Friday, 9 September 2016

Moving back to England with my Americanadian husband in tow.

Being in a relationship with an Americanadian for the last three years has been an education for both of us, and it is surprising what we have learnt about each other's 'cultures', I use the term culture loosely, he is half American after all. Joke, I'm joking! Obviously! Michael identifies himself as Americanadian, not a term I had heard before, as his father was born in Wyoming, USA, and his mother is from British Columbia, Canada, making him half American and half Canadian.

We disagree about a number of things, not least of which being which side of the road is the right side to drive on, I begrudgingly agree that he is probably right that the right side is right. Mainly due to the number of countries that drive on the right rather than the left. Incidentally, why do narrowboats travel on the right side of the Canal in England? This is most confusing. And while we are on their subject of driving, after some initial confusion, Michael has agreed that round-a-bouts are a lot more efficient than their American equivalent, the all-way or four-way stop, I never know whose turn it is to go on these, it looks completely random to me, a free for all.

Another cause of disagreement, is Michael's annoying, incorrect pronunciation of certain words, although I can't blame him as he was brought up speaking American English, rather than actual English. Amongst the words he can't say;  aluminium, (al-loo-mi-num), Tuesday (Toos-day), tomato (Tam-ay-do), Tube (toob),  I could go on... and on! He also has issues spelling some words, cheque he spells check, and he insists on missing out the u in colour as well as  replacing s's with z's in all sorts of words. Perhaps his most serious offence is the way he pronounces Leicester, he reads it Lei-ces-ter, in stead of Les-ter. Wait, hang on, err, OK, maybe he has a point with that one, never mind.

And speaking of language, I have managed to teach him a few new words, no mean feat as he prides himself on his varied vocabulary. His favourite new word is skew-wiff and he drops it into conversation at every opportunity, such as "my back hurts, do I look skew-wiff?" My Goddaughter also taught him the word cooee while riding the Ferris wheel on Santa Monica pier! Other words he has queried include chav, oik, barmy, twiglet, yobbos and he was baffled by bubble and squeak.

I like to think I have introduced him to some classic British TV too. His favourite show while living in New Zealand was QI with Stephen Fry, and he was also very amused by The Inbertweeners, An Idiot Abroad and Miranda, although we did have to keep pausing Miranda so I could explain some of the references. I take it as a good sign that, despite his nationality, he does get the British sense of humour. I mean he finds me hilarious, although I keep having to remind him of that.

Michael believes that there is no  such thing as a British celebrity. I am sure he says this with his tongue in his cheek. Well I hope he does. One memorable quote, 'what is a Ross Kemp?' really tickled me when we caught a trailer for his TV shows on gangs, this led to a full explanation from me, including YouTube clips of vintage Eastenders from the Phil and Grant days. I think that actually, the clips confused things more, although he did find the gang documentaries interesting and well made.

We are currently navigating the British immigration process which has caused him to complain about the bureaucratic idiocy of the process in my country. Yes, my country that he now wants to live in.

So as we count down the weeks till we leave LA,  I find myself wondering how well Michael will take to life in England. We are both more than ready to leave America (Trump, guns, healthcare, ignorance, racism, being just a few of the reasons) and we know that things won't be perfect in England either (Farage, yobbos, healthcare, intolerance, UKIP being just a few of those reasons). After being spoilt by the Californian sunshine how will Michael cope with grey rainy England and the monotonous diet of bangers and mash and spotted dick? Only time will tell.