being the foreigner

All my life I’ve considered other people to be “the foreigners”. I grew up in a small town in New Zealand and was considered a local as I had been born there. Shifting to Wellington and spending 20 years in a transient city still makes me a Wellingtonian. Then I shifted to Australia and all that changed. I’m no longer the local – now I’m the foreigner with a funny accent.

I say pen, Australians hear pin. I say six, they hear sex. I say fish and chips, they hear fush n chups. I say physical education, I can’t imagine what they hear. And to add insult to injury, my Australian Bridge Foundation membership number has three 6’s in it (much to the delight of my fellow bridge players).

And then there are all the things that have different names here. A grabber – well that’s a spanner and there’s no such thing as red cabbage – it’s called purple cabbage here! My lovely asian vegetable market man and his wife could not stop laughing at me last week once they had finally worked out what I was asking for.

So I continue to be a constant source of amusement for … *shrugs* well basically everybody. But I’m having fun and loving life, so that’s all that really matters in my opinion.


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