Prompted by an entry in LJ of <LJ user=shortindiangirl>.
This is probably my 8th visit to this vast country…but what always strikes my notice is this business of names of towns and cities. We have visited Naples,Poland, London, Moscow, Manchester…without leaving American soil. I get the feeling that Americans are not comfortable making up names; as soon as the question arose, “What shall we call this town?” someone came running along, with an Atlas tucked under his arm. “Ah!” cried everyone, let’s see what page we turn to today.” “Paris!” yells the Atlas guy. “Great!” says the crowd. So Paris it is. The more exotic it is…Salem or Lebanon or Geneva or Madras…there it goes, down on the record.
I thought I had watched enough Hollywood movies to be able to follow American English as she is spoken…but alas, therre is just now way some of the citizens of St Louis, and I, can understand each other! I find it quite impossible to understand what some of them say to me…and the reverse is also true. I went to a nearby supermarket and asked where I could find the milk…and there were four friendly, wanting-to-be-helpful-but-completely-foxed people looking at me blankly. I finally mimed milking a cow and got my response! Thank goodness, this problem occurs in the South and not in the NorthEast of the US…I suspect that a Texas drawl is going to be beyond this too!
Been reflecting for some time on someone whom I have wanted to be friends with, who always had issues about it, not least being the fact that I was friendly with his parents. I learnt to accept that he would always be cold and unforthcoming. Then I learnt that he has put up an LJ entry (after removing me from his friends’ list) accusing me of being less than caring about his mother.
One of the greatest problems one faces when visiting family abroad is, how to keep oneself well occupied. Of course, helping with the housework can take up some time, but I find that my spouse is slowly gong crazy, as he has always been a human “doing” and not just a human “being”. One solution is to visit in the cold weather, whecan walking around can both familiarize you with where you are, and get you a lot of exercise. Since driving is an issue for most of us who come to the US, I would certainly suggest this. The irony is that we are both comfortable driving in the US and specifically enquired if an international driving licence would be required to rent a car…we were told it was not necessary, and didn’t bother to get them; now we realize that we are not covered by the insure on DnA’s cars unless we possess them! So we avoid driving the cars (which anyway, both of them need much more than we do!). Luckily for us, here in St Louis, we live close to Forest Park and the Loop area and hence can walk quite a lot early in the morning at least, before the heat sets in. Some of the ritzier shopping areas are not serve by the MetroLink; public trahinsportation is not the greatest feature of the smaller American ciities!