Mission: Lost in Translation

In 2004 we moved to the UK.  I was stoked!    Not only were we staying in Europe, but they actually spoke English, or so I thought.   I am not good with accents to beginning with (mainly Middle Eastern and Spanish), but I thought the UK would be a breeze and I would not have to slaughter my little known French or German.   My first encounter was right after we moved into the house in Ramsey.  The 80+ year old property manager came over and wanted to go in the basement.  He asked “Do you have a torch?”  I was thinking, what in the world does this old man want a torch for?  Maybe he is just senile or mistaken, but he repeated himself several more times asking for a bloody torch.   So logically, I found a lighter and gave it to him, thinking it was the closest thing to a torch.   He got very aggravated at me and said “bloody hell, don’t you have anything better than this. I need a torch to go downstairs, it is too dark!”   Then a light went off, literally, he wanted a flashlight….

That day taught me how to be quick lipped with snappy come-backs and think outside the box.    There were daily occurrences that I learned quickly…bonnet was your hood of your car, boot was the back, biscuits were cookies, crisps were chips, bangers were hotdogs/sausages and so forth.    Now I actually thought, “I got this”!   Not so much…

Several months had past and I was ready to put plants in.  I went to the local garden shop, did all of my shopping and was at the check out.   As it always rain in the UK, I lived in Wellies (tall rain boots),the cashier hands me a plastic bag and says “this is for your boot.”  I told her no thank you and that I would be keeping my Wellies on despite they were caked in mud, but she said no, this is for your boot.  Again I declined.   Then this nice lady behind me said “Love, not the boots on your feet, but the boot of your car!”   Dammit, I thought I had the lingo down, of course she meant the boot of my car so that I would not get mud from the plants in it.

Even now after all of these years since we left the UK, I still catch myself using UK English, my Pickle Brit friends still take the piss out of my vocabulary, but I would not change it for anything.   These were some of the best times of my life and no one could take the friendship, laughs and memories away from us.


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