Reflecting on my time in Scotland

I’ve had few bad experiences here in Scotland and the bad experiences I’ve had have been fairly minor in comparison to what I’ve been through in England and the United States.  While I’ve been struggling with loneliness and envy of others as I would do anywhere, I’ve seldom felt ‘threatened’ or unsafe in any Scottish town or city.

I’ve been here in Perth for just over 2 weeks now and nothing bad has happened yet, apart from the guy a the bike repair shop commenting that my bike was too small for me.  This is a very small city and after my 6 months of hell in Grantham, I’m now very wary of small towns and cities in general, so I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived in Perth.  But people have been generally oblivious to me, despite how fucking ugly I am.  Teenagers don’t tend to congregate here much and I don’t see or hear that many kids from where I’m staying.

People here have held the door for me and one lady even helped me in with my bike as I was entering my apartment building, even though she doesn’t live here.  And yesterday morning, I was struggling to adjust the seat on my bike, then a man who lives in this building who introduced himself as ‘Peter’ brought out his set of tools and adjusted it for me, because he could see that I was struggling.  He startled me at first and I didn’t know howto react, but I truly appreciated his random kindness.

Grantham isn’t that much smaller than Perth, but in the 6 months that I lived here, no one was ‘kind’ to me in that way  In fact, one of my neighbours clearly hated me so much that she slammed the door shut every time I had to pass the entrance to her flat to go out.  No one in Grantham came to my aid when I fell off my bike and I got so tired of the horrible stares that people would give me that I seldom went into town, unless I absolutely had to and it was early enough in the morning.

Having been to almost every major town and city in Scotland (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Perth, Stirling and Inverness, I would say that I feel considerably safer here than I did in most English towns and cities. Glasgow itself has a reputation for being rough, but I felt far more unsafe in Newcastle, which is the nearest English ‘big city’ to the Scottish border.

I’m actually worried about having to go back to England at the end of the month to live with K, my ex.   She lives in Runcorn, where she’s already  mentioned that there are a lot of Leave voters there.  Last time I was there, I had a few scary experiences and one very scary experiences on a train from Liverpool to Runcorn, filled with football supporters.  Brexit has made me fearful of England and ashamed to be English.  England is also ridiculously overcrowded and has had a problem with teenage violence long before I was a teenager myself.

I hope that Scotland achieves independence from the United Kingdom and joins the European Union as a progressive, tolerant nation.  I’m sure that it won’t be easy to achieve or easy post-independence,, but I say it’s worth it, being as I don’t think English nationalism is going away any time soon.  In fact, it will probably get much worse post-Brexit and I don’t want to be in England when that happens, because no minority group will be safe.

I’m too fucked up and too far gone to make a life for myself here without help, but I’m sure that many English Remain voters will want to consider moving to Scotland to help Scotland achieve independence from a broken union that has failed people in both Scotland and England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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