Dundee: There are many attractions for those with a black sense of humour

Living in Dundee, Scotland
Living in Dundee, Scotland

Dundee or ‘Dundeh’, as the locals would call it, is a city of contrasts. It used to be said of Dundeh that if Scotland needed an enema, Dundeh is where they’d stick the pipe, but things have changed. There are many attractions for those with a black sense of humour.

Shell-suited gadgies patrol in groups of five (they can’t count any higher than this), exchanging noises which continue to baffle linguists, but centre on the sound “eh”, which also translates as the word “yes”. Thus the visitor offering to share a meal with a local will often be rewarded with the phrase: “Eh, eh’ll heve e peh” [=“Thank you, may I have a Scotch Pie, please ?”]. Other delicacies include Clootie Dumplings and anything which has been immersed in boiling fat. However, you must try the flagship dish: mince rolls, a snack which the lady of the house can prepare without once putting down the can of superlager which was surgically attached to her hand during childhood. The aforementioned lady may in fact still be in childhood, as Clootie City continues to defend its title of “Teenage Pregnancy Capital of Scotland”, as testified by the the shrill cries of a fourteen year old to her charge, while sauntering ‘up the Murraygate’: “Chantelle, gonnae get in that f**kin’ buggy…..NOO!”

Newcomers to the less salubrious housing areas in Dundee may be treated to the “Mid Craigie knock”, an unusual phenomenon which involves your next-door neighbours smashing in your front door at 1am, rushing through your house and lifting anything of value (or anything shiny, the attraction is the same). These items will then be proudly displayed in their windows, challenging you to a “squerr go” if you dare to question their provenance.

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For the keen shopper, best selling items in Dundeh boutiques include: leggings, tinfoil pictures of eagles; portraits of little boys crying and anything to do with Elvis. The city has some excellent museums, but the locals’ true admiration is reserved for the displays in the B&M Store, whose wares are considered the ultimate in good taste. Reckless trendsetters often splash out in the £1.99-£4.99 bracket, and no home is complete without the small toy curled cat (whose fur is actually real and eyes askew) on the telly – oh, that’s the TV set, not ‘The Telegraph’ evening newspaper, as it is also known by the same abbreviation though usually pronounced “tully”.

Is it a coincidence that the road bridge toll is for those leaving town, for how many would stump up to go there?. Dundee has many just claims to fame – but taking Scotty from Star Trek as a famous son (he left aged 1 month old) is perhaps pushing it a bit.

However, you need to go there soon – after years of incompetence, and in-fighting, the council have woken up and are trying to ‘yuppify’ it. Rumour has it that this may even extend to removing the unofficial ‘attendants’ from the station overpass, who for years have thrilled passers-by with their ability to roll around drunk at the bottom of the steps day and night, exhibiting unusual talents in being able to sing, belch, and evacuate their bowels simultaneously and with alarming regularity, it has to be admitted, to the detriment of the local environment. Not without reason was it quipped that the way to the town from the railway was to follow your nose.

A recent casualty is a certain hotel near the station; how many establishments can boast such facilities as punch-holes in doors, screaming from through the wall, urine soaked mattresses and druggies in each hallway – book now to avoid disappointment!

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