I'm a Brit living in Southern California. I’ve been here for about 20 years now and yes, I can be a bit gobby. These are my observations, comments and sometimes rants about the differences between my home and my adopted home.
A few weeks after he started school, my son came home with a note that makeup photos would be taken the next week. That’s a bit odd, thought I, why would you have school photographs taken in makeup? Presumably this was a uniquely American thing schools did for a bit of fun. I was imagining him having a painted clown face or some such weird looking get up. He told me he didn’t want to participate and wouldn’t be going to school with any makeup that day.
Well – that was a close shave. It turned out “makeup” day was actually for all those children who had missed having their photos taken a few weeks before. Ahhh… it was a second chance to have get them taken. Bloody hell, I would never have heard the end of it if I had made him go to school with a painted face.
It's the Accent
When she was in First Grade my daughter told us she had to do a kern event report. I had absolutely no idea what that was and it was before the internet, so it wasn’t as if we could Google “Kern Event.” We went round and round trying to figure out what she needed to do. “It’s in the newspaper” she kept crying – “I need to get the kern event from the newspaper!” “Are you sure that’s what they said?” I asked her. “It wasn’t something else?” “No, no a kern event!” Oh, what to do – I was a bit flummoxed, to say the least.
My son walked into the middle of the conversation… “Stupid Girl” he says “It’s a current event .. C-U-R-R-E-N-T.. that's the way they say it” (don’t you just love big brothers?) Well, okay, that made sense, except she wouldn’t believe us. Bless, she was only 6 and didn’t understand the teacher’s accent.
These were a few years back, but it’s funny how that language barrier can catch you out now and again, just when I think I’ve got it handled, I’m thrown into a tizzy by a word I’ve never heard or which is pronounced differently.