Thursday, November 06, 2008

Coming Home

Yesterday I made my way through Paris to Charles de Gaulle Airport and got on a plane to Glasgow. A five day trip back home was certainly something I needed to do after six long months without having seen friends and family, without having had the opportunity to breath in the unpolluted, fresh Scottish air or talk in my mother tongue to strangers.

It's all very surreal to come back here. As the plane descended yesterday, rapidly approaching the tarmac of the runway at Glasgow Airport, I looked out of the tiny portahole window across the fields and fields of green grass to the hills against the backdrop of a dark, moody, violet sky. Looking at the stunning landscape there was no doubt that I was definitley home and I surprised myself when I realised I'd forgotten how beautiful this tiny country is. As we landed with a bump, I wiped away the rogue tears that had escaped my eyes and trickled down my cheeks.

Of course in true, typical Princesse Ecossaise style, I embarrassed myself at the luggage collection point when I took someone else's suitcase (one that strangely bared no resemblance whatsoever to my own suitcase) and began walking away with it, only to be stopped by two big, muscly security men. Pulling out my Ipod ear buds I heard a commotion behind me and turned to face an angry couple who had apparently been running after me and shouting 'Thief!' (Oh God...I'm still cringing.) The suitcase belonged to them. After having apologised profusely and fluttering my eyelashes at the security men to convince them it was an honest mistake, I was allowed to return to the luggage collection area, red faced, to wait for my own suitcase.

After I caused yet another scene in the arrivals lounge (I burst into what can only be described as hysterical tears of emotion when I saw my dad waiting for me with his arms open wide and his loving, familiar smile on his face) I came home to my parent's house and collapsed onto the sofa, the warmth and cosiness of the house soothing me.

There are several things I have really, really missed these past six months, besides people, and they are things that I would never have expected to miss. For example;

Carpet (French houses don't have carpets)
Cheddar cheese
Curtains (our apartment still doesn't have any)
Rectangle pillows (All the pillows in France are square. Or long and cylinder-ish, like a big squashy sausage. So wrong!)
Fresh air
Fish 'n' chips
Hairdressers who do what you ask
Coronation Street

If anyone knows where I can find any of these things in France, please do let me know, as I am only here until Monday and there's not enough space in my suitcase to take all of these things back with me - is it possible to fit twenty blocks of cheddar cheese and a hairdresser into one suitcase? I doubt it...

So yes, being here is surreal. I almost feel as though I have two different lives that are completely seperated. I've slotted so neatly back into my Scottish life that it's as though I have never been gone, and yet, I've missed so much - the fashion, the gossip, people...everything has changed since I left, even buildings have sprouted from nowhere!

But it's good to be back, very, very good. I have managed to cram a very busy schedule into the next few days, which began this morning with a visit to the hairdressers which will shortly be followed by a visit to a bridal shop with Zannie to see about bridesmaid's dresses, and ending with a dinner out at a restaurant with Zannie, our wee mums. Definitely a girl's day today!

So I best be off now as I've a bath to take before going to the bridal shop. I'm just hoping they won't measure me for a dress today as I'm huge from having eaten a burger, chips and salad with my hairdressers (they were so pleased to see me that they invited me out for lunch and wouldn't even let me pay! Now that is something I will never find in France! I love my Scottish hairdressers!).

Oh well, if it's a humiliating, cringey experience at the dress makers, at least it will make a good blog post!


T.D. Newton said...

If you pack the cheese and the hairdresser together, one will end up eating the other (though your guess on the outcome is as good as mine).

It's always interesting to return to where you "used to" live; I'm going to visit my parents this month and, even though I see them about once a year, it's always weird to see what buildings and roads were built since I was in Salt Lake City last.

Plus it's just fun to go to Wal*mart and look for the one attractive persion in the hundreds of hideous Utah nasties (sorry, I like to be superficial on vacation and not as poetically-deep), if there even is one... I don't except much from people at Wally World.

doow said...

Continental pillows are not my friends. Cheddar is my friend. As is carpet. In fact, lying on the carpet, head on my own pillow, eating Cheddar sounds pretty good about now.

Belle Ecrivaine said...

Oh my goodness how can you live without cheddar?? I'd have my parents expedite parcels of the stuff to me in order to survive.

I hope you have a lovely vacation back home!

Lesley said...

That fresh air thing - plenty of it in France, I promise you! And although my French hairdresser has never bought me a burger, she's given my kids presents and ALWAYS does exactly what I tell her. But I know what you mean!

Kimberly said...

I so relate about the pillows. We have a second home in Mexico, and every time we go there, I pack a GOOD pillow in a suitcase to leave there. All the pillows in Mexico seem to be stuffed with old clothes. Enjoy your short vacation!

Zhu said...

Six months, already? Wow! You are a true French now. Just be kind to English and Scottish. Don't pick on the food and please, please, don't mention history, football, or... history.

Tu ne te feras pas que des amis, sinon! :D

Teuchter said...

I can just see you being chased through the airport by a couple of irate Weegies!

Chinese pillows are not much cop either, being so flat as to barely raise ones head off the rock hard mattress. I suppose it all a case of what one's used to. Any decent pillows we found were around the £40 mark - even in Walmart and IKEA. Strangely, the Beijing branches of these places are just the same as in the rest of the world - and, yes, every other person queuing at the IKEA checkouts has a multipack of tealights in their shopping.

Enjoy the rest of your trip back to the hameland - and let Mither and Faither spoil you rotten.

Daisy said...

Oh no, now I'm homesick and I'm not even from Scotland! ( it is one of my favourite places on earth though). My suitcase is always bulging with teabags and mango chutney and curry paste when I come back to Pareee, and I would definitely like to fit my hairdresser in too! MI even resorted to cutting my own hair because I refuse to have it cut here! Bon voyage back again, and good luck with the cheddar!

Passementerie said...

Ahh... the search for cheddar cheese in Paris was unfruitful and I have been making up for it in style ever since coming to live in England. Now that I think of it though, I bet you could get cheddar at Le Bon Marche, although you'll pay an arm and a leg for it.

Glad you're doing well, sweetheart - sorry for not swinging by in so long!

Kim said...

AHHH Scotland! I really love that country... and the fact that british boy lives there... I know what you mean about hairdressers, I haven't been in a long time and I'm hanging out until I get home to get it cut... its driving me insane! The pillows, I managed to find normal ones in France, finding a pillow case was more difficult! Open spaces... come to the Auvernge, there are plenty open and beautiful places here. Have a great time at home and enjoy the carpet, oh how I miss lying on the carpet in front of the tv!

Princesse Ecossaise said...

TD In the end, I only managed the cheese. My hair will have to suffer, as well as my waistline! Haha I'd LOVE to go to Wal*mart, I always hear about it, it's in songs, movies, and apparently ugly, spotty people work there! Gotta be a laugh!

Doow That sounds pretty damn good to me too!

Belle Ecrivaine Believe you me, I have begged my parents so many times to expedite that cheese but they refuse to!

Lesley I understand that there is lots of fresh air in france, but where I am it's just polluted. I suppose I'm just new to all this, and the area, so good hairdressers need to be found (which even in Scotland can take a long time!)

Kimberly It's so odd, you would never think that different countries have different types of pillows - it's ridiculous!

Zhu yes, six months! And I won't mention the weather either :-p

Teuchter Haha that's crazy to think that there is an IKEA in China! Anyway it's a relief to know that it's not only me who has pillow hell!

Daisy awww sorry to make you homesick! I so get you on stuffing your suitcase full of homely food etc and defo defo with you on the hairdresser thing!

Passementerie darling! SO nice to see you here! I may be willing to pay an arm and a leg for the cheddar, so thanks for the advice!

Kim I stayed without touching up my roots for four months and ooooh my goddddd I felt like the ugliest woman on the planet! And yes, I brought a pair of normal pillows back and it's ridiculous, you can't find rectangle pillow cases anywhere. And trying to stuff the pillows into the wrong pillow cases is just exhausting!