I was born in Scotland and I have spent most of my life here. I would say I’m very fortunate to live in a country that’s so incredible and also has a lot of stability. Despite that, there are quite a few downsides to living in Scotland, some things about living here can really test your character.
1. The Weather is Terrible
If you’re looking to relax on the beach in the sun, Scotland is not the place for you. In the summer there are some days that are overwhelmingly hot and there’s no AC to cool you down. Apart from that most of the time, the skies are grey and it rains way too much for my liking. As I’m writing this, it has been snowing with ice on the pavements and it is also raining, just what I like!
It’s no mystery how much I dislike Scotrail, they overcharge a ridiculous amount for rail journeys. Not only that, but these days rail strikes are commonplace meaning that there are no services during the days there are strikes. This is all down to how poorly managed Scotrail is and it is simply not good enough for Scotland.
3. Poor Bus Services
If you think Scotrail is bad, the buses are even worse, I have to rely on using the bus to get to my university campus. Even though it’s advertised that there are buses every 10 minutes, this is a completely lie, it’s more accurate to say that they are twice an hour. Thanks to poorly managed traffic and constant roadworks, what should be a 5 minute journey ends up as a 30 minute journey.
Thankfully Glasgow doesn’t have this problem as you can use the underground there, however Edinburgh’s congestion makes it insufferable to get anywhere by bus. Everywhere else in Scotland seems to have severely poor bus services as well and it would shock you to know that my experience of taking the bus in places like El Salvador and Colombia has been better.
4. Extortionate Alcohol Prices
If you want a cheap pint, don’t come to Scotland, the cost of living crisis has meant that pubs have made their drinks more expensive and I really don’t blame them. However, the problem of expensive alcohol comes from a law known as minimum unit pricing which means every unit of alcohol has to be at least 50p. In other words, this means that in a supermarket, a case of beer will cost around £8 and a bottle of vodka is at least £15. There was nothing better than during my time in Mexico, I walked into a convenience store and bought a bottle of rum for £8.
5. Betting Shops are Everywhere
Where I grew up, there were way too many betting shops than there needed to be and there are 2 within walking distance of where I live now. It really ruins the character of what otherwise would be nice streets in places like Glasgow and Stirling. These places are made to look incredibly ugly and have an aura of disgust. It seems to be that only in the UK and the Balkans I’ve seen that betting shops are everywhere. The worst part of betting shops is that they are bloodsuckers, they prey on the incomes of mostly people who aren’t that well off and proudly profit from it.
6. It’s Hard to be Healthy
Scotland has a huge obesity problem and there’s a reason for that. I Colombia I was able to buy a pint-sized cup of fruit for less than a pound, if I wanted to buy that amount of fruit in Scotland, it would probably be around £6. Needless to say, fruit is way too expensive in this country and most food that’s easy to prepare completely lack in any sort of nutrition.
7. Negativity and Narrow-Mindedness
If Scottish people saw Jesus walking on water, they’d tell him it’s because he can’t swim, people in Scotland seem to be miserable most of the time and it is soul-destroying. It’s hard to meet anyone who has a positive attitude and it’s easy to get tired of. Not only that, a lot of Scottish people are very narrow-minded, when I tell people I lived in Mexico for 6 months, they’ll conjure up the old stereotypes to do with cartels and all of that nonsense. It seems that a lot of people get impressions of other countries from the news which gives them a very distorted view of certain places.
8. Modern Scottish Architecture
The Scottish parliament is a monstrosity which took some trouble to build and cost more than £400 million, despite that there was still some thought put into the building. What is truly ugly is a lot of modern Scottish buildings which look like there has been no aesthetic effort put into them. Head down to some places in or around Glasgow and you can be forgiven for thinking you’ve ended up in Belgrade in 1999.
9. The Midges
A great thing about Scotland is that we don’t have to worry about being attacked by mosquitoes, however in countryside, midges are a big problem. I’m unsure if they can be found outside of Scotland, however they are just as annoying as mosquitoes. If you fancy going camping in the idyllic Highland areas, midges are guaranteed to be a problem.
10. Dark Winters
The fact that it’s more or less cloudy everyday makes it hard enough to get some sunlight, however in the winter, it starts to get dark at 4PM and it’s unbearable. What makes this so hard is that it more or less stays like this until April. What can be said is that winter in Scotland is no walk in the park.
11. The Rivalry Between Edinburgh and Glasgow
I think that choosing one of the cities over the other is completely unnecessary as they are both equally great and completely different kinds of cities. Edinburgh is the proud capital with its quaint cobbled streets and immaculate hills, while Glasgow has brilliant nightlife and interesting museums. In my opinion it’s pointless to say one city is better than the other.
12. Lack of Variety of Food
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