A Whole New…Accent?

•March 18, 2013 • 1 Comment

Okay. So, I always knew I had a London accent. But I never really -knew- I had a London accent. Do you know what I mean? It’s funny how being in another country makes me aware of how different I sound when I speak. Which…I do. And I can hear it. I don’t mind it, per say. I do feel like I’m pronouncing things completely wrong and I think what stands out the most is that I sound so utterly posh! When did this happen?! It’s like I came straight out of Harry Potter.

I suppose the most recent example I can compare the sensation with is just like one’s reaction to Britney’s (not so good, but still entertaining) ‘Brit’ accent in that Scream and Shout song. Which I think I might like, by the way. I don’t like to admit it, maybe, but it actually grew on me. My original reaction when I first heard it – All Eyes On Us? Definitely. Especially when you realise you almost sound like exactly like her when speaking!

Eastwood, Manila (Philippines)

Eastwood City, Manila Philippines

What I’m quickly realising is that having the Ye Olde British accent is that you primarily get one of two reactions. The first (and the most popular): people get incredibly shy around you. All of a sudden all the English they’ve known throughout their entire lives suddenly disappears. It’s like I’m the epitome of English Language Assessment. This one makes me feel intimidating, which is inconvenient on more occasions than I would prefer. There really isn’t a need to feel like this, believe me when I say, no-one knows how to speak “correct English”. Not one person in the entire world. We all have our quirks and colonialisms, deep down no one gives a cahoot (such a good word) about “correct spoken English”.

The second, and by default, less popular reaction is that all of a sudden I’m branded a foreigner and that I have no idea what I’m doing. Umm.

So there you have it.

I suppose the thickness of the accent won’t last long, they never usually do when one is immersed in a new environ. Although I can feel my Ts becoming stronger and more prominent in order to be better understood. It’s all waTer and buTTer now. It’s practically all new to me, too. Before I know it, the phonemes of my vowels will follow suit and suddenly I’m all indistinguishable.

I also love how – and this happens to me wherever I go – people assume I’m a local of mixed race. Yay! Thank you Mediterranean genetics! Thou has proven useful in making me, for the majority, ‘racially grey’. I love it. A bit of sunshine hits my skin and voila, I’m anything and everything. As a result, people are increasingly speaking to me in Filipino. And all is going well. Until I speak. Then giggling ensues! It makes me smile.

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Normal Speed

•March 13, 2013 • 2 Comments

You know what I just realised. I’m not lazy or too laid back. I’m just living in the wrong country. The amount of times I’ve been told that I’m “always late” or that I don’t stress about the things that I should be stressing about is essentially; countless. I half expect it now. Well, to those people I say that I go at the same speed as the majority of the world. Whoomph there it is!

The general norm for wherever you go that isn’t the UK or USA is essentially taking your sweet time when going about your daily shenanigans. You think Australians have time to run around like headless chickens? HA. That’s why they’re all so happy. Every Australian I’ve ever met acts like they’ve been born from a drop of golden sunshine. I won’t lie, encountering one of those so called ‘Aussie Sun Beams’ is akin to daylight striking the very core of your retinas on a dark, cold morning. Therein lies the secret: Zen promotes Zen. There isn’t enough of it back in London.

That number 55 bus taking a little longer than it should be? Drat, another two minutes wasted. Stress. Stress. Ugh, caught at the red traffic light once again. Stress. Stress. There’s a queue at lunch? Stress. Stress. STRESS. STRESS. STRESS. STRESS.

STOP.

Rockwell, Manila (Philippines)

Rockwell, Manila Philippines

Chill. Take it back a notch or three. So, you didn’t make it to the bank on time, I don’t see your limbs falling off from their very hinges and sockets. Just go tomorrow. So you were late for work 5 minutes — chill the heck out — it happens in life. Don’t feel like going into work? Don’t go –- use a sick day or two, that’s what they’re there for. You’re not getting brownie points for the least amount of sick days you take. You’re certainly not getting extra pay.

Yes, there are some things you can stress over. Like food, paying bills on time and so on. Even then, the entire system is insane. If everyone just meditated a little, it wouldn’t have to go as far as getting a palpitation whenever you need to wait for  an extra three minutes. Simply thinking about the collective stress levels some Londoners go through and I can already hear the knell of early graves. Just. Chill. Go for a walk, listen to some good music. Anything, but remember to go at normal speed. None of this crazy scurrying in all directions, this isn’t a juggling competition.

I’m not saying ditch responsibility. Not at all, that would be self-destructive. I’m simply suggesting to befriend those anxiety levels. Armageddon will not occur because you got a parking ticket. Definitely deal with the issue. Just try and…deal with it at a steady pace.

Another reason why I feel happy here. Everyone gets on with work, and it gets done. Only not with crazy stress levels of a space shuttle. It’s More Fun in the Philippines, because critical meltdowns are all under control. I go at normal speed.

Happy

•March 11, 2013 • 8 Comments

The eagle has landed! Okay, not to much the eagle as a jet-lagged me, but I’ve landed nonetheless! And to be honest, it happened far far sooner than it felt like it would take. Not that I’m complaining, I’m glad I’m finally here – the wait felt like it took forever and it was like watching the clock go by till I got here.

The plane journey wasn’t that bad to be honest. I didn’t know much about the airline but in all honesty, there isn’t much to complain about. The long haul flight didn’t feel as long as the other long haul flights I’ve taken. That was good. Barely slept, as per usual, but it was okay.

The airport at KL was a strange place. I’ve never been in such a quiet airport in my life. People were walking around like mechanised pieces of equipment and hardly anyone made a noise. It was also a bit like being in a fruit salad, well, the United Nations version of fruit salad. Whilst London is a little like the entire globe squeezed into a Victorian settlement (bless Queen Vicky and her cotton socks), there was something a little unexpected about being a part of a ‘fruit salad’ in another country. Perhaps it was just the airport. Perhaps it was because I had just gotten off a 12 hour flight. I’m not quite sure. Either way, my tiny two hour experience of the Kuala Lumpur airport was an odd one indeed.

Oh! I saw a monk. An actual factual, real life monk. He was wearing long brown robes and real monk-beads. Like the kind you see in all the stereotypes that media portrays. I felt like I had to get his autograph or something. Then maybe have a conversation about why I wanted the autograph, delve deep into the materialistic ways of humanity and walk away with a mental reinvigoration. But I didn’t. I was too distracted by the crazy amounts of chocolate for sale. The amount of chocolate for sale at that airport is insane. A little over the top, one might say. But I’m not complaining.

It made me smile.

Makati City, Manila Philippines

So, I power napped on the second flight and after a relatively quick flight, my feet touched the Philippines and Her soil for the first time. From that moment and ‘till now I don’t exactly feel like I’m on the other side of the world. Some of it actually feels a little familiar, although that might be from having considerable amounts of time for mental prep. It’s all quite cute, actually. I was given an equally cute whirlwind tour of some areas and it all felt completely normal.

Yes, it is hot. But it isn’t putrid-hot. Yet. Although, by that time I may be more accustomed to the climate than I am already. I’ve always been able to deal with heat better than the cold, but I’m still giving myself a week or so to truly say that my body feels ‘normal’ in this temperature. I slept a lot today too. A lot. Too much, some might say, but that is what happens when I travel. I sleep the next day. Sometimes the entire day and I skip it completely, only waking up the following morning. It helps me get used to the air, water, and so on.

I love this, I don’t feel like I’m away from home. It just feels like a different home. And I know why.

I’m finally here and I’m happy.

‘Brick Wall’ Expressions

•February 25, 2013 • 1 Comment

Okay so, here is something that I can completely and utterly relate to. Sorry Twilight fans! Kirsten Stewart really does have the emotional complexity of an everyday sidewalk. And far from that idealistic yellow brick road she is.

I stumbled across this article claiming that the vanilla actress is, “so expressionless she may as well be a brick wall”. I’m not claiming that vanilla is a dull or morose flavour, I quite like it. It’s just that my two-cents worth can’t help but agree with the statement. I only watched the first film of The Twilight Saga, and aside from that surreal tree-climbing scene, the other recollection I have is just how ineffectively sculptural those ‘distance gazes’ were.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an active Twilight hater. Nor do I think that every scene should be filled with tears, laughter, or whatever the [insert your feeling from the emotion bucket here] portrayal should be. Stewart ruins the fine art of tension-filled pauses which, in all honesty, can only be pulled off in either real life situations or by those who have the gift of subtlety. For reference, see below:

Re-watch the film, you’ll see. Those are the very same expressions taken from film stills. Of different scenes.

Now, I’m not a fan. There are those that will always disagree, naturally. There are also avid fanatics which, if they want to, can worship the franchise all they like, it doesn’t particularly bother me. What does, however, is that for the rest of her career — she will always be Concrete Kristen.

10 03(5) 13

•February 24, 2013 • Leave a Comment

With just under two weeks, the anticipation sets in.

I can’t believe it’s practically around the corner, but similarly I just can’t wait. Just 13 days — 13 days till I’m where I’m supposed to be. With everyone around me reminding me that I don’t really have long till I have no reason to complain about this arctic blast we’re (once again) so graciously gifted with.

Most, if not all, of my tick boxes have been checked – and with not much to do till I leave, I can’t help but feel like I want it to just happen now. I’ve had so much to write about since I first made this blog. I suppose all those other topics will often come and go. Always feeling like there is plenty of time to write, plenty of time to sit down and muse, but never quite doing it. It’s mostly down to the nefarious nitty gritty daily admin stuff that gets in the way.

This probably won’t make much sense either, to be honest.

But I like that.

It isn’t supposed to, unless you already know.

Regardless, I had the urge to supernova and let out my excitement. Or, to simply; write.

Just 13 days. 10-03(5)-13.

Not long, not far.
Can’t wait, little star.

I am your Writer

•December 16, 2012 • 2 Comments

I find myself staring at the empty page once again, reminiscent of that ‘first’ entry many years ago. First entries — pointless, yet its presence paves the way for all the solitary entries that follow.

This is why I’ve avoided the trifle and trauma that comes with over-thinking the first entry. It won’t kick-start this blog by setting it in stone as either a place for high brow discourse or casual moaning. No. It is a simply a space for musings, reactions, reviews and some creativity. A space for me.

So I introduce myself to you, ‘O great blog of my future thoughts’.

I am your Writer.

 
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