Monday, October 18, 2010

Clean Fields

I am going to write about the how clean Scotland is as a country, and got confused by various word groupings which could suggest how well the country is maintained, and/or how tidy the Scottish are. Both are worth noting. It is hard for an American to envision a tidy country, i.e. one so small it can be cared for by hand with a whisk broom and a wheelbarrow. Scotland IS that small. The public bathrooms were so clean that the communities would run contests for "best decorated" or "most Scottish." They were small huts, in parking lots or the edge of a village where one could run to "...tidy up." Pictures, flower arrangements, huge paper thistles hung in the best, and I have pictures to prove it. Just an extra in the vacation that is not advertised in the brochures. (How would you begin?) And they're heated!

This amazing trend extends to their buses. I'm used to grimy Greyhounds that look as if a Lord Voldemort slept there when he was depressed. Scottish buses, on the other hand, look as if Morticia Addams had a hand in the decoration: red plush velvet chairs (not seats) that reclined, red plush carpet and a bathroom you could install in The White House and invite heads of state to meet there without any redecoration. No bus smell. It was as if Grand Dad picked you up in the old Rolls for the ride to the ancestral manor.

Scottish water heaters are almost a necessity in their climate. An instant water heater, it is a small box that is installed on the side of the pipe. When the water is turned on, boiling water comes out. After two days to Orkney and back, the North Sea and the fun of visiting underground burial chambers in the middle of winter, it is heaven. Especially when the boiling water is running into a gigantic claw foot tub in the cleanest bathroom I have ever been in. It is the hygienic equivalent of their pastries, light, fluffy, creamy and comforting.

Next: Skye     or    Is That a Palm Tree?

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