I felt my throat tighten with emotion. “I can't believe I'm here, in Scotland,” I thought, smiling, “It's just one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.” I felt so lucky. That was my very first impression of the UK when I came to live in Inverness three years ago.
On the first day of my stay, the morning was beautiful. Suddenly, however, it started to rain, and this was followed by snow and hailstones. After 30 minutes, it was sunny again. Did I mention it was in May? The Scottish weather; what can I say about it? It is one of the craziest I have ever seen - there are four seasons in a day!
In the beginning, my life in the UK wasn't easy, because I didn't speak English and I couldn't understand a word. And the Scottish accent; well, now I think it is charming, but at first I found it very difficult to understand. When I think of my first conversations in English I just laugh at myself. It was more like a pantomime show - very few words with a lot of bodily movements! I honestly never thought that speaking could be so tiring.
My first visit to a pub wasn't the luckiest one. By the time I got ready and went into town, all the pubs were closed. It is really shocking how early pubs close – ‘last call’ is at eleven o’clock, whereas in Poland they stay open until two or three in the morning.
When I arrived in Inverness, one particular thing struck me: no matter where I went, there was a group of Polish people nearby. I also discovered some Polish delicatessens in town and even Polish beer served in pubs - that was more than I had expected before I came here. I just felt at home.
I like being here. I love the beautiful landscapes, the friendly and helpful people, the stone castles, the double-decker buses, the long days in the summer and the men wearing kilts - you won't see it anywhere else. On a final note, I believe that home is where you make it - and I made Inverness my second home.
▶Task 1 - true or false
In this first activity, you will read some statements based on Malgorzata’s story.
▶Task 2 - complete the sentences
In this second activity, you will look at some words taken from Malgorzata’s story and use them to complete the sentences.
More like this
- How does your story of moving to the UK compare to Malgorzata’s?
- Did you have similar feelings and experiences, or was your story very different?
- What advice would you give to someone who has just moved to the UK? You could post your responses below.
Why not find out about the experiences of other people who have moved to the UK by looking at some more of the winning stories from the learners’ competition.