By Roser Vilaplana
AS YOU can imagine, suddenly finding yourself in a PR company with a simple desire to learn and a love for writing, but no related studies or previous experience is not what I would say is a piece of cake. On top of it, if you add that your first language is Spanish and just a year and a half ago Scotland was just a beautiful but unknown country for you – you know you have a challenge in your hands.
This is my story.
Lying on my couch at the end of summer (a real one by the way), I decided a change in my life was exactly what I wanted. So in a twinkling of an eye I was standing in front of Barcelona airport with all my winter stuff packed and ready to go. Why Edinburgh? Actually, I still do not know, but somehow I ended up here.
When you arrive in a new city with a different language, confusing streets and unfamiliar foods, you could get cold feet at choosing this place as your new home. But I actually felt full of energy. However, with the famous Scottish accent communication became more challenging than what I expected since we have always been taught with the classic English accent which now I find more difficult to understand; paradoxes of life I suppose.
Once settled down in my flat and after a month of endless application forms, I got a job in a cinema. Hurray. My good feeling never lasted long though. Three managers in there: Irish, Scottish and English. The rest of my colleagues were Scottish and one of them from Glasgow. Gosh. The beginning was a nightmare packed with really, really embarrassing moments which I am still trying to get rid of. You can imagine why if I tell you I am still working there.
My goal is to become a journalist which means I am ready to take a daunting challenge due to my language barrier. So, to be able to join Journalism studies next year, I am currently studying a Higher English for foreigner speakers. As part of the course requirements I had to undertake a placement and luckily Holyrood PR took the challenge. Not only is this exciting for me but scary too. Never thought I would be writing anything but here I am, trying my best to never mess up with my English – feel free to judge.
At the moment, after having had planned to stay here just for a year, my future looks quite different again. These 18 months have flown in and I do not see a chance to go back to my lovely, warm beach. Of course I miss the weather and our Mediterranean diet which makes me wonder why I haven’t yet gone back as I’ve already had a great experience. I don’t know, maybe I just enjoy hanging out with my Scottish ‘pals’, eating deep fried mars and feeling the constant cold on my cheeks too much.