“Jeezo, it’s hot.”
Two crumbly old blokes on the bus were complaining about the weather. It was a sultry 18 degrees and they bemoaned their lack of ventilated footwear.
“Only yesterday we were moaning about the rain and the landslides.“
“Ha!” I love when old men laugh in short, wheezy bursts. “HA! HA!”
And there’s one reason I adore Scotland. People constantly whinge about things, but they can laugh about the fact they’re whinging.
They went on to complain about tardy buses, football, the Olympics, and how one of them’s bathroom has been prone to flooding since the war. He didn’t specify which one.
Then they started asking after mutual acquaintances. This involved one of the more baffling phrases of the Scots language. When I first arrived off the boat I noticed some people referring to Ken a lot. “Ken what I mean?” they’d say. Who the fuck was Ken and why did everyone in Edinburgh know him? Thank goodness for the Scots Dictionary.
To ken is to know. The word is in frequent everyday use everywhere in Scotland, with the exception of the Glasgow area.
“D’ye ken Mary?”
“Her bathroom leaks tae. D’ye ken Ken?”
“Well I dinnae ken which Ken.”
“Ken fae Leith.”
“Oh aye. I ken Ken.”
“D’ye ken Filthy Fred?”
I’m regretting not going a few stops further to find out who Filthy Fred was.