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'Ja' has been replaced by 'yeah,' I am cringe to admit.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.