“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.