It isn’t long now until I leave Europe and head back to America. It’s been almost a year since I have heard a cardinal sing a morning song, seen a monarch butterfly out in the garden or tasted American pancakes with lashing of freshly whipped cream and maple syrup.
Last year I flew from Gothenburg to Stockholm and then Stockholm to Iceland before taking my next flight to Minnesota. This year though I will skip Stockholm and head straight for Iceland. Memories of 2010 still rest in the back of my mind, like a deep and dark secret I would much rather forget.
It was the year I became stuck at Keflavik International Airport. It was the year that brought me so close to the American dream and yet that ended my dream so abruptly. This year I will be meeting my nemesis once more. Actually, we are no longer enemies. I have flown to America via Iceland two times since then and have had no problems whatsoever. In fact, I will have a six hour stopover there. That is the exact amount of time it takes to fly from Keflavik to Minnesota. Hopefully Iceland will allow me the opportunity to explore a little before I head toward my ultimate destination. I think we will become best of friends.
And this year I will not be travelling alone. One of my dearest friends will be travelling with me. He will stay in Minnesota just a few days and then he will head off to North Dakota. I cannot wait for this journey to begin.
However, coming to America again does remind me of those subtle differences between British English and American English. Prior to my first visit I had never really thought that much about it, although it is a fact, there is English and then there is English.
A couple of years ago I was in a bar with Rosie, just taking a beer and soaking up the atmosphere. I met a young man and went over to chat a little while with him. I love people, love hearing about their life experiences, their dreams and their aspirations. His wife was sitting just a little further away with a couple of lady friends. He proudly pointed his wife out to me and she smiled politely.
Now, being polite myself, I replied, ‘Hello darling’. Apparently, one does not say that to another man’s wife at a bar in America. Of course, I didn’t realize this and all of a sudden, this young man was much less friendly toward me. I was only being pleasant, although in retrospect I fully understand why he took things the wrong way.
That was probably my first encounter with English and English. Last year I wrote here about just this subject. Even though we speak the same language, in many respects, we speak totally different languages.
Back with the continuation in part two, soon …
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