The time has come for me to move on, from a place that has made me feel most welcome for the last few months. However, I cannae face going cold turkey, so I am moving to Edinburgh – Irn Bru’s just too hard to get hold of outside Scotland.
My time here has gone quickly, but I’ve got a few good memories of this place:
- When getting on/off the bus, most people say hello/good bye to the driver. One of my regular drivers was quite put out one day when I caught a different bus – “Where were you last night?” he demanded. “Just checking out the competition,” I told him “and I came back here didn’t I?” He came right after that. Last time he dropped me in town, we actually shook hands. Not exactly the sort of thing you do in other cities.
- The people I worked with at SOL were fantastic at making me feel welcome, and making sure I was enjoying my time in Scotland. I was extremely touched by the leaving do last week, and the gifts. I wonder how well my bottle of Buckfast will age? Probably not as well as the Glenfiddich. Not sure how I’m going to be able to wear the Scotland rugby jersey at the game next month though – perhaps if I wore an All Black’s jersey underneath?
Random comments on Dundee in general:
- Keep doing what you’re doing – the city is clearly in the process of re-inventing itself – I would say keep going down that path. Redevelop the waterfront area, keep supporting things like the DCA – and not just the bar part of it – and the Rep. Theatre
- I feel the city could do with another 10-20 thousand people. Some of the infrastructure would put much larger cities to shame. I’m amazed at the number of new bus shelters I’ve seen going up, all equipped with electronic timetable boards. It all seems to be happening relatively quickly, whereas back where I come from, that sort of thing takes years.
- Keep encouraging the universities – students are the lifeblood of a vibrant city.
- I just don’t understand the locals’ feelings about keeping their city clean – every day, walking to and from the city, I see guys working hard, picking up rubbish from the streets. Every morning, every afternoon. And yet there’s still rubbish around. There’s a huge number of rubbish bins around, perhaps people could try using them some time? People don’t want to put their rubbish in the bin, but they do seem prepared to pay for other people to pick it up
So, off to Edinburgh shortly for me, where I’ll be straight into another contract. I’ve enjoyed by time here, but on the other hand, I’m looking forward to a new challenge, and some new experiences.
One more thing, if anyone is thinking of visiting the City of Discovery, the local tourist board has put together a fantastic website promoting the city, well worth a look. “Gadgies” is a new term to me, but I can see myself using it a bit. Don’t underestimate the number of shell suits, teenage mums, and Burberry caps that you can see in one day here – it will amaze even the seasoned ned-spotter. Possibly that’s a result of living in Hilltown, but still, it’s amazing.