Italy for a week on the first week of June. Its now the second week of July and I'm still not over the blues. If only there was some way to make money while being on holiday.

  • Kirsty says:

    I know what you mean Amber, I usually get people asking "Is that in England?" And the airline thing, so annoying. Whenever I'm looking for holidays I rarely even enter Edinburgh as a choice of airport as its unlikely they even fly from here. Many times I have shlepped down to Newcastle and Manchester for flights.

    • Amber says:

      We only really use Edinburgh for internal flights now – so annoying! I mean, it's our capital city, you'd think it would at least have a decent airport! The flight thing is really, really annoying me now. For our next holiday, which will be in winter, we really want something cheap, and not too long a flight (but warm), but while there are no end of great deals from England, there are hardly any flying from here, and by the time you add on the extra cost of flying to England, plus the extra travel time, that cheap, short-haul deal has suddenly become an expensive one with an entire days travel at either end. Gah.

  • Hayley says:

    Wow. I truly wasn't aware that there were people who didn't know where Scotland was and that it is, in fact, a completely different country. And that they didn't know their own country's accents well enough to know that yours was not one of them is shameful. Granted the US IS a large place, so lots of accents, but still…
    .-= Hayley´s last blog ..It's a Bittersweet Symphony…wait, no, just sweet right now. =-.

    • Amber says:

      I actually think the people who HAVEN'T heard of Scotland can be better than the ones who have heard of it and instantly start making comments about haggis and Braveheart, or want to know why we're not all wearing kilts. Those comments just make me cringe, whereas at least people who haven't heard of the place are normally interested in hearing something about it and don't have lots of stereotypes to overcome! (And it's not just Americans who trot out the stereotypes – I find the English can be the worst offenders!)

  • Krista says:

    Hey:)

    I've been reading your blog maybe for a year now – Thank you for all the entertainment, I've had some good laughs. Thought it might be time to surface from lurking mode….

    I'm surprised that people don't know where Scotland is – so happy though :D because noone ever knows where Finland is. In USA I heard comments like.. " Oh Inland, where from there?" "Greenland, that's exotic!" "It's somewhere near Minnesota, right?" "England – that's so cool!" One might think an accent could give some clue about a foreigner, but nope that didn't seem to give me away!and then there where questions about polarbears, do we have cars, computers etc. here…

    I have an idea for your next holiday. Go somewhere like Iceland or Northern Norway and then going back home to Scotland after the holiday is like going to Paradise;)

    sorry about my english, I haven't used the language (produced thoughts on my own in english) in years.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Amber says:

      Hey, thanks for commenting!

      I sometimes think the people who THINK they know something about your country can actually be worse than the people who admit they've no clue. We're forever being asked about haggis and kilts and stereotypical "Scottish" stuff – very embarrasing. But asking if you have cars and computers is just plain rude!

  • Hahaha. When I was in New York a few different people there, after I'd told I'm from Vancouver, asked where in Europe that was. And when in Dublin, they asked where in America that was. Thanks, mediocre grade school education!
    .-= Amanda Nicole´s last blog ..foreign fixes =-.

  • Kathleen says:

    I grew up in California and now live in Massachusetts, and one time I was talking to one of my friends back in Cali on the phone and telling her that it's my goal to visit all six New England states before I move back west. She was silent and was all, "What states are those (aside from Mass since you live there)?" She's not the only one of my friends who probably couldn't answer that question. We Americanos seem to have a poor sense of geography!

    • Amber says:

      I have a terrible sense of geography myself, so I can't really blame them! I don't know about America, but I think the teaching of geography has really changed here in the UK: my parents generation were taught where various places are on a map, but by the time it got to my generation they were just teaching us about continental shift, what the earth's crust is made of and stuff like that. Even then I thought it was a bit odd that I had no formal education about Where Stuff Is.

  • Sophie says:

    I live in NZ and when overseas, I am constantly asked whether I am Australian :/ Hope your get over your post-holiday blues, Amber!

    • Amber says:

      To be honest, I don't think I could tell the difference between those two accents either, I guess if you're not exposed to a particular accent very often it's harder to distinguish where it might be from!

      • Selina says:

        When I was in England I taught everyone who asked me where I was from the definitive way to tell the difference between a New Zealand and an Australian accent: get them to say "fish and chips". We New Zealanders say 'fush and chups', Australians say 'feesh and cheeps'.
        .-= Selina´s last blog ..Today's nail and also yesterday's nail =-.

  • Tracey says:

    Well, I'm Australian and have been accused of being British every time I've gone to the USA. Yes they are insular. It's not unreasonable to assume that they should at least know about other countries.

    p.s. Australia is a lovely place to visit :)
    .-= Tracey´s last blog ..The backyard renovation has begun! =-.

    • Amber says:

      I'm sure Australia is lovely, but it's as far away and as expensive to get to as a place can possibly be, AND you can't fly there from Scotland, so it's definitely not an option for us, I'm afraid!

  • Sarah says:

    Hi, I'm still wondering about your polka dot swimsuit and would really appreciate if you could tell me where it was from as I'd love to buy one. Thank you x

  • Daisy says:

    You can fly to Oz from Scotland if you go via Dubai – and lets gface it you'll have to stop somwhere even if you go from england!

    • Amber says:

      Yeah, but it still costs much more money than we could possibly afford and it still takes a really long time to get there, so it's still not somewhere we're even considering!

  • Sarah says:

    Is it a state secret…?!

  • SammiJ says:

    There is a Scotland in Ontario. (along with a London, Paris, Windsor, New Glasgow, and before the war the was a Berlin too).

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