Monday, January 9, 2012

Ooooh, Now I Get It!

Today I had my first day of my British Life & Culture class and it's safe to say I have already been fully enlightened. Our teacher is a charmingly-awkward British man with a cute sense of humor. I'm really excited for this class because, although it is 3 hours long, we'll be going on tons of trips throughout the semester. Some of our future trips that were mentioned today were places like the reconstructed version of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Oxford University, and Parliament.

I learned some very useful information in class today as well. While discussing some future class trips, my teacher mentioned how we would eventually have a taste of curry, which he referred to as South Asian food.  I then realized that in England the term "South Asian" people refers to what we would consider "Middle Eastern" people. This explains why the man at the information desk in the airport told me the tall, dark driver from the car service we booked was an Asian man.

It's these subtle happenings that make me realize how different the British and Americans actually are. The fact that we technically speak the same language is often very deceiving. In a way, this makes things a whole lot more different. For example, if I were in America and I was talking to someone whose first language was Spanish, they would assimilate by trying to speak English. The same goes for the opposite; if I was in Spain I would adjust by trying to communicate in Spanish. In the UK however, both Americans and the British speak English but their versions of English our not always the same. So while both groups continue to speak mostly in their own version of English there are often odd situations of confusion. An example we experienced is the following phrase:
"I'm so pissed, I got my pants dirty."
American translation: I'm very angry, I got something on my pants.
British translation: I'm so drunk, I dirtied my underwear.
Such a simple phrase but two completely different meanings. When it really comes down to it, it's almost like we speak two different languages that have some similarities.

Nevertheless, I clearly have some more learning to do. Oh, and today I also signed up for a free day trip to Stonehenge this weekend. After seeing so many pictures of those humongous  rocks and hearing so many "ancient alien astronaut theories" about them on the history channel I can't wait to see them for myself. I'll do some of my own inspecting and figure out how and why they're there and fill everyone in when I get back, don't worry. As for now, I'm going to cook myself some dinner: chicken, broccoli, rice, and garlic. Let's hope it all tastes remotely the same. Allie and I also bought some baby bottles of wine, just because we could. Cheers!

Baby wine

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