stereotypes

The wind whistles through the streets. The sky, which was previously covered, has now contracted to a dark gray. And I already think I have felt the first raindrops on my skin. Indeed. It is not imagination. At first only very lightly, the drops increase rapidly to a solid rain. That is normal. Something like that goes from one minute to the next in this area. As if the weather god wanted to confirm a cliché here: This is Scotland, because it just likes to rain, much and hard. An assumption that many people are subject to. It rains less in Scotland than in Rome. In any case, in the annual mean of the precipitation values. In Rome, it does not rain so often, but before all the stronger. The Scottish rain, on the other hand, is rather gentle. Here in the Highlands, you can enjoy it,

I too have already adapted to this attitude to life since I moved here from Germany six years ago. At that time I was dismissed by my friends, neighbors and acquaintances in the northern part of the United Kingdom, shaking my head, ‘How can anyone do anything to move to Scotland?’ ‘He’s back here quicker than he thinks himself’, they did not trust me to gain a foothold in Scotland or even become at home here. And now I have been here for so long. Six years. And I do not want to go away anymore.

Even the greatest badness of the British I meet with a smile. Do you know typical British sinks? Yes? Then you should be aware that the faucets always reach into the basin only a very small amount. They are so short. Of course, they are not pivotable from left to right either. People who just want to quickly wash their hair on such a sink, should therefore be either articulated as the snake woman in the circus, or have a two-millimeter rasp hairstyle. Everyone else should not even consider the possibility of “washing his head” just like that.

Now I do not perform in the circus, nor do I have a shaven skull. My hairstyle is more like a kind of late 68th vintage. If you know, what I mean. With my long hair, my beard and my strong stature, I am for many Germans, the holiday here, rather the symbol of the typical Highlander. As if all Highlander were like that. There are also small, rather slender representatives of this species. But that’s the way it is. Scotland is a land of clichés. At least from the perspective of the neutral continental European. But to give the tourists a motive for their digicams, I actually stand in the kilt, put a bagpipe under my arm and play “Scotland The Brave” and “Amazing Grace”. What do you think, how many emails I have received from Germany from travelers, who photographed me in the Highlands with a plaid, a bagpipe and best of all a whiskey in my hand and then sent me one or two pictures via electronic mail? If I were to print and collect all, I would certainly have a folder as thick as the Glasgower phone book full.

The Scots are cranky and closed. They do not talk much, they look rather contemptuous and they are happy when they have their rest. Also a cliché. And they are not like that, the Scots. They are sociable, musical and humorous. I can sing a song of it. When I lived here for only a month, my neighbor took me to a Ceilidh. They meet in the village hall on Saturday evening, chatting, drinking, singing and dancing until the rind rumbles. Actually, that’s not for me, I’m by nature rather reserved, wait-and-see. But suddenly I find myself hooting in the middle of all the Highlanders, jumping and pelt after another falling down. “Aye, you can sing,” my neighbor reproaches me, on the pretext of being rather unmusical, trying to make clear that a Ceilidh is definitely not the right way to spend my free time. But Angus, my neighbor, just pats me on the back, gives me a single malt and pulls me the next moment with him in the middle of the room to me like a trophy, which he shot somewhere to present the village people. Whether I want it or not, now I am one of them. I am one of you. And to keep it that way, I have to do all the things that they do. So drink, burp, fart and not bothered by short taps. Because that would be a real Scot to take as an insult to his country opposite. pouring me a single malt and pulls me in the next moment with him in the center of the hall to me like a trophy, which he shot somewhere to present the village people. Whether I want it or not, now I am one of them. I am one of you. And to keep it that way, I have to do all the things that they do. So drink, burp, fart and not bothered by short taps. Because that would be a real Scot to take as an insult to his country opposite. pouring me a single malt and pulls me in the next moment with him in the center of the hall to me like a trophy, which he shot somewhere to present the village people. Whether I want it or not, now I am one of them. I am one of you. And to keep it that way, I have to do all the things that they do. So drink, burp, fart and not bothered by short taps. Because that would be a real Scot to take as an insult to his country opposite.

So it comes about that I myself, who otherwise dismisses stereotypes with a smile, has become an integral part of the cliché about Scotland. I have become flesh proof, so to speak, that Scotland is exactly what the people of Central Europe imagine. But am I unhappy about that? No, in return I may finally live here. In this land full of clichés that no one can better confirm than I.

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