Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Are you American?

»Hi there, I have an appointment for a check-up for my dog, Max?«
»Right, yes, here we are. Has Max been to the vet before?«
»Well, no, not here… I mean…?«
»Oh no, I mean back home in America?«
»Well, we actually moved here from Copenhagen…«

Cue confused lady at the vet looking at me like I’m the strangest thing she’s ever seen.
This slightly odd conversation took place at my local vet’s office in Angel, London a few days after I arrived here with my man, my dog and a ton of stuff – well, the stuff was actually ever so slightly delayed due to a forgotten passport, a mover with food poisoning (don’t EVER eat the food on the ferry from Oostende to Ramsgate!) and a ridiculous amount of other incidents that I won’t bore you with here.
Anyhow, fast-forward to six months later and that little conversation has become just one of many situations were I am assumed to be American – on a daily basis. Granted, after having lived in Andalusia, Alabama for a year when I was 16 – which was longer ago than I care to remember – I do have the slightest touch of a southern accent when I speak English. Okay, okay – I have a full-blown southern twang and sound worse than most of my friends who were born and raised in Alabama! But that’s completely beside the point. What really amazes me, is that I was saying y’all like somebody was paying me for it after just a few weeks of living in Alabama and after six months in London I still can’t get myself to actually pronounce the letter T unless it’s at the beginning of a word. Nonetheless, I really like it here. Actually, I love it. I have developed a very close relationship with every single employee at my local Starbucks (they never ask me for my order any more, just what kind of day it is, aka tall, grande or venti…) and every time I walk down the amazingness that is Upper Street in Angel I have to remind myself that I’m a so-called grown-up in order to not start doing silly moves and yelling I LIVE HERE! So yes, moving to London has definitely been a good decision so far.
So what about that Copenhagen business, you ask? Well, Copenhagen is beautiful. Amazing. Gorgeous. But also quite small. And the supermarkets are just downright crappy. Having lived there for six years, moving away wasn’t an easy decision. Amazing friends do kind of outweigh crappy supermarkets. But once the decision was made, it felt so right and I haven’t looked back one single time. Cheesy, I know. Also, London doesn’t have arctic winters, which I appreciate a lot. I know, I know everybody here says it gets really cold too, but since I’ve made it to January without really needing those lovely gloves I have, I must say: it’s a freakin’ vacation compared to the last couple of years in Copenhagen.
So now I’m a London lady – starting a blog. Why? I’m not sure. I guess I’m technically an expat now, and expats start blogs, don’t they? And I figure between seeing a ton of dance performances and comparing the UK to the three other countries I’ve lived in so far, there has to be something to write about. Plus, I have all these long conversations in my head, and it seems like it might be a good idea to actually write some of them down…

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