|Arbroath Abbey Ruins, Arbroath|
Waiting for the bus across the Moray Firth north to Culbokie, I happened on a surprisingly common and sometimes touchy occurrence in Scotland: an outlander trying to communicate with a local, NEITHER of whom spoke intelligible English! The (rather pushy) Japanese tourist wanted to get to the Loch Ness tour boat on time, and the 50-something bus driver, whose first language was decidedly Gaelic, was at wit's end to get the tourist to understand there was no boat today; high winds had cancelled the scheduled sailing, and there was NO way the (effing) bus would be stopping at the desired quayside landing. Voices became sharp as hands waved, neck muscles bulged, and, recognizing a couple explicit Highland epithets, I stepped in and was able to clarify things. The bus driver, having discovered an ally, shared several such incidents of late and his opinion of foreigners (myself excluded, of course), as his blood pressure returned to normal. The irritated tourist stalked off into the driving rain muttering....I suppose about the inconvenience of gale force winds and stubborn Scotsmen. Hilarious. All in a day...!