Not as flightless as it’s perceived. In 2003
I flew across the earth to make my nest in the UK. After much travel I finally settled in Glasgow,
the heart of Scotland. Here though, I am referred to as a Kiwi Burd!
The native tongue can be quite
confusing, and that’s not just trying to understand the accent. A "piece” is a sandwich, "messages” are
groceries, "close” means humid, "druth” means thirsty and "greeting” means
crying not a form of hello, and although now and then I consider myself to be a
master of conversation I will find myself breaking into kiwi slang and
offending someone!! Or completely mixing
up words, lollies are sweeties, ice blocks are iced lollies, piklets are pancakes,
Pancakes are crumpets, Crumpets are crumpets???
With a lot of confusion and banter (comedic chat) we get there in the
end. I just have to keep practising my
Then we have the city. Bustling,
but at the same time, calmly beautiful.
The average Glaswegian has no idea that when they are head down marching
along the streets, there is a beauty flowing above them. Tributes to bygone heritages, carved figures
that seem to be dancing along the tops of the buildings, intricate and delicate
artwork carved right into the stone. A
credit to the magnificence that mankind have built. The history here made me realise just how
young New Zealand
is. Along with, William Wallace, Robbie (Rabbie)
Burns, Haggis, Bag pipes and all the things we associate with Scotland.
I do find that being from New
Zealand is something of a novelty, as it is
the most sought after destination for the average Scotsman. Everyone here has a
cousin, aunty, uncle or friend living in New
Perhaps our close heritage has
something to do with that. I remember
learning folk dancing at primary school which I now know is practised at a Ceilidh
(pronounced kaylee, a dance with a band).
Most commonly chosen for 21st birthdays, wedding anniversary’s
etc and although New Zealand
has its pipe bands, Wellie (gumboot) throwing days and we celebrate Burns
nights it doesn’t quite seem the same until you’re here. Watching the movie "Braveheart” here has
quite a different meaning.
Recently my 78 yr old father came
to visit, to see where his father was born and to meet his only relatives for
the first time in his life. What an
emotional moment, as was the Edinburgh
tattoo we saw live for the first time.
Throughout my childhood, year after year, he would sit me down and make
me watch it on the telly. It was as
emotional as it was a high.
So I have my Scottish relatives,
my cosy flat and my kiwi accent and I doubt that anytime soon I wont be offered
Kiwis (kiwifruit) for the last time. Some
NED, (small time hoodlum, None Educated Delinquent) will shout "alright Mrs” and I will have to tell my
story over and over and over as to why I am here instead of Tropical New
Zealand. I miss not having a back door, grass under my feet and fresh fush
and chups, but I love my Scottish heritage and the fact that tomorrow, I can be having a coffee in Paris!