A Very Merry Time of the Year. The Build up to Christmas.

Presents wrapped. Wine poured and put aside for the moment. I’m too busy putting last minute touches to the table settings to relax just yet. I love the Holidays!

As I reflected on in my ¬†previous post.¬†Christmas can be overwhelming for immigrants to America.¬†¬†If there is any time you’re going to get a rush of culture shock it is during the most important holidays of the year.

I was talking with a friend from Boston recently. We were discussing how it’s amazing how different two English speaking cultures can be.

After my experiences here, I am convinced my native country New Zealand speaks an English dialect. It’s moved on from an accent to a dialect! I could do an ongoing series of posts on this.

This week I was at Safeway for the third time to upend my wallet into their tills. Here in America the millstones of commerce grind slow but they grind exceedingly small.
The lovely lady behind the deli counter said as she has before: “Oh I love your language”! “What language do you speak”?

I realise I’m using nods and gestures to communicate to get my pound of crab.

Once I’ve known people for a while they get used to my accent.¬†If I get excitable I lapse back into New Zealandese. ¬†My friend says: ” Monique I can’t understand a word of what you’re saying but I love listening to you”.

At this point I try to swap to water.

We had closets installed in our sons new bedrooms this week. The installers were Mexican. I fed them leftovers from a class party even though I resent they kick our arses at football (soccer) . We chatted. It’s nice that we were able to communicate. I tell them I’m from New Zealand and a bit of our family’s story. They say: “Oh we thought you were Russian! Apparently they have a Russian co-worker who learned to speak English as an adult. We sound similar. Who knew!

My husband has an accent but is able to make himself understood fairly easily.
“Ohh I Love your Accent”,¬†coo his female co-workers. If I ever wanted to get rid of him I’d send him up to the playground with a dog and a newborn. It’d tick all the boxes and he’d be picked up by¬†the first single female he talked to.

Here’s a good explanation on understanding the New Zealand accent.









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