Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Speaking English

Almost everyone I speak with is a complete stranger. I ask people at bus stops for directions, store clerks for information, homeless people for change, employed people for jobs, and handsome people for advice. One thing that can be guaranteed in any interaction is that they will need a moment to acclimatise themselves to a foreign accent.

ME: Hay, hizzit gong.
THEY: What?
ME: Hi. Hiwayah.
THEY: Oh, hi.
ME: Whaer cud iffine tha toilet?
THEY: The washrooms?
ME: Ah... yih.
THEY: Right at the back, on the left. Where are you from originally?
ME: Nyih Zilliun.
THEY: Oh, that's... nice.
ME: Thingk.

This is even worse with French Canadians, a people who brook all the disadvantages of being French, but with no sign whatsoever of higher culture. Many bear a striking resemblance to Sebastian Chabal. There is no place in the cultural pantheon for French Canadians. They refuse to hearken back to Europe; they establish political parties to undermine national politics; their state steadfastly refuses to make money, and they are responsible every single time I can't understand one side of a grocery item:

English side: Bread
French side: Pain

English side: Trojan Ultra-Thin
French side: Trojan Ultra-Mince

One thing that they could not trip me up on was that great icon of North American culture: the Big Gulp.
I grew weary of a mere can; the Big Gulp in its standard size was not for men; even the Super Big Gulp fell short of my beverage-consumption requirements. No, only the Double Gulp, at 1.8 litres, was enough for me.
My next outing will be to the GreatBigStuff store. I need a straw for this baby.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Hope that you are all good, just spent a couple of days in aucks, ok, but expensive, funny stories still xoxx