My home is now in both, Scotland and in Germany. I am comfortable in both and sometimes torn between them. But it was not always so. Five years ago, I imagined Scotland from afar to be like the South of England, stylish, but a bit more eccentric, with added tartaned kilts, snarring bagpipes, fury cows, castle ruins on green hills, sword-swinging Highlanders dancing Ceilidh and a general public fondness of pies and uniforms.
At my arrival I was greeted by much rain and dark, grey skies. Basic living in this country seemed incredibly expensive. People seemed so reserved, an effort to socialise with and so polite that it was occasionally even deceptive.
I might have left Scotland with a bad impression and probably would have never returned. But three weeks before leaving, I found love as the spring and sunshine appeared. And love was the cause to come back to make another go of it, and many more friends were made and I have enjoyed Scotland ever since and here I stayed.
I came to appreciate the international atmosphere of Edinburgh, the friendliness, the positive outlook, the double decker buses, the Heather ale and the vegetarian Haggis. In particular I love the nonjudgemental, liberal and tolerant attitude where mistakes are accepted as human, unlike in Germany where generally speaking perfectionism rules.
Even the police is friendly here.
What makes my home here now, is the many people and projects I got to know. I have drawn incredible empowerment, confidence and success out of putting on many of the subcultural projects I so dearly missed when first setting foot in this country.
It took time but it was worthwhile. Feeling part of a community in both Scotland and Germany, home becomes the place where you have friends.