“Are you still serving breakfast?” I ask with a little sing-songy upglide at the end of my sentence, giving my speech a modicum of a British accent.
I realize in just four days here in London, I am already emulating an accent, ever-so-slightly, and probably ever-so-annoyingly. I realize it’s my subconscious attempt to fit in or, at least, not stand out.
And why I feel this way in an international city such as London where there are dozens of various accents floating all around my ears everywhere I walk, is rather perplexing to me. I sit down and wait for my fried egg with roasted field mushrooms and tallegio cheese at the very-cute red and white accented neighborhood bakery called Gail’s in the neighborhood of Clerkenwell. I’ve walked here from my Oh-London.com rental flat in Islington – doing what I do best, checking out the London neighborhoods, something I much prefer than traipsing around the city center chock-a-block with tourists and crowds. Plus, I’ve been to London several times and have seen many of the ‘big’ sights. Strolling through more local ‘hoods always gives me a better sense of living in a place like this…and if I did, Clerkenwell seems like a good place to live.
Gail’s sits on a pedestrian-only block called Exmouth Market. It’s a cobblestone way full of cafes, bars, and stalls serving up tasty falafel sandwiches or Thai food.
“Here you go,” says the waitress as she sets my breakfast in front of me.
“Thank you very much,” I say in my standard American accent, trying to be ‘me’ again. Whichever me that is.
Subscribe now and get my downloadable FREE Travel Tips Guide with all my best tips to help you travel cheaper, safer, and easier today!
No spam, I promise!
Mmm I love the smell of fried and the sounds of "oye oye!" in the morning. Thanks for linking oh-london.com, that will be a resource for me on my next trip to london. Love the post, keep em coming!
I do this all the time. When I moved to Ireland, I was concerned I'd start to stand out as an ass and deliberate faker. I mentioned it to a few Irish friends and they all immediately asked if I had a good ear for music. I used to get paid to sing, so I told them yes. They said, "Well, that's it, then!" Hmm… May be something to that.
Funny, we were just talking about how I now pronounce the word "Water"(as in Woh-ta). When I hear someone outside the UK say it, I begin to realise how I now pronounce it. I feel as if I've always pronounced it this way because I can't pronounce it any other way anymore.
'sing-songy upglide?' Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Willis?! They prob thought you were an estranged Aussie.. 😉 Clerkenwell n Islington are fab though. Next time learn some cockney rhyming slang!
London is the heaven on the earth. I had visited London in last summer vacation, at that time I had a great experience of ZSL London Zoo which I had visited with my family. Thanks for reminding my memories once again.
Scott - QuirkyTravel
I imagine I'd do the same thing with the accent. So maybe Madonna's fake British accent is sort of real, after all?
You know Scott…as much as I used to think Madonna's Detroit/British accent was annoying…I actually can see how it might not be truly fake.
I'm more concerned about you faking a Jersey girl accent. Oh, wait, it ain't fake.
Well, it's a good thing I don't actually have the 'Jersey' girl accent Kevin! In fact, there is a large slice of NJ people that don't really have that 'new yawk' accent at all. 🙂