Saturday, September 6, 2008

Even in Scotland...

I recently travelled to Glasgow, Scotland to visit my husband, whose submarine had pulled into Faslane for a short visit. I was excited about the idea of purchasing things made in Scotland. I don't know why I was surprised, but just about everything I came across in Scotland was made somewhere else, just like it is here in the States. Also, Scotland is VERY expensive.

It is a beautiful country, the land of my heritage. I had ideals in my head about what it would be like, so I found it very disappointing to see "Made in China" just about everywhere we went. I did find some yarn made of Scottish Wool. It was very pricey, but beautiful and worth it. I bought some local fudge, and of course some whiskey. I found a fantastic pair of sneakers - organic cotton, ecologically harvested rubber, and ethical employment of factory workers. I was so excited! I couldn't afford much else, since just like here, things that were made in country were much more expensive than their foreign made counterparts. The dollar was weak as well, so every purchase took a toll on my bank account.

In my small world, this was a good thing, because it forced me to shift my focus away from shopping, and towards the people, the experience, and of course most importantly, my husband!

I was excited to find that I could live a little greener while I was there. Our hotel room didn't have Air Conditioning or a fan, and public transportation was so convenient that taking a taxi or renting a car seemed absurd. Many of the stores and restaurants weren't running the AC. In fact, about the only unfriendly exchanges we had were when we inquired about it. It was obvious that the idea of running the AC in that weather was considered frivolous and unnecessary. Those conversations aside, Glaswegians as a whole were the friendliest people I've ever met.

While drinking at our favorite pub near the hotel, we found ourselves watching a golf tournament taking place in Michigan. Evidently had begun to snow in the middle of August. This turned the conversation to the fact that Americans only have themselves to blame for the epidemic of global warming. It was interesting and enlightening to hear how the locals viewed us in terms of climate change. I certainly didn't argue.

As happy as I was to get back home (I love sunshine), I realized how envious I was of how much easier it is to live green in Scotland.

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