19 November 2008

language barriers

When I first moved to the UK I posted quite a bit about the language differences. Even though we both use English it is really two different versions of it. For a while now I have not had any problems. I have changed my word usage and grammatical structure to fit that of the crazy Brits that I live amongst. See? I even say things like 'amongst'

However, this morning was a bit of an issue. I went to the local cafe where I get breakfast when I forget to pack mine and I asked if they had oatmeal. The conversation went something like this:

me: Hiya, do you have oatmeal? (notice the hiya...another great British-ism I have picked up)

cafe lady: ummm...let me see. (she walks over to the bread and roll section) No, it looks like all we have is regular brown. I can give you a brown roll?

me: No, I don’t mean bread...I mean oatmeal, like soup.

cafe lady: oh, like lentils? No, we don’t have lentil soup.

me: No, not lentils.... (ok, MAJOR mind blank here!! what in the world do they call oatmeal in the UK?!) umm.... I am trying to think of what you would call it over here... its oat-y and soup-y and you can make it with milk.

cafe lady: oh, you mean hot oats? like porridge?

me: yes. that is what I mean. (all the while I am thinking, hot oats? is that really so different from oatmeal?)

cafe lady: no, we don’t have that. but we do have hard boiled eggs.

me: (cause that is the same?) oh, well ok. that sounds ok too. I will take some of those.

So my language barrier this morning got me two hard boiled eggs instead of oatmeal. they were tasty though and I thoroughly enjoyed!

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