I've been meaning to tell you all about a few things we find to be different/quirky here:
Trolleys (grocery carts) do not go straight when you push them. They go sideways. Maybe the Scots fell like they are going straight because of the beverages they've consumed? Anyway, it's very difficult to push a trolley full of groceries with a wiggling child inside. I do think this gets easier over time because everyone else does not seem to be having a hard time like me! I've hit a few people as well. Yikes!
Dry Cleaning - next time you go into your local dry cleaners, please give them a big smile and thank you! It is soooooo expensive to dry clean your clothes here. It's 5 pounds ($10) an item. Of course part of that goes along with the weak dollar and that everything is much more expensive here but we've noticed this to be especially true. You also have to wash your shirts before you go so they will iron them. Needless to say, I've purchased an iron and am learning which items really have to be dry cleaned and which ones can be washed on the wool cycle.
Driving - My brother Todd asked me recently how we were getting along with the driving rules here. Well, we've gotten quite used to it; so much that we both have already received a ticket! There are speed cameras everywhere and they constantly shoot ya. On one particular part of a major road, the speed limit is 30 kilometers which is pretty slow for 6 lanes of road. It' s one the way to the hardware store and we've gotten 2 little notices in the mail to say we were busted! Darn it. They have a point system here and each ticket is 3 points and you are only allowed 10 points and then they take away your license. We've slowed down.
Bookings - if you want to have dinner out, it is almost mandatory that you have a booking (reservation) to get a table. We went to a restaurant on Wednesday, walked in off the street without a booking, the restaurant was half empty, but they wouldn't let us have a table because they were fully booked. They could give us a table in 30 minutes which of course is the same as waiting at a restaurant in Dallas but to see all of these empty tables and be turned away is new to us! We walked next door to see about that restaurant and they couldn't seat us for the rest of the evening. We're learning to book in advance. I think people here must be good about keeping their bookings because the system is working for these restaurants.
Credit - as we have had to re-establish our credit in our new homeland and we are learning as we go. One of the things we learned that quite surprised us; if you are renting and you have no credit history, your new credit is tied to the previous renters at your address! Can you believe? Thankfully there was a reputable family that lived in our house prior to our arrival. This really surprised us.
Anyway, these are just a few observations about things that are different here in Scotland! Have a great day!