1. The Scottish sense of humor.
You’ll miss the ludicrously fast and downright hilarious black humor of Scotland. You’ll particularly feel the absence that one mate in your group who takes the lead with quick remarks, leaving the others, especially the English, wondering what the fuck just happened.
2. Political banter.
It’s more than likely pub banter will be dishwater in comparison to what you’re used to. You’ll long for those nights spent going to bat over Scottish independence, new laws, types of whisky and futbol. You’ll miss riling yourself up just enough to realise you’re getting uppity, then going right back to your pint as if nothing happened. You’ll also realise that you have a fondness that one politically charged member of your crew who takes things one step too far, who get’s more fired up when you remark, “stop getting your knickers in a twist son.” A form of banter in it’s self.
3. Proper seasons.
Spring is a sign of new life, summer lasts for three days, autumn is a spender of colours, and winter should look like this.
4. Free health care.
The Scottish NHS is brilliant and you’ll only realise how damn good you had it after you’ve moved overseas. Paying little to nothing for dental care, prescriptions, X-rays, surgery is not the norm outside of the UK. Gratitude for this service is not widely appreciated in Scotland, perhaps until you learn that people in South America take out a bank loan to pay for the birth of their child.
5. While we are at it, free education.
You will never complain about the Scottish education system again after living in societies where most parents are in debt before their kid leaves primary school. Obtaining an undergraduate degree for free is an anomaly.
6. The Scottish media.
7. Decent TV.
We have, hands down, the best TV in the world. This is solely due to the guaranteed revenue from taxes which makes the BBC less concerned about ratings and more focused on quality. All those years you spent complaining about paying for a TV licence will be forgotten in an instance when you sit through hours of trashy American commercials and a looping re-run of Seinfeld.
8. Tap water.
Scottish tap water; the crystal clear nectar of the gods. Only when you leave and have to fork out $4 for a bottle of water to stay hydrated do you really appreciate what you had.
9. Your postman.
Outside of Scotland the post office will require you to provide an address — in full. Your postie will no longer have your back or know your handwriting. “Mum and Dad’s house, In the woods, 30 miles from Earlston, Scottish Borders.” Doesn’t suffice elsewhere.
10. Archers of ancient forests.
Like this 9,000-year-old Caledonian forest fragment in Inverdruie, Aviemore.
Steak bake, cheese and onion bake, sausage roll, meat pie — £1.25 for one, £2.40 for two. You’ll always hold Greggs in high regard. You’ll miss hungover missions down the street with your two quid coin rushing to grab a bake before the school kids get out for lunch.
Although films like Trainspotting made us Scot’s look like a bunch of mental smackheads — you know that our nation is one of the friendliest and welcoming of countries. You’ll miss the bus waiting 10 minutes for the old granny to get a shoofty on and get seated (and tell the driver about her day), going to a pub without any mates and walking out with 10 new ones, good old-fashioned manners, banter with strangers and the general sense of humanity you get from your fellow Scots.
13. Live music.
You’ll look back to random nights in Edinburgh where a simple gathering turned into a full-blown music festival with fond memories. House parties are not the same outside Scotland — they are dull. It’s likely you’ll get a douche who’ll poorly strum ‘Save Tonight’ with his eyes closed, but you’ll never get a live music performance like you do at home. People don’t happen to carry a fiddle or an accordion around with them and houses don’t come equipped with a full drum kit.