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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Home Again, Home Again -- Jiggity, Jig!

This post in in answer to a question posed by Rosaria as to where I called 'home'. Without a doubt I think of home as being the UK -- that is when I'm thinking about a building and a kitchen and a place to get the best rest for my head -- both mentally and physically. After more than thirty years in the land of Henry Higgins,  "I've become accustomed to her ways"! It didn't happen overnight, I can tell you ... but now that I speak fluent English, as well as American one hurdle to integration has been made. I learned a lot about people from the way they responded to my 'different' way of speaking. It is interesting and sometimes painful to find yourself the victim of derision because some word means something different than what you expect to mean. Corn, chips, pants, pocketbook, stuffed come to mind -- there are many others. You don't go to the hospital, you go to 'hospital'. When you go to see the doctor you go to his 'surgery' not his 'office'. And many times I still have to repeat myself, because people are so busy trying to figure out my accent, they fail to listen to what I am saying!

Occasionally, I have encountered some prejudice towards my being American. Once at a dinner, a Royal Air Force function -- so it was a little bit posh -- a hoity-toity British woman claimed amazement when I told her my father was an English teacher. She actually said she was 'amazed' that there were English teachers in America!! (No, she was not joking!!) For the most part, however, the British are very warm and hospitable -- especially in the Northwest of England. In fact, the whole of the North of England is 'the best' as far as I'm concerned. (Aha! Another idea for a post!)

Once I stopped being suspicious of cultural differences and became interested instead, I began to realize that a different approach to how we govern, or speak, or worship or eat or drink do not have to be judged -- cultural differences do not have to be worse or better just because they are different.

So, for better or worse, home for me is the UK. Funny though ... I still say, "I've got to fly 'home' for a few weeks to look after my Mom when she gets out of rehab", for example! You can take aBroad out of America, but you can't take America out of aBroad ...

2 comments:

  1. Nive post, Broad. :-) I've heard very similar experiences from a friend of mine who has lived and worked in NY for the past 25 years. His accent is "cute" and people still laugh at his use of British expressions and word meanings.

    As a Lancashire lass born and bred I of course concur with your preference for the North-West and I also understand why you still speak of going home to the USA. Where we were born and brought up always remains home to at least part of of our heart and mind, even if we will never live there again.

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  2. I've a friend in Oldham who goes absolutely crackers when an American talks about sidewalks.

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