Bienvenue à Glasgow

On Wednesday, I took some French people round Glasgow. As I walked up to meet them standing in their multicoloured raincoats in the pissing rain I couldn’t help but think what the hell were they thinking?

Back in France, hearing that they were coming to Scotland on holiday, I overexcitedly jumped at the chance to show them my city. Then, upon reflection I realised, I don’t actually know very much about my city…

As we walked through the sodden streets looking up at the gloomy buildings towering over us, avoiding spaced out junkies, the odd homeless person or flock of mutant legged pigeons, I looked over at the Frenchies. What was going through their heads? I wondered if they were regretting not booking a flight to sunny Barbados or even just staying in the south of France. This certainly wasn’t my idea of the perfect holiday.

As any uneducated on the topic of Glasgow Glaswegian, who needed to show off their city would, we took the open top bus. Of course due to the thunderous downpour sitting outside was off the cards. Only one stop from George Square to Glasgow Cathedral, which I saw in a school trip once but don’t remember because I was probably more interested in getting the boy I fancied to notice me than looking at some stupid church. This time I noticed it. As we gazed up at the structure, trying not to be blinded by the drizzle, I really was impressed, if I’d been visiting a European city this is exactly the kind of thing I’d get my daily selfie infront of. We wandered round inside, chatted a little about religion and when we resurfaced, blue sky was desperately trying to burst through, no rain in sight and a warmth cruised through the air. Yes Glasgow, this was more like it. We wandered up through the Necropolis behind the cathedral to the top of the hill and I felt a wee lump in my throat as we looked out over Glasgow, I’ve lived here for 21 years and never seen it look so beautiful. I looked over at the Frenchies snapping away with their cameras and pointing out buildings along the skyline. That morning it was like Glasgow had been the ludicrously drunk person at a dinner party, making a fool out of themselves infront of guests. Then  they were put to bed and resurfaced a short while later with a new lease of life, winning over anyone they spoke to.

Warning, if you are from Glasgow, what I say next may shock you. It didn’t rain for the rest of the day. We sat outside on the open top bus, zooming past Glasgow Green, the Clyde, the Science Centre and Glasgow Uni, which they thought looked like Hogwarts, I of course ruined the fantasy by telling them the tower was closed because people used to throw themselves off the top if they failed their exams. 

We basked in the intermittent sunshine, we ate sticky toffee pudding (which may have been too much for the Frenchies), we walked through Kelvingrove, we had a blast and I thought to myself, I really hope they love Glasgow as much as I do, pissing rain, creepy pigeons, sickly puddings, junkies and all. I think they do, who couldn’t?