Travel Day Series: Episode 8
ScotRail train from Dunblane to North Berwick, Scotland 4/5/2019
The ticket seller in Dunblane was positively friendly today to the point of even asking me about my bucket and not asking to see my card to match my signature. Normally there is a lot of gruff eye rolling and irritation at any question including a lot of indelicate shoving of pen and paperwork receipts and tickets my way in that sloppy non customer friendly way that says “I would rather be anywhere else”.
He thought for a moment and recommended a cheaper way to get where I’m going along the coast which somehow is by booking my return from a town past where I will be called Shawfair which I’ve never heard of, and won’t have occasion to visit.
And the bucket you ask? You are curious just like everybody else as I’ve noticed a lot of side eye and outright staring at it and into it from the bolder Scots I encounter when walking around Scotland with…a bucket.
The first time was when I bought it from the hardware store and then went to lunch at the Hideaway Cafe in Bridge of Allen were we joked that we should have asked for a table for three.
Then along the 3 mile walk home along the Darn trail where the wild garlic grows like grass. A few mountain bikers slowed down to glance in the bucket, curious what we harvested but confused when they found it empty.
And then the ticket taker at Dunblane station who asked outright what it was for and I told him that I’m going to hunt the coast for seaweed and he agreed I was going to the right place to find seaweed.
What I didn’t tell him is that it’s a class that I booked online called Seaweed Foraging because people here don’t seem to really understand foraging for food and think it’s something reserved for cave people or the homeless.
Lesson learned: if you want to get people in Scotland to talk to you, just carry around a bucket.