Matt's blog

The story of me, an American in Edinburgh, Scotland finding my place as a musician, a husband, a father and a Christian.

Uganda be Warm Tonight!

Kenya believe we've been in Edinburgh for over a month? We just got done with a game of Settlers of Catan (which I happened to win, as well) with our upstairs neighbors who are really great people. That was a whole lot of fun. I honestly don't know how long it's been since I just plain had fun without worrying about one thing or having just a general cloud of dread hovering about me.

In our first month in Edinburgh, it seemed like we met only Americans. The other couples who moved into the building around the same time we did are both American. When we went to church the first week we were here, the first person we talked to said, "Oh, you're American. Let me introduce you to so-and-so because they're American, too." When that happened, it sort of felt like we were outsiders being told to stick with our own kind. That's not a very good feeling. I started to worry that we would never make friends with locals or even other non-Americans and that our international cultural experience would be pretty much a bust.

Fortunately, the tide is turning on that feeling as well. Last week we met another couple who lives in our building from Denmark. Jeni and I had dinner with them last night and discovered that among other things, they are also Settlers of Catan fans. So now, plans are in the works for a huge 6 person game that will have to be played with a Danish Settlers set since they have the 5-6 player expansion and we don't.

Also, Jeni and I went to another church tonight. We both have a substantial distaste for church shopping, but it is something of a necessary evil when moving to a new place, and even more so, I think, when moving into a new culture. The church we went to tonight was much smaller than the church from our first week experience, and I think we were the only Americans there. We were noticed as newcomers and got to talk to quite a few people from the congregation. There are a fair amount of students and people around our age and more than that, they're legitimate Scots! I think tonight was the first time that we were actually just treated like regular people by locals, and it was very encouraging.

In other news, Jeni and I don't really have a grasp on the Scottish sense of humor just yet, but it seems not to involve much punning or word play. There was a large map of Uganda on the wall of the church where we were chatting with someone we had just met. As always when we meet someone new, Jeni had to explain why she's already in school when normal classes don't start for a few more weeks. I said that I would be able to explain it faster than her, but she insisted that she could best me in brevity. She happened to be able to explain in record time and I remarked, "Uganda want to remember how to do it that quickly for next time," while gesturing at the map. Jeni and I of course were amused while our new Scottish friend stayed silent. Blank looks ensued, then Jeni and I explained about Uganda sounding like "you're gonna" and then I got the dreadful, "Oh, yeah, I'm sure that would have been really funny if I got it quicker." But even with the pump primed a few Kenya jokes ("Kenya believe it?", etc.) failed to hit the mark. Jeni has a few stories about responding to professors with a pun or witty ironicism (not a word but should be) only to be met with confusion at the best and grave concern at the worst. She'll have to recount those to you herself.

Other parts of Scottish humor have come to us just fine. For example, on receiving 4 sheep cards in one roll of the dice while playing Settlers...

"I'm gonna be warm tonight!"

2 Responses to “Uganda be Warm Tonight!”

  1. # Blogger Jenevieve

    Have you heard the 40 about the welshman and the sheep? Yeah, me too.  

  2. # Blogger Mariquita

    Am I too slow for welshman? Please explain!

    And I would have laughed at your puns, Matt. I miss them dreadfully.  

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