Wednesday, December 15, 2010

half a year

This time, 6 months ago, I arrived in London.

I have been here half a year. Today.

It's been a whirlwind of chaoticness. And have since started to warm to the idea that this place is actually, almost, bloody marvellous.

Casual observations of a foreigner in Britain would include:

My current consumption of bangers and mash.
Don't mock the sausage. I have eaten, this week alone, and counting, 11 sausages. When it's cold, you eat. Done.

British people are, by large, segregated into two groups.
Loud, brash and say 'cunt' a lot; and notwithstanding terribly polite, speak only when necessary and say 'notwithstanding,' a lot. The first lot is confrontational and are described as pikeys, the second lot are unconfrontational by nature and are described as Tories.

The Tories and the Labour government.
I don't like either right now. The Labour government is responsible for letting in too many unskilled immigrants, and the Tories are now sorting out this mess by placing huge immigration restrictions on people like me (someone who is not British.)
I'm peeved because I am paying my [huge] taxes, contributing to the economy here, and not getting extra benefits (besides NHS).

The weather and transport.
Two topics that'll pop up at least twice during any given day, but more so when it snows. Both topics will then collide in a seismic megatron of agreement that Britain is going to the dogs. When it snows, nothing works.

Laat draa waat waan.
Would you like some light dry white wine? The above sentence is the conclusive one I use to describe a South African accent, much like how Aussies use the much flogged 'put another shrimp on the barbie mate.'

Casual visitations of a foreigner in Britain would include:

In 6 months, I've managed to spend a rather large portion of my time here not in London. Or in the country, for that matter. I live and work to travel. And can proudly say, that in a year, thanks to living so close to Europe now, I have visited:

Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast, Dublin, Bournemouth, Ringwood, Bath, Shere, Brighton, Stockholm, San Francisco, Silicone Valley, Paris, Meribel, Chambery, and on the weekend, Vienna and Bratislava.

Not bad going eh?

Casual new words of a foreigner in Britain would include:

I have, in 6 months, lost 'ja.' Mostly.
'Ja' has been replaced by 'yeah,' I am cringe to admit.

The Brit is also winding me up for saying 'Naaa-mean?' in vast amounts too. (Do you know what I mean ---> naaaa-mean.)

During my PR course last week, I had to do a radio interview. No sweat, as luckily I've had ample practice on radio after launching my novel. Speaking on behalf of another company is something else altogether, but albeit they replayed how we sounded.

I didn't sound like me at all. I didn't sound like a hardcore Saffa, and I didn't sound like a Brit. Granted, I had my 'posh' voice on - I had to sound vaguely like I knew what I was talking about - but I sounded like a complete weirdo.

Who had ambiguous nationality, possibly hailing from a random island in the middle of the Atlantic. It was the most perturbing thing.

That said, I still speak laak I'm from Joburg most of the taam.

So, 6 months. Half a summer, half a winter.


Gail said...

NO WAY Peas, 6 months already?! well done and high five! :)

Peas on Toast said...

It's nuts isn't it? Can't actually believe it myself.

cassey said...

Happy 6 month-iversasry :)

Mom on a Wire said...

Time flies when you're having fun! Before you know it you will have been here for six years!

I cannot believe we are celebrating our second Northern hemisphere Christmas soon!

Best is my son now speaks 'British English' and corrects the Hubby and I! Hysterical fits of giggles ensue!

Me said...


It slightly depresses me though that in six months you have seen more of Europe than I have in my lifetime. I need to sort that out!

Peas on Toast said...

cassey - thanks sweetheart :)

Wired Mom - thank you! I often think abou that actually - when the children speak Queen's English and the folks don't, it must be super entertaining at dinner times :)

Me - haha it feels like I'm writing to myself :)
With all the hassles that go into travelling to the continent, I must say am happy I've done it.
Never say never though, I'm sure your time will come to hop across there, and hopefully when it's actually sunny over there ;)

Roxy said...

Wow, six months already?
When I went to UK for my gap year it immediately turned into 6,5.
Time flies! Enjoy Peas.
Oh I went there with a very American accent and lost some of it due to everyone correcting me. Now when someone hears me speak they think I am Canadian+ something mix. Never managed to come of as a Brit, but also never sounded like a Pole. Suits me fine. Adds a bit of mystery to moi.