I realized that I never made an "observation" post about Scotland, so I decided to do that. I have to say I'm a little biased about this country because I love it so much on its own. It's one of my favorite countries in Europe.
Scotland is definitely more relaxed in terms of race relations, especially compared to Ireland. I got more curiosity in Scotland, as opposed to neutrality or hatred. The landscape is stunning and there's a rich history to the country, which makes it seem rustic. There is also a modern feel to the big cities, which makes it seem cosmopolitan. This isn't to say that Scotland is a utopia because it definitely is not. Like many European countries, there has been a rise in Nazism and violence against minorities. But, honestly, as minorities we have to be careful wherever we go in the world, even our hometowns.
I found Scottish men to be quite interesting. The ones I talked to had interesting stories to tell. Of course, they could be lying, but either way, I had a good time listening to them. They seem to be more direct and forward then men from other nationalities. The ones I met didn't have a problem telling me about their opinions about anything and everything. This was a refreshing change of pace, especially from Englishmen who have a reputation for being secretive or repressive.
Scottish food is unlike any other. How anyone lives past the age of 30 is beyond me. So much oil, so much fat, and so much everything in haggis, clapshots, etc. I had to work hard to find healthy food. I can say that if you crave fast food, you will not be disappointed. Pizza, fried chicken, hamburgers and french fries, and anything else you want is probably located within a 5 mile radius.
The Scottish Highlands are something that should be seen at least once in your lifetime. I can't even begin to describe the beautiful views. There is something healing about standing alone in a beautiful field in a foreign country and just feeling the wind.
There's nothing like it.