Sunday, 23 October 2011

Becoming British

Or, How I've Changed...

I've wanted to write this post for a while now, but I've been busy working, or holidaying, or writing up blogs about my holidays while at work... So now I have nothing to blog about for the time being so thought it was a good time to write it :)

Firstly, and perhaps the worst thing of all, is that apparently I've picked up a bit of a pommie accent. I've had 2 people tell me this (OK, 2 isn't that many, but it is 2 too many :P). Though in saying that, I have been told since I got here that I don't have a 'strong' Aussie accent, and even in Aus I've been asked 'where are you from?'. So who knows what accent I've got, and where I'm from!

There are a few words that I've had to change so that the Brits can understand me.
Food - Courgette, not zucchini (since getting a new computer, it doesn't even recognise that word!). Pepper, not capsicum. Crisps, not chips.
Clothes - The Poms call ALL pants trousers... including tracksuit pants :S. If you say pants over here they will think you are talking about your underwear! I keep arguing that underpants are called underpants because they go under your pants. And besides, you wear trousers with a suit!
There are also the terms togs and thongs (which I think are more Qlder, rather than Aussie). I need to say swimmers and flip flops. If I say thongs they will think I'm talking about a pair of pants :S

We Aussies also abbreviate things a lot. I'm sure we are the only country in the world that goes to 'Macca's'. I have been asked on a number of occasions by people of different what Macca's is... for those of you not in the know, it's McDonald's. We also abbreviate a lot shorter too. Aussies watch (or don't watch) ads, the Poms watch adverts.

When I came over here, ENA made me get a international drivers licence. I'm not exactly sure why I had to get one, seeing as you can drive on an Australian licence over here, without the need for one. But you can only do that for a year, after a year you need to get a UK driving licence. So I now how a UK driving licence. The worst thing about it is that I had to surrender my Aussie one :( Apparently you can only hold one licence at at time, but in Aus you're allowed to keep your British one, if you then want to get an Aussie (or maybe just QLD) drivers licence!

My taste buds have also changed. Before I came to England I did NOT like mushrooms. The only thing I would purposely put mushrooms into was spag bol, and they were finely chopped/minced. However, my first long term client regularly ate garlic mushrooms, and I started thinking that I would like to try some. So I chopped some up, and cooked them until they were no longer chewy/rubbery, and found I liked them! At first I could only eat them the way I cooked them, but now I don't mind the texture so my, and even crave mushrooms every now and again!

I can also drink a much wider variety of wine. A year ago I would only drink non-dry, sweet wines (didn't matter what colour). Now I prefer reds, and can drink pretty much whatever. I wouldn't say I'm a complete convert to beer, but after 6 steins in Germany, I can definitely say that I can drink it much easier then when I was in Aus, even if they were only half beer/half lemonade :p Considering I had NEVER finished a can/bottle/glass of beer OR Shandy before I came overseas, I think it is an 'improvement'! I think the forced 3 month dry spells at a time, living in a sometimes stressful environment, and the lack of social isolation have given me an appreciation for anything with alcohol in it!

In Australia I had joined a couple of gyms, and then after a couple of weeks/maybe months of consistently going I always got bored and stopped going. However, and I never thought I would say this, I actually enjoy going to the gym, and when I haven't been able to go I missed it. I went regularly for over 6 once I had my first long term client, but then had to cancel my membership when I started with my 3rd long term client. £4 return to get to the gym was not worth it, particularly seeing that gym prices had gone up now that I was living 'closer to' London.

Just before I left for my diving/Oktoberfest holiday I decided that I wouldn't be able to return with the same client if I couldn't get to the gym... I don't like going out for a walk/run. I find it boring. But I needed to get out and do something. So I organised with my client and ENA to use her car to drive to the gym, and I have been going regularly again for about 3/4 weeks :) I pay for the petrol and parking at the gym, which works out to £1.20 every time I go... MUCH cheaper than £4.

I would like to think that I will continue going to the gym when I return home, but it is hard to say when I am in a 'normal routine. At the moment I only get to go out for 3hrs a day by myself, and it's in the afternoon. If i get a job back in Aus that allows me more time off, I may use it to visit people or just relax, but hoepfully I will continue with it :)

With all the travel I've done, and all the travel that is planned my world (particularly European) geography (and history to some extent) is much improved. Now I'm gonna list where I've been in the past year and a bit: Obviously I've been to England, followed by Egypt, Athens (Greece), Scotland, Tenerife (Spain), Turkey, Germany, and France. In December and January I will be able to add Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Slovakia, and hopefully Cardiff (Wales) to that list. My passport is getting very stamped! :)

I thought I'd add this bit too. If you have been reading along, you will know that my laptop decided to break - well more specifically the keyboard stopped working properly after I tried to fix it. Well the day I decided to take it to the repair shop, it stopped charging properly too! I didn't think much of it, and went ahead and got the keyboard replaced. I also bought new charger leads to see if that would help the charging issue. Turns out it was the computer, and not the charger cable. I could get it to charge by pulling the cord, and wrapping it around my computer, and then making sure it didn't move.. but that was very impracticable, and the computer was overheating a lot.

I had been thinking about getting a new laptop, as the old one was soooooooooooooo slllloooooowwww, but I was putting it off until I came home. But I found a good deal online and ended up getting a 15.something" Samsung laptop. It took me a little while to get used to a full size keyboard again, but so far no regrets in buying it. The only problem is the English keyboard. The @ sign is at the end of the middle row, and I now have $ and £ signs. OK, it's not too much of a problem. In fact I somehow changed the keyboard software to Australian, and had to change it back to English, cos I didn't like the fact that the keys didn't correspond to the button - much too confusing, even thought I can touch type, so technically it really shouldn't matter at all :P

Well that's all I can think of at the moment. I hope you've enjoyed this post :) Bye xox