When I started this series on our Scotland trip, I wrote about the good manners I saw in how people used their cell phones.
That wasn’t the only example. In fact, it seems to me that on a whole your average Scots are much more courteous than your average Americans. And it was very refreshing.
For example, think about your last trip to the grocery or a major retailer (you know who I’m talking about). As you put your items on the belt, the person behind you has their buggy up on your heels and when it’s time to pay, they are practically breathing down your neck as you try to privately enter your PIN number into the machine. Then before you can even put your receipt away and gather all your bags the cashier is ringing out the next person… sometimes even starting to bag their items!
EVERY place I shopped for groceries in Scotland, the pace was much more peaceful. The person behind always left enough space for you to move around your buggy. When the transaction was completed, the cashiers always waited until you stepped away before starting the next person.
There are many ‘single track’ roads in Scotland – meaning they are only one lane wide… for two way traffic! Can you imagine that in the US? Talk about road rage explosions.
Not so in Scotland. Folks who are closest neatly tuck into one of the many passing areas and wait until the approaching car passes. Then each smile and wave as they go by!
And if you are staring in confusion at a map or time table, in just a moment someone would stop and politely ask if they could help you to find something.
Doors were held open, apologizes made when bumped into, we were always asked if we were enjoying our trip or even invited into a home or group to visit.
Several times people stopped what they were doing in order to show us something, explain something, or give an impromptu tour.
The few times we had any sort of issue with someone, they were ALWAYS an expat or tourist.