I ate a full portion of vegetarian haggis. I asked the pub proprietor if I could now proclaim I ate haggis in Scotland and he replied, "Well ... not lawfully."
How was the weather?
They say in Scotland, you can experience all four seasons in one day. I would ammend that. You can experience all four seasons in one hour. It starts out sunny, then all of a sudden it's snowing, then hailing, then it's a torrential downpour and a 40 mph gust of wind blows your egg mayo sandwich right out of your frozen damp fingers. Luckily, the sun will come out soon enough and you'll forget everything except the sparkling heather moor and moss blanketed mountains.
Was the hiking difficult?
I broke my hiking boots and had to duct tape them together. So pretty much so, yeah.
Do you think you lost weight after all that vertical climbing?
Not a chance. Scottish cream porridge + poached eggs + smoked kippers + toast for breakfast. Three course dinners including whole fishes, and toffee puddings and tarts and crispies. Also whisky. In generous quantities.
Did you experience any culture shock in Scotland?
Aside from bighearted, well-intentioned and largely ineffective attempts at process management which gave me the full-on squints, I did have one big problem. Everytime I saw a building for lease with a big "TO LET" sign, I read "TOILET." Then all of a sudden I would need a pee break, or in the terminology of our Highlander guide, a "Comfort stop."
What did you love most?
The land brings out your inner rowan tree. It's a place that demands deep roots and aches with history. It reminded me how ephemeral life is. My life is.
Could you understand the people brogue-talking?
The Highlanders are well-behaved and well-enunciated when speaking with outlanders, but it was tough to eavesdrop with much success. Trust me, I tried. I wanted to know what these mysterious and kind of awesome sheep-rustling plaid-lovers were up to.
How was the plane travel?
On the way home I sat next to a macho gazpacho golfer HVAC bro-type who spent the entire flight reading a book entitled "True Love: How to Awaken the Heart." I, therefore, spent the entire flight covertly reading the notes he scribbled in his little notebook which he hastily covered up when yelling over the seats at his bro-companions in other aisles of the plane.
My favorite notations were the "5 Pillars of Sustaining Love" bullet-point checklist, and "***She must be trustworthy."
What did you miss most about America?