“What does chuffed mean?”
The train wasn’t loud, and yet I was sure I had misheard. How could somebody so closely related to me not know of my most frequently used word? He said it sounded like a negative, like what you would say if somebody stole your mug from work. “I’m so chuffed at Alex right now” he said in example, his American accent unfamiliar with the word.
But I had to cut him some slack – it was one of his first times in Scotland, after all.
I’ve always known I had cousins living in some far distant land; the land of Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and orange tyrants who rule with red ties. I had pulled faces at them over Skype when I was younger, and listened in on my parents’ phone calls with my aunt about cheer-leading and soccer.
They would always end in true Scottish fashion: “Tell Sean and Caitlin I was asking for them”. But who where they?
I finally found out at the end of July, when Sean and my Aunt Terry came over for a week-long visit. And of course, it was up to me to play host.
Food: (Not so) Glaswegian Cuisine
Sean asked me to take him to my most favourite Glaswegian restaurant. He wanted to immerse himself in the epitome of Scottish culture – I took him for sushi. I’m sorry, okay? The new Yo!Sushi was in the city, and I just couldn’t resist.
Apparently Texas isn’t home to conveyor-belt-sushi-transporters (that’s the right term, yeah?). So Sean’s face when his food literally appeared in front of him was amazing.
Although food is always my favourite aspect of any trip, the day did not end there.
Fun: Being tourists
I got to use my new Olympus Pen E-PL8 (which literally arrived the morning of our Glasgow adventure), and so we just had to divulge in the ultra-Glasgow-tourism-experience.
Sean looked incredibly disheartened when I revealed that no, I did not know the name of the statue in the middle of George Square, and elected to only call him “Mr G. Square”. Same with the Cone-head Statue – does that guy actually have a real name?
We were also on the hunt for some typically Scottish souvenirs, but found that most weren’t suitable for Texan friends. They wouldn’t get much opportunity to wear hats and knitted scarves in 40 degree heat, after all.
We also took a very short trip to the National Gallery of Modern Art – I say short because we decided to go 15 minutes before they shut their doors. For me, it was as boring as ever, but it was at least something we could tick off our list.
Stirling: The Wallace Monument
We ventured outside of Glasgow the next day, and took to Stirling for the typical “I climbed the Wallace Monument” Facebook check in.
In all honesty, it’s been years since I clambered up the winding steps. In fact, it’s been years since I done any proper exercise at all. So it shouldn’t have come as a massive shock when I almost threw up when we reached the first alcove.
I’ve never been too overly fond of enclosed spaces, especially when a mother, her three children and 50 million cousins are traipsing down past me while I’m trying to ascend. But nonetheless, we made it, and I feel like my legs are still trying to recover.
So yeah. A Texan in Glasgow. I finally got to meet a cousin I had only ever heard about over the phone, and get to know an amazing Aunt who is just as crazy as I am.
It’s made me create new goals for myself – to travel to Texas and start talking to family more.
Do you get on with your cousins? What would you have us do the next time the Texans visit?