Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Odds and bobs, part 3

In observing the differences between Americans and the British, I'm learning about myself, namely, my Americanism. I think I'm going along being myself and that I would be myself no matter what but being American has shaped me--not just in the way I talk. I know that the influence of culture is not a revelation. I wonder what sort of a person I would be if I'd grown up somewhere else. How much of me would still be here?

Commercials during cartoons here are heartbreaking! "Emma used to run and play. She liked reading books. Now she's going blind...." or "There are only 35 snow leopards left in the wild. She survives the harshest winters only to be ruthlessly hunted by poachers...." or (picture of a beagle looking out a window) "I know what it's like to love someone who doesn't love you. I loved my owner. One day he left and never came back..." They're all asking for money. I guess the strategy is to get the kids to beg the parents and who could refuse?

It's quite aesthetically pleasing that all electrical wires are underground. It wasn't until we were in rural Ireland and I saw a few wires that I realized I hadn't seen any before.

I've been noticing some differences between the twins that seem to be fairly solid traits. Of course they have sort of traded traits in the past so I could be wrong. Lionel wants to hold hands and Owen sometimes has to be coerced. When we are walking around an airport or other crowded place, Lionel takes care to make sure we are all together. Owen wanders off. In their roughhouse play, Owen is most often the aggressor and likes to play fight. This was even true in utero--poor Lionel was born with bruises on his back from Owen kicking him!

Owen informs me that he has planned an escape for Tubby, Keith's childhood (and adulthood) teddy bear. Tubby is currently inside a box in a storage pod in San Jose. Owen says to Tubby: "In one of your sleeves is a pair of scissors for opening up the box and in the other sleeve is a plane ticket." Now if only he can get to the airport...

One calls ON a number and lives IN a street.

If I think of the pound as a dollar, things seem mildly expensive. When I add the 60% exchange--blimey!--this is an expensive city/country. A large (600 gram)box of Cheerios costs 2.75 pounds. Seems reasonable. But that translates to roughly 5 dollars! For a box of cereal! And plain cereal at that. Rice Crispies will run you close to 7 bucks. And Cheerios here are from Nestle. Aren't they a General Mills cereal?

While the boys haven't developed an accent, they have started using some of the different colloquialisms. They'll say "mind that bush." I love hearing them talk about 'getting sorted.'


  1. K, you might enjoy this blog while you are living in Blighty
    My (British) BF and I have had much fun with it.

  2. I love this! Just got lost for an hour poking around. In another life I could be a linguist.