Hi all, its only me again with the next part of my life saga. You may remember that in Part 14, I that I had just been taken to Bangkok Airport by my ex-partner Ian. As I had very little experience of being in an Airport he tried to explain to me where I should go and what would happen when I was inside. After he left me it all felt very strange and I felt very alone and confused.
I appeared to walk about for ages before I eventually managed to find the correct check-in desk and make my way through the airport security. Eventually I found the correct departure gate and boarded the flight for the first leg of my journey to Dubai. When on the plane and during the long journey, I remember sitting alone and wondering what my new life would be like, while worrying if I had made the right decision to go there. Travelling on a plane and especially being alone felt really strange and it gave me plenty of time to think and worry about what my new life had in store for me.
On route to Scotland, the plane stopped over in Dubai as usual and so everything was going OK until I was about to re-board the flight. Before I could get back on board the flight, I was taken aside by immigration officials who interrogated me as to why I was travelling alone, with only a small bag pack and just in possession of the clothes that I was wearing. I was terrified by this experience and of course again I had difficulty with the language but after a good deal of convincing, I was eventually allowed to re-board the flight with only minutes to spare……...
So much for a smooth start to my new life!
Eventually, I arrived in Glasgow and as it was December, and I was told to expect it to be cold, although I couldn’t really imagine what cold weather would feel like!
When I left Thailand it was a beautiful day with a clear sky and of course it was the same when we landed in Dubai. After leaving there as we travelled to the UK, the skies appeared to be getting darker and darker and I wondered what I was getting myself into! L On the final approach to Glasgow as the plane started to descend and it really looked as we were flying into a dark and sinister abyss. This was not what I had expected as I had seen photographs of the beautiful country with many mountains, lochs and forests.
On the 11th of December 2004, the day arrived when I was to place my feet on Scottish soil for the first time and despite the fact that it was around 11am in the morning, it looked really dark outside and not particularly welcoming. When we landed, of course arriving in Scotland for the first time and having travelled from Thailand, I was again interrogated by the immigration officials about the reason for my visit.
I remember being very frightened and as my English was still so poor I had difficulty in explaining that I was coming to live there and my husband would be waiting for me n the terminal. Eventually I was allowed to go through and when I entered the arrivals, Brendan was there waiting for me to take me to my new life and home in the Haugh of Urr in Dumfries and Galloway. Fortunately I recognised him this time!
As we were leaving the airport terminal, I remember stopping and sticking my hand outside the door first just to see what cold did feel like, I’m sure that of the other people that I was holding up behind me thought ‘what on earth is she doing???’
While travelling to my new home I was amazed at the differences between Thailand and Scotland and I don’t just mean the weather and temperature! For some reason, I imagined that Brendan lived in a city but when we arrived there I found that it was in a small village, similar in size to my home village in Thailand.
However that is where the similarities ended!
When we arrived at the house, he explained that it was traditional in Scotland for him to pick me up and carry me across the threshold into my new home. I thought that this was very romantic of him but I was really glad that I was small and fairly light to carry!
I met his family and friends and immediately found that everyone was friendly and they made me feel welcome. Although my English was very slowly improving, it was still quite poor and I found it very difficult to communicate with anyone properly.
In addition to meeting Brendan’s family, I met his two I met his two beautiful dogs called Rosie who was a Labrador and Rowan who was a Cocker Spaniel. In Thailand of course there were lots of dogs around the village but they tended to look after themselves. I soon learned that here in Scotland, dogs were treated very differently and they were very much part of the family, living in the house and were treated like royalty!
The difference between my mother's house and Brendan’s was amazing; we had lights in every room, a television, a phone and even proper toilets.... inside the house! J Despite being very cold outside, inside was lovely and warm with central heating and a fire.
As you can imagine the change from my previous life in Thailand to being a housewife in Scotland was a massive culture shift for me as everything was new to me. I was experiencing my first Scottish winter although I didn’t really know what winter was!
When living in my home village, of course we used a fire outside for cooking but here in Scotland the fire was inside the house with the open flames crackling and sparking. I remember being frightened that the house would catch fire too! . Then of course in the kitchen there were there were things like a cooker, a washing machine and even a fridge. Brendan showed me how to work everything but initially it was all too confusing for me, especially the washing machine.
We also had a tumble drier and I remember thinking why would anyone need one of these! Of course I was thinking about when we washed our clothes at home, we just hung them outside for a few minutes and they dried very quickly. I completely forgot that I was now living in a country where it was cold and often never stopped raining.
When I was introduced to anyone, they all appeared to be very friendly and welcoming although any communication with anyone was extremely difficult due to my lack of English and I did feel rather isolated being relatively alone being in a foreign country.
Having lived in the hot and humid Thailand, I was amazed at how crisp and clean the air was. The countryside looked wonderful and everything looked clean, tidy and well cared for.
I was in amazement just how different Scotland was to my native Thailand. Although Brendan’s family and friends were really nice to me, I did feel rather alone, partially of course due to my lack of English and this made me feel embarrassed at times.
Soon after I had arrived and when I was alone, I started to feel like I was a small child again and that I had been transported into a strange new world. I was convinced that I should forget everything that had happened to me in the past and concentrate on my new life in Scotland.
At that time of course, I didn’t realise that I could never nor should forget about my background and family, as they will always be a part of me. During this early period, we discussed our plans to return to Thailand for an official Wedding celebration and this made me feel better as I felt that I would never see Thailand and my family again. This made me feel very sad and alone at times.
During my first few days in Scotland I was shown the area where we lived and although it looked beautiful it was nothing like what I expected it to be. Everything looked so crisp, clean and organised but also very cold and wet !
Brendan worked on a 2-week offshore basis then back home again for 2 weeks. When he was at home, his children stayed with us but when he went back to work, they went to stay with their mother, his ex-wife and this of course left me alone in the house.
Well I feel that this is enough about me for today so I think that I will leave you to wonder what happens to me next. I’m off now to make my fortune in the Thai Massage Room and Spa. See you next week with Part 16.
Posted by Noi McIntyre on October 29, 2019