There is something incredibly soothing and peaceful about travelling on a train. And, no, I’m not referring to a city’s crammed subway or unventilated underground. Those types of trains are merely a means to an end, a necessary and unavoidable evil.

I’m talking about commuter trains that connect the world and, with the slightest gaze out onto the horizon, stimulate your mind and open your imagination.

Even though fully aware of the final destination, unless inadvertently hopping aboard the wrong train in a foreign land or finding yourself incapacitated by a drug stupor, you are forced to surrender control and let the tracks lead the way.

You  find yourself slipping into a state of comfortable helplessness. The tracks, as they cross bridges, slide alongside lakes and swerve ever so slightly into the distance, cannot be dictated to. The rhythmic pace at which trains zip down the track tends to settle even the most nervous traveller.

Powerlessness pervades while  barrelling down the tracks. Once you realise fate is out of your hands, sit back, relax and truly appreciate the undulating hills, meandering rivers, quaint towns, imperious peaks and memorising skylines that so often pass us by.

Photography

Translator needed in Scotland

Opinion

So I’m in Glasgow, Scotland; Aye, I am.

No stranger to travelling, I have scoured all corners of the globe but have never had so much trouble understanding the Scottish form of the English language; Aye, it’s true.

For the most part, I have no difficulty understanding Scots, but on occasion, a translator wouldn’t go amiss.

During a meeting today, a lad – let’s call him Paul – had the floor. He spoke loudly, in a muffled, saliva-laden tone which I can only describe as being a medley of Klingon and Jibberish, with a splash of Minion. What I mean by a splash of Minion is there was about one word per sentence I could decipher without severely straining my cerebral cortex.

However, it’s not all one-way confusion. It’s overtly apparent the need for a translator is reciprocal. I was on a business call today and the lassie on the other end of the line asked for my name, multiple times.

My answer, as my name hasn’t changed lately, remained consistent, while her response varied dramatically. 

“It’s Gary,” I said, trying to enunciate with clarity.

The lassie, obviously perplexed, responded. “What can I do for you Gay?”

Either she is extremely prejudiced towards Canadish (half British, half Canadian men) or she didn’t understand a word I was saying. And as I had gone through similar difficulties earlier in the day, I’d wager my salary (as minimal as it may be) on the latter. 

After a couple more attempts we came to terms. By then, I had forgotten the reason for the call.

So if there are any Scottish translators out there, give me a holla. Just remember, I am not gay, in name nor in conduct (not that there is anything wrong with that), and I don’t have the resources to pay you.