Saturday, January 22, 2011

Red Buses and The Oldest Door in Britain

And the sign is in English!!

When I got my braces off sometime in high school (10th grade, maybe?) I hadn’t realized I had stopped smiling with my teeth until I tried it again.

Similarly, when I reached London last night sometime around 1 in the morning, I didn’t realize right away that I had virtually stopped talking to people in public. Even when our taxi driver looked at me and asked me a direct question, I looked around for someone else to answer.

In Spain, this makes sense. But in no other context would I ever happily let someone answer for me. I like to write; I like to communicate; and above all, I like to have my own voice.

That may be the hardest part about living in Spain this month: my voice has been taken from me. Not that I traded it to Ursula for a couple of legs and a tail-removal. Rather my voice had become obsolete in the world of Spanish. And now that I’m back in the land of the English-speaking-albeit-with-the-verb-phrase-“have got,” I find that it’s difficult to resurrect my public power of speech.

But as Horatio says, “These are but wild and whirling words.”

1 comment:

  1. I had to teach "have got" to my elementary level students today -- and kept making a mess of things by automatically slipping into "do you have?" whenever I tried to ask a question. Poor dears were terribly confused. Why must the Brits have got "have got"?!