Thursday, April 29, 2010


...or what I would call Chrysanthemums, or Chrysanths - labeling these things "mums" was a weird piece of American English that it's hard to get used to, still. In my world "mums" were those mothers who - ubiquitously - were, well, not my mother (whom I called by a diminutive of my father's name for her - Hetta, short for Henrietta - the fact that she's actually called Joy is a whole other story), since she thought that to call a mother "mum" was to confine her to A Role. Context - when Alice asked her if she had an apron that she could wear when cooking at Christmas, my mother fixed her with a basilisk stare and said - you mean, A Badge of Slavery? We are, of course, talking about people whom we'd call "moms" in America, anyway.

Arriving at Raleigh-Durham airport this evening, it was great to be met by a graduate student - Anna - from England! Ah! she said, she didn't realize that I was British. I'm not sure that I do, always - but it was so great to talk to someone who - well, talked the same language. And we could compare how frustrating it is to be thought Australian, wherever we are. And to discuss the impossible awfulness of the non-choice (not that I have a vote, but still) in next week's General Election. It made me realize how much of the time, here, at one level I essentially speak a foreign cultural language - it even had the relief of coming back to an anglophone existence after a couple of weeks in France or Italy speaking only those languages. Unexpected, but very welcome.

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