Sunday, April 30, 2006

You say toe-mae-toe and I say toe-mah-toe

A friend that I haven't spoken to since I was about 15 emailed me a few weeks ago, and I was surprised to discover that she, strangely, now lives in Britain with her husband. (Sometimes it feels like a very small world.) Several emails were exchanged, and, of course, blog urls. As I read her blog, I began to realize just how much this country's taken over my brain.

My phrasing's totally changed, and when I visit Seattle people tell me I have a nice accent and ask where I'm from. Listening to Americans I don't know gives me a headache because their voices are just so naselly - but for some strange reason Americans on tv are okay. I say things like 'bollocks' on a semi-regular basis, but my boyfriend still looks panicked when I say 'wanker' in public because to me it will always be a funny word. I queue for the bus, take coaches to London, get irritated by the high level of council tax, look to the right first when crossing roads, and put petrol in my new (to me, anyway) 5-door Niss-an. I get takeaway from the Indian or the chippy, go down the pub, invite people round mine, and think that to be considered a period property a house has to have been built before 1850. I know that the only places that are open on Sunday afternoon in my town are the pubs, and don't expect to be able to go shopping because every where is closed. People occasionally ask me how things are done in the States, and sometimes....I can't remember anymore. I even spell things with u's, like colour.

It's kind of strange though, because I feel out of place. Any Brit immediately knows that I'm not British, although for some reason they're beginning to ask if I'm Dutch now instead of Canadian. Americans who don't know me think I'm from England, because it's never Britain over there. It's like I can't go to either place and immediately fit it. It's a very strange feeling sometimes.

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