Expat postings can be compared to marriages.
At first there's the frisson of being in something new - finding your way around, forming early opinions, the desire to be open minded and to make it work.
Then there's the wedding - the day you find your new home, the furniture arrives and you celebrate having done it.
The honeymoon follows closely thereafter. The routine is new and, therefore, not boring. You relish the new things that are better than the old things that irked in your last posting. You begin to explore your new home. But it still feels like a long holiday.
The marriage begins when the new environment leaves the toilet seat up. The climate may start to challenge, or perhaps local customs leave you questioning your integrity. You offend without meaning to, or take offence where none is meant. For some, these are easily overcome - identified as unique and special, sometimes even embraced.
In other postings, the foibles become too much. It's time for a separation. And then, with the panic of an impending move, you fall back in love with your new home, as you squash all the outings an experiences you were hoping to get to but thought you would have time to do 'later', into a few short weeks. This is where I am now. Marveling at the beauty of Scotland's greenery, splashing in its puddles, in awe of its history. And packing...
We've been lucky so far, our separations have all been quite amicable. Along the lines of 'I think we should just be friends'... but heartfelt.
So Scotland, may I come back to visit one day? And please (please!) do you think you could let it be for a sunny fortnight?