Saturday 6 January 2007

UK vs US or US vs UK

Despite having lived outside of the USA for 1/2 the time I lived inside, I am often asked by people within the UK why I chose to move to the UK and not stay in the US. (I think my accent gives me away but speak to someone from the US and they think I have an English accent.) A taxi cab driver from Pakistan asked me just the other night "Why in the world with all the people wanting to move to the US did you move to the UK?. I didn't have an answer. This is just where I landed. My Nanny once told me (after I had met my English husband here) that I was here so that I could find him. Thank God, I did!

I suppose moving to England was easier than say moving to China. I was here for one thing. For another, at least I speak basically the same language although the differences can be quite amusing and have more to do with vocabulary and pronunciation. It is rare that I can't quite get myself understood and there is the rare occasion I can't understand what is being said (but that usually involves someone from Scotland) The British, however, are always quick to point out that they invented the language. My witty reply is that yes they did but the Americans perfected it.

The other difference is usually in what I say. I have a tendency to speak my mind and get straight to the point. The English on the other hand can speak for 20 minutes and not quite get to the point. Saying "no" is a particularly difficult thing for them to do and disagreeing with you is an altogether different matter.

The other day I was reading a blog at Speaking British. Go to the 18 December entry. Now whilst the content is fascinating (and one of my favourite topics), the part that really got me was when she referred to a person speaking "in British". What is this woman on? I am sure she meant that the man was speaking with a British accent but the whole reference is very offensive to the Brits. Does she say that Americans speak American? And what do the Irish speak? And the Australians?

Abigail has made a full recovery and Seb has had no setbacks. I am congested and coughing but muddling through. Our health is definitely improving. Not a great start to the year!

Last night, we went to a birthday party for Taryn, a little girl who lives down the road from us. She turned 4 and all the children came to party in fancy dress. It is magical to see all the children dressed up in their costumes! Seb went dressed as a Power Ranger but the costume was so restrictive he took it off the minute we went through the door. Abigail went as a Fairy in her new fairy costume. We had a bit of panic before we left the house as we couldn't find her magic wand and dress up shoes. You would have thought the world was ending. Alas mummy found them. Then she lost her fairy head band in the climbing apparatus (although we did eventually find it).

I love this picture of Seb and Abby. They were getting ready for the big group photo. Abigail was struggling just a bit because she had ended up at the top with the big boys (following her big brother, no doubt). Seb got up right next to her, helped her stand, and then put his arm around her and I snapped the photo. What a great big brother!

Today the plan is for all the Christmas decorations to come down, and laundry and shopping to get done. Quite frankly, I don't have much energy and would rather spend the day reading my book. I've just finished The Secret River by Kate Grenville which is a rather interesting story about the colonisation of Australia. It is deeply disturbing. Now on to The Accidental by Ali Smith which is our book group book this month. Better get a move on.....I think we meet in the next week or so!

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