18 March 2008
finally a local
As I sat on the train today, I pondered life in London. Its strange this life is. It's weird the things I have gotten used to. So here goes:
I am now more accustomed to a Middle Eastern accent instead of Mexican. I eat Indian food with the same frequency that I ate tacos...or at On the Boarder. Things like Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Parliament are all very real things. I spell honour and favourite with a U and I spell organise with an S instead of Z. I say things like post and lift instead of mail and elevator. I am used to not having a wall mounted shower and having radiators along the walls as my heating. I hardly think about it when I walk over cobblestone streets or see the houses smashed together, all in a row. I say back garden referring to a persons backyard and I always make the distinction between Football and American Football. I can tell you which tube line you need to get on depending on where you want to go in Central London, and for that matter, I say things like 'tube' instead of subway or metro.
The things that have become habit are things that I never really thought of. It’s the little things that you get used to. And it’s the little things that you grow to love. I love that I can take easy jet to Scotland for £18! (we are going next week) I love that there are chip shops on the corner and I can get fresh fries anytime I want. I love that I get to watch my husband play rugby for the local club. I love that I live in a place where there are local clubs (and they are actually a big deal) I like that everyone gets into sports over here, and really supports a team. I love the pub culture. Not 'I am going to a bar after work' but sitting down, sharing a pint with your mates down the local pub. I also love that British people take out words or add letters to them. For example: 'down the pub' or 'glad to meet yous' no one thinks it bad grammar, it is just how they talk.
Yesterday when I was emailing a work colleague who is based in the states, he referred to me as a local. I laughed and said that was the first time. But it occurred to me that I am local. Naturally you are local to wherever you live, but I have been here now 7 months. I know my way around the city, I know what is acceptable and what is not. I love so many things about my new home. I love all the things I have already gotten used to and I look forward to more. I love that I am now a local.