Dundee, our new home, but not exactly. It seems that moving to Kingoodie, that is a small residential area of Invergowrie, makes us a part of Perth and Kinross council and not Dundee. But to make things easier, I will continue to say that we live in Dundee, until some very concious Invergowrian makes me tell it differently.
Dundee has a really interesting history indeed. Its ups and downs, golden ages and ages of decline are very distinct. Right now Dundee is seeing a rebirth, so they claim, and in fact you can see a lot of construction and refurbishments all over the city. But the industries that defined Dundee in the past, make this city a city of three J`s: Jute, Jam and Journalism.
Jute industry (you know, the fabric that you see nowadays mostly in hard tough sacks used for transporting stuff) was very strong in Dundee, one of the reason was also that it was in Dundee that they discovered that Jute can also be processed using machines (when treated with whale oil). This made Dundee barons a whole lot of money until the jute industry finally died. When I was researching this and talking about it with Paula, she commented that it is quite interesting that jute is no longer used widely, considering that jute grows in the tropics and sub tropics all over the tropic belt and it does not require pesticides or fertilizers. What I understood from what Paula was telling me that this plant is one tough and rough greenery.
Second J is for me one of the most interesting ones. It stands for Jam or marmelade. The story goes that a guy named Keiller bought too many oranges and on the transport to Dundee they got overripe for selling. So his wife, the industrious mrs. Keiller made all that jam for selling. This jam is supposedly the first commercial jam ever made. If you can believe Wikipedia. But I love the story, it would make a very good movie I think. 😀
The third J is a little more surprising. The third J is for journalism believe it or not. Dundee has a big publishing firm that is still operating (quite big actually) and has been running under the name D.C. (not comics no) Thompson since 1905.
Today one of the stronger new age industry is the video gaming industry in Dundee. To me Dundee looks and feels like it has had some tough times, but there is also some kind of optimism about it, so many things are being done inside the city. And the people, the ones we have already met are one of the most friendly and open people he have ever talked to. (Update on 22.5.2015: I still think that locals of Dundee are the most kind and talkative people ever. Just the other day Mojca asked me if I have to talk to every (older) lady I meet on the street. I tried to explain to her that it was they who started talking to me, but she didn`t agree.)