I’m sitting in my new place. New country. New city. New people. I have exactly the same feeling I had nearly 15 years ago when my parents dropped me off at university (well, maybe not exactly). Yesterday morning, I kissed Andrea good-by to go away for a year of study. It was cold and rainy when I arrived in Glasgow. I’m excited about the program I will enter; but, at the same time, this will mean some sacrifices. Last night, the first night here, I was sort of sad. Excited but alone again. It better be worth it (and I mean that literally, everything here seems about four times more expensive than in the Czech Republic).
I did not learn very much Czech in my time there; coming to Scotland sounds, at first blush, like a relatively easy move when it comes to language. After all, English is spoken here. But, when I walked out of the airport yesterday, I needed to find the taxi I had booked to bring me into the city. I stopped an official airport looking fellow and asked where the taxi stop is. I literally did not understand one word he said! I’m not entirely sure how that is possible. Thankfully he did gesture in a direction and I found the location.
My taxi driver was this jovial guy who gave me a general overview of the traffic situation and some points about the city on the way in. However, I had to listen very keenly to make much headway through is accent eithe. E sounded lik e were speakin ethout everal diptongs e ave en moost Anglish spech. Ploos, air winder wos dawn e ole wae ain thee nois from de wind russian bie mae ait terrabil diffcult tae hear eich oother.
I will just have to get my ears in tune; most of the people I spoke with when I was here before were much more intelligible. (And, I have to wonder, it may be difficult for people to make their way through my accent. So I’m not complaining.)
The flat I’m in seems great; it’s in what used to be a fire brigade compound. There is a big inner courtyard with a community patio and we are in a relatively quiet neighbourhood. This will be good as I have a feeling I will spend most of my time this year sitting here reading.