Here’s a list of some of the surprises in Scotland.
I ordered chips (french fries) and they brought mayonnaise for me to dip them in.
Actually, a baked potato.
Bangers and Mash
Sausage and mashed potatoes…and very tasty!
Ask for the Bill
Several times we were sitting waiting for the bill after a meal. I assumed the service was slow, or perhaps the Scottish operate at a different speed. After eating dinner at one restaurant, the waitress came over and asked about the bill. She stopped mid-sentence as if she caught herself saying something she shouldn’t have and then apologized because she thought she may have been rushing us.
It was at that point we realized that the waitresses had been waiting for us to tell them we were ready for the bill. Apparently, in Scotland, it is considered rude to rush customers by placing the bill on the table.
I’ve had fish and chips in the past. I was surprised that in Scotland not only do you get fish and chips, they also come with peas. Every time I’ve had fish and chips, please are included…even when they aren’t listed on the menu.
Aspartame in Everything
So, in Scotland, they love their tea…hot. Finding Iced Tea has been a real challenge. The only thing I’ve been able to consistently is Arizona flavored tea. However, it all has Aspartame (or some other kind of artificial sweetener such as steviol glycosides) in it, which makes it taste like a diet drink even though it isn’t diet.
Then I discovered the UK government passed legislation regarding a sugar tax. So, drink manufacturers must cut the amount of sugar in their drinks by using artificial sweeteners. Even non-diet sodas have artificial sweeteners. I am not a fan.
Scotland doesn’t seem to use air conditioning in their homes.
Pedestrian Right of Way
Delora and I almost were hit by a car while crossing the street. In the US we would have had the right of way since we were walking straight and the car was turning right. In Scotland, up until January 2022, cars had the right of way and pedestrians had to pay attention. Even though the laws have been changed, not everyone seems to be following them yet. Since that episode, we’ve been extremely careful when crossing streets without traffic signals.
Over the past several years, I mostly drank unsweet tea. Several times a day, I would have some. It was a staple for me. As I indicated above, hot tea is a staple for Scotland. Iced tea, however, is not to be found. the only iced tea I’ve found is favored with artificial sweeteners because the UK government is concerned about obesity. I still don’t understand why they wouldn’t promote unsweetened iced tea. Seems like it could solve some problems.
Nobody Asked Me
One of the great aspects of traveling is being put in situations where you are forced out of your normal rhythms. Even with little things, being forced to change, try new things, and find new ways reminds me that life isn’t about me, what I want, or what I like. Experiencing a new place, like Scotland, makes me find new favorites. It also reminds me that adaptability is a good thing. We will see how adaptable I am as I continue my search for unsweetened tea.