Tuesday, 3 July 2007

You talking to me?

It's great having a British accent in New York. It can be an excellent conversation starter and generally gets me lots of compliments of the ‘I love your accent’ variety. However it can be exasperating when people have difficulty understanding me and look at me like I'm speaking martian, it's the same language for chrissakes!! This happens to me all the time when I order a sandwich at the deli…


Me: Could I have tuna and tomato on whole-wheat please

Deli Guy: What was that on whole-wheat?

Me: Tuna and tomato.

Deli Guy: What?

Me: Tuna, tuna...(continue to receive blank looks from deli guy). Oh for god’s sake....

Me (Adopting appalling imitation of American accent): Too-na!! Too-na and tom-ay-to on whole-wheat please.

Deli Guy: Ohhh tooooo-na!! Sure. You wanna pickle?

From now on I’m only going to order ham and cheese.

6 comments:

spatiallydiffusedbudgie said...

In Colorado, a waiter seemed to have a very hard time understanding the word "water" spoken by this particular Australian. What can you do? They drive on the wrong side of the road and can't spell, so we can't really expect them to understand spoken English :)

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Ha ha, that's great. Yes I have a lot of trouble asking for water too. My American friends find it hilarious that I sometimes have to put on an American accent to make myself understood. Thanks for reading :-)

bloglet said...

Let's call the whole thing off.

I lived in the Caribbean for a couple of years and could never stop people mistaking my name (always the same way). I returned home and guess what - exactly the same thing happened. And still does.

Imma said...

I know what you mean!!! I'm Italian, but I live in Texas and after 7 years my accent is still strong and I still feel as an alien when I talk!!!

upanaway said...

I'm English - living in Australia but recently visited New York. It was a tad chilly - so I went into a department store to ask where I would find jumpers.
The young girl behind the cosmetic display looked at me in a very concerned way and asked if I'd like to "talk to someone". whaaat?

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Yeah, you have to call them sweaters over here. Jumpers do exist, but they are what we would call a pinafore. The worst one is pantyhose. An English friend of mine who needed to dress in skirt suits for the office would have friends post her tights from M&S because she refused to go in a US department store and ask for pantyhose :-) Thanks for stopping by Upanaway. F