Divided by a Common Language
As an native of the USA, living in London, you could say that life here is quite an experience. But now the time has come for me to express just how different it is for someone of the American persuasion to live in the UK with a shocking 'New Yawk' accent.Everyone has a comment to make.
I can't walk into a store without complete strangers saying one of the following;
1- "Oh wow. Where are you from? I have a cousin in NY, maybe you know them?"
Whoo! Okay.... You have a cousin in Manhattan and I should know them? If I was playing Jewish Geography, mayla, there'd be a chance I could know them. But just some Joe Shmo? Get real. All I wanted was a lightbulb/magazine/change for the parking meter, I did not want to get into 'friends reunited'.
2- "Are you visiting? How long for? Did you go to see the tower of London/Winsdor Castle/Buckingham Palace yet?"
Hello? I've lived here for nearly TWENTY years!!!!!! Talk about not fitting in. Plus, I've probably been to more tourist sites than a group of Brits together. You wouldn't expect Brits off the street to be so nosy, would you?
3- Then there are the people who imitate what I say. Yes, you heard correctly, you know the type of thing. My son used to torment my daughter by doing it. I get it all the time. Apparently, the way I say 'coffee' is the subject of much mirth. So much so that when I go to Starbucks, I have to order my 'cawfee' with a murderous look in my eye so no one starts up with me. (I learned that on NY subways.)
Now the flip side is that I feel very loved and cherished in jolly ole England because the average Joe on the street will call me 'Luv' or 'darlin' or 'sweetheart'. It is a proven fact that people on this Isle go to therapy much less than their American cousins. Perhaps this is why; here we get so much affirmation by strangers calling us such affectionate names that we feel completely validated as lovable beings.
It is one of the reasons I love London. Okay, so they drive on the wrong side of the street, and they sound funny, but the frum community here is amazing; involved in Kiruv and constant chessed. Except for my stalkers and the people who think I'm insane, I really love London.
For your viewing pleasure I have compiled a glossary to show you how different the English language is on this side of the paddling pool;KASAMBA'S GLOSSARY OF ENGLISH TERMSUseful to know when traveling:
Bathroom = Room with bath
Boot = Trunk (of car)
Brolly = Umbrella
Dustbin = Garbage can
Pavement = Sidewalk
Rubbish = Garbage
Toilet = BathroomUseful to know when eating out:
Aubergine = Eggplant
Bill = Check (as in restaurant)
Biscuit = Cookie
Chips = French Fries
Courgette = Zucchini
Crisps = Potato Chips
Lemonade = Soda
Nice = Delicious
Serviettes = NapkinsUseful to know when shopping:
Lift = Elevator
Jumper = Sweater
Pants = Underpants
Pinafore = Jumper
Trousers = Pants
Queue = Line (to pay)
Cheers = ThanksUseful to know for Shidduchim:
Clever = Smart
Gorgeous = Good personality
Smart = Well put together
Stunning = Gorgeous
Sweet looking = CuteMiscellaneous:
Arsenal Football Club = Avodah Zora
Bob's your uncle = That's it then
Doctors surgery = Doctors office
Whatsits = Thingimigig
Mobile phone = Cell phone
Post = Mail
To let = For rentOne sentence, two meanings:
I'm mad about the flat.
British meaning: I'm crazy about the apartment
American meaning: I'm angry about the puncture
Well boys and girls, that's it for today. Pip, pip, cheerio, and all that jazz!
My Hubby is a Wandering Jew
Hubby is away (again!)on a two week business trip (read; vacation) and has left me with his assorted offspring that I happened to have birthed. He complains that he's so tired and it's soooo difficult traveling around the far east, changing planes once every two days. But before you get out the violins-
Here's why I DO NOT FEEL SORRY FOR HIM:
1- He sits close to the pilot. Ahem!
2- He arranges his appointments so he can go swimming.
3- Lubavitch in the far east make the best darn food.
4- He doesn't have to deal with his children.
Now here's the kicker- I don't have any blood family here in sunny ole Golders Green. What, you say? Oh, I neglected to tell you that I'm not British born and bred, actually I'm more American Wonder Bread. So Eshet, I apologize if I've adopted some of the English 'lingo', but we all do what we must in order to survive.
Yup, that's right! But I've been living here nearly twenty years and although my accents still the same, my words are different. So, back to my Hubby; so he marries me, shlepps me 3,500 miles away and then goes off on vacation, oh sorry, I mean work
My little one, sensing that I need my sleep more than ever, decides to have deep, meaningful discussions at 2:00 in the morning. The other ones are walking around like their favorite pet has died (not that they have pets, cuz the only beings that poop in my house are people- but that's for another post).
I'm exhausted emotionally and physically.
Meanwhile, my Mom back home in the US of A, calls me every two minutes automatically assuming everything has gone to pot (hey, I could sure use some of that!) which for the most part it has. She's worrying about her only daughter stranded on this deserted isle while Hubby is in ignorant traveling bliss only receiving glowing (for the most part untrue) reports about his progeny.
Hubby once asked me, when he's away do I miss him
, or what he does for me???
I answered what any good wife would- "Of course I miss the complete package; you and
what you do for me!"
COME HOME, HUBBY! I MISS YOU!!!!!
It Ain't Over Till the Fat Lady Sings
Hey, whatdoyaknow?? That was not my last post. I obviously have a lot more to say.
I just arrived back from the Holy Land, where Jews are rampant and forever clogging the airplane aisles. I love it there and will forever feel guilty that I do not live there. I have since begged Hubby to bury me there and offered him a place next to me; but being the Brit that he is, he just talked about the weather. I figure that it will be so much easier after Moshiach comes, for us to already be residing in Eretz Yisroel rather than taking the harder route underground from England. Besides, everyone comes to Israel and I want my kids to be able to visit their dear old (dead) Mum.
And now, drumroll please; my never been disproved TROUSER THEORY;
(For those of you from over the pond trousers mean pants, cuz pants in England means underwear.)
The difference between the heimishly frum and nonfrum women in Israel can be discerned from their choice of attire. Any frummy worth her salt will wear a skirt and any non frumma wears trousers.
That's it, that's my theory. As you walk along the cobblestone streets in the footsteps of ancient kings and tzaddikim, look around you. No matter that skirts are in,
if you wear one, you will be pegged as a frumma. Therefore, while I look so chic in the UK wearing the latest in fashionable pencil skirts, I come to Israel and feel as frum as can be. (Notice I didn't say that was negative!) Now here is my issue; some women should not
wear trousers. I really mean it. If I was the fashion police, I would have run out of citations. Some women just look better in skirts. I shared this theory with Hubby and being the cynic that he is, he took some convincing, but at last he came round to my way of thinking. He also noticed that even 80 year old women and up wore trousers. Because, and this is the kicker- if they wore a skirt, they would look frum
, chas vesholem, shock, horror. Now, back to women who really should know better, they would rather walk around with their ample backsides on display rather than have someone confuse them with someone who is religious. What does that say??????