People often ask what the biggest difference is between being here and being back in Leeds and I never really have an answer. I usually just say that the two are incomparable but, being in a reflective mood, as my time here coming to an end, I am going to try to put my finger on it.
There are plenty of things that happen here that you would never see in Leeds of course. I can’t imagine a movie theatre in Yorkshire erupting in the same way that the one here did at the end of the film ‘Argo’ (spoiler alert). When the rescue mission was successful the audience broke out into a fist pumping rendition of ‘USA! USA!’ that drowned out the rest of the movie.
Every aspect of life here is different to Leeds. I am going to miss my Philosophy Essay guidelines that remind you over and over again that a Philosophical argument cannot just amount to what God said in the old testament. The class is called Contemporary Moral Issues and in a Republican state, discussing guns and gays, God’s sure to have an opinion. We are taught the class by a lovely Asian woman whose voice goes up and down with each word like she learnt her English from a Sat-Nav. Or as my American friend put it, “Dude she’s Korean as Fuck!”
However the biggest difference will be going home and no longer having an accent. We have had the same exact conversation with every single person we have met here and it has become just a part of saying hello. The idea that we will not, when introducing ourselves, have to follow our introduction with ‘yes I’m from England’, and then have to listen to something the person thinks is relatable like their auntie one time catching a connecting flight via Scotland, seems crazy. There have been a few noticeable exceptions to this pattern, like when I met this big guy in my class and he clapped his hands together and said ‘oh aren’t you just adorable’ or when Digger’s professor, after hearing him talk, took a deep breath and said, ‘yep, I am really going to enjoy your accent this semester.’
Back home when you speak you are just a guy, or in Diggers case a northern guy, but here you’re the British guy. To make someone back home squeal with delight you probably have to say something pretty amazing, here you just have to open you big fat gob and say, “Good day mate, how’s about we throw another shrimp on the barby!” and the reaction will be the same “Oh my god! Are you British!?”