Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design

10/10/2014

Scottish Charm

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

I never understood how appealing a Scottish burr could be until I stood within earshot of it at Edinburgh. Oh, of course, everyone's heard Sean Connery's Scottish timbre, but as in most things, this one is better in real life.

In Edinburgh, everyone had the loveliest of accents with a warm personality to match. My English professor from college was the first to warn me of the Scottish accent's appeal. He said, to paraphrase, the further north you go the accents and the personalities also get friendlier.

I didn't quite understand what it meant at first, but standing on the landing inside a bed and breakfast in Edinburgh, I got it. Here we were, my family and I, standing patiently as the B&B proprietor patiently explained how to get into and out of our rooms, where the best places to eat nearby are, and what can be worthwhile things to see.

Our proprietor can always be depended on for good advice. He thoroughly explained matters and then some. 
None of it felt forced or fake unlike some hotel service you may get. Instead, his manner made it seem like we were some kind of family staying for a few days and it was his job to make sure we had a good time. Perhaps it was the decor in his B&B. Even from the B&B part of the room, I could see photos of him and his family dancing, celebrating and doing the things all families do.

Scotland's great first impression just kept getting validated. Everywhere, people were genuinely smiling, ready to share a quip or two. At restaurants, we get a smile along with our main course. At Cadenhead, the oldest scotch shop in Edinburgh, the owner still spared some time to help my sister pick out a good scotch despite hurrying to do an errand.

We never did get a drink in this pub, but he was nice enough to still smile when he told us their kitchen was closed for the night.
Cadenhead's proprietor picking out a few scotch bottles.
Even when we were unhappily unable to make it to a tour we had already paid for, the company very graciously said that we could claim our tour any time we ever come back to Edinburgh.

Perhaps it was the happy festivities of the Fringe Festival that did it, but I'd like to think that somehow the combination of verdant mountain, fresh air and proximity to the sea helped shape a fank and welcoming people such as the Scottish.

Some Edinburgh Fringe Festival zaniness. 
He's pretending to fly off Mary Poppins style.
Big Brother would like to remind you, you are being watched.


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