Originally published on Medium

I am not sure when I depart from here, and go on my three month long immersion into all things Scottish. Either it will be at the end of August, or it will be in the in-between zone of September and October.

What keeps me here is still the usual: finances and housing. It is difficult to make sense of a place, its opportunities, and its risks from afar. Reading online can only take one so far.

What keeps me from clear action is that I can’t discern the difference between a place like Marchmont in Edinburgh (which seems nice) and Govanhill in Glasgow (which appears to be very deprived).

I would much rather stay in a place like Marchmont than to endure the social ills of a place like Govanhill. But when you’re in another country, and when you don’t know which questions to ask of a locality, then it becomes more difficult to definitely say “I’m going there on that date.”

Another aspect is that I do not know the average costs of things. I can make comparisons, but what is an average rent per month? I feel like I don’t want to be ripped off by being uninformed. Obviously, if I am to budget, then I need to know what to expect.

These are the main reasons I can’t say if my departure for Scotland will be at the end of August, or at the end of September. I simply do not know yet.

And that, in itself, is frustrating because it feels like I’m missing the first act of a long, complicated play.