scribbles tagged ‘2000’

in a fortnight

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

less than 2 weeks after arriving in the USA I’m in a project meeting with 10 Americans mostly wearing the pants (UK = shorts) of the khaki cargo variety

programme manager: wendy, can we get a time on that deliverable?

wendy: a fortnight


more silence, I have no idea what’s happening

team leader: did you say 4 days?

wendy: errrr, no! a bit longer, more like 2 weeks or 10 days if my weekend goes for a burton

programme manager: lets touch base after the meeting

This prompted much giggling from the team. I knew they wouldn’t understand ‘go for a burton’, I hadn’t anticipated that they also wouldn’t understand ‘bit’. Most British English speakers understand American English, many American English speakers do not understand  quirks of British English.

Hometown cafe tabletopI picked up and started using American English phrases while mostly maintaining my British accent. The Hispanic American staff in the canteen couldn’t understand my accent unless I used an American pronunciation.  I started imitating American English to get tomatoes with my burger. Thinking about how to pronounce my vowels made my fake American accent delivery rather slow. Amused people in the canteen line (UK = Queue) commented that I sounded like a Texan, because of my  drawl.

Since returning to England I have maintained many Americanisms, they are understood.

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Sunday, December 19th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

From job application to visa clearance took 14 months. From the day I handed my notice in at work we started to tell our friends and families about my new job in the USA.  Mostly people chose not to ask the obvious questions. As if we were all complicit in an assumptive silence. I was relieved when people asked

were you going too? No
Would we still be friends. Yes
How would it work? Phone calls and holiday visits
Why were we splitting-up? a 9hr time-zone gap, a 9hrs flight, we would not be a couple
Was it just because the job? ….

You are a good actor, you played the victim well and mostly I let you take the role without editorial. You would be staying here with our friends, I was leaving everyone. Leaving a way of life, friends, a job behind. It felt like I was running away. I was glad that I had been able to find somewhere to run to. Without your cold love I would never have had the confidence to emigrate, to take on a completely new job in a completely new continent, to take a mortgage on a house that wasn’t even built yet and whose plot I hand’t even seen.

you’re bonkers!

maybe I was

Previous paragraphs in this story:
  1. The begining of the end
  2. Send in the helicopters
  3. The usual please
  4. No compromise
  5. Ditched by the bitch
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ditched by the bitch

Friday, December 17th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Pretty. Curvy. Reflective

has anyone ever told you that you are a callous bitch? Because you are

The vehement anger felt like a punch in the face. Especially suprising from an acquaintance that hadn’t asked, and didn’t know, why I was leaving.

This acquaintance assumed, like others, that I was leaving you because of an impressive job opportunity. The job offer was a serendipitous coincidence that you were playing on – for sympathy.  Your play was working well, at the expense of my reputation as a member of the human race. Rather than tell the pressumptious aquaintance the real reason I decided to counter-play on traditional gender role models, with a near* truth

I begged him to come with me, there are plenty of good job moves he could make if he wanted to come too, but he didn’t want to interrupt his service continuity with Natwest. We weren’t worth it

The tearfulness prompted by his verbal punch, and the real reasons, added a sense of pathos and enhanced the impression of sincerity. Perhaps his punch was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

* no begging involved

Previous paragraphs in this story:
  1. The begining of the end
  2. Send in the helicopters
  3. The usual please
  4. No compromise
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rather bad dream

Monday, December 14th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

In my dream I was  still living with the *anker  that I actually  left in 2000 after years of building up the pluck to walk out.   Tight black leather jeans, tears bullying,   and that was just his his contribution to the dream, mine was even more icky.   I fell over several times at a cricket match during the game.   Most embaressing.  

Godley and Creme sang Under your thumb

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