Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Being Foreign

It's weird. I never thought of myself as a foreigner, but that's exactly what I am. I sound different, I misunderstand completely obvious things and I'm often misunderstood. I'm sure I stand out like a sore thumb to the locals, but it's really quite liberating. People expect me to act differently, so when I do, they really aren't surprised. If I want to walk around with my underpants on my head, people won't look at me thinking "What the HELL is his problem?!", but rather "Hmph. Foreigner."

It has been quite a surprise how often there can be a language difficulty between two English speakers though. Blank stares and four or five consecutive "pardon me?"s are not uncommon. Sometimes I just give up and say "Sure, right on". "You bet" is another of my new favorites. I'm sure I make no sense, but they are expecting weirdness, so what does it matter? Besides, in a small place like Yorkton, me saying something strange is the most exciting thing that's happened to them all day.

Now I just need to see how far I can push this little game. Suggestions are welcome.

That is all.

2 Comments:

At 4:56 AM, Anonymous Jo said...

I know exactly what you mean!

I have been there so many times - like would you think that the scottish word for "armpit" is "oxter"? Weird!

Speak soon. Love Jo

 
At 11:42 PM, Blogger emma said...

Ah yes, the old "we're speaking the same language but you're freaking me out" issue. I mean how would you feel if someone was to say to you: "mind if I take a sticky at your new doona mate? By the way, love ya dacks." ?

And the weirdest thing really is that not all of them do it. Some people can have a perfectly normal conversation with real words, but others seem incapable of not using perplexing slang. It makes me want to talk afrikaans at them. (especially when I find myself picking it up...aaaargh!)

 

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