Sunday, September 9

Say Whaaaaa?!

Sometimes I think that learning a new language would be loads of fun, other times-more practical times- I realize that maybe I just wasn't cut out for it. This assessment comes from me trying to learn English. No, I know what you are thinking, "Nicole, you do speak English" but I assure you I do not. I speak American- and it is totally different. There are so many words that aren't used, words that have alternate meanings, and new words I have never heard before in my life. Now you are thinking to yourself, ' I wonder what Nicole has done to embarrass herself this time.' Well let me tell you.

Since school has started, we are on a stricter sleeping schedule which includes early to bed early to rise... (makes me healthy wealthy and wise right? well I am still waiting) So it was getting late and the kids were all wound up. It came to the point where Callum was shirtless with his trousers pulled up to his chest walking around like a crazed monkey looking for a snack. So I decided to give them just that, I handed Gemma her mini piece of chocolate, but Callum would not calm down enough for me to even put a piece in his hands. Finally Isaid in my most serious voice "Callum pull down your pants right and you can have this candy!" I know it sounds a lot worse when I type it on here, but in my head at the time it seemed like an acceptable thing to say. When everyone in the room erupted into laughter I realized my mistake. "Pants" in English means "underwear" in American. Do you see where the laughter was coming from?! I basically said "show me your willie and you will get chocolate"... I wanted to die. Good thing Sarah was in the room to witness this whole event, can you imagine the kids going back to her later and telling what happened? That would have been horrible. I was so embarrassed.

Since then, I have been really trying to keep all these new words at the tip of my mind. Sometimes I am better than others. Take a look at all these words and tell me if you could get them right every time!

advert = commercial
bloke = guy
trousers = pants
knickers = girls underwear
pants = boys underwear
petrol = gas
garage = gas station
car park = parking lot
carriage way = lane (when driving)
cleg = horse fly
crisps = chips
chips = french fries
tea = dinner
pudding = dessert
chocolate pudding = chocolate cake
cream tea = scones with cream and jam
pissed = drunk
garden = back yard
loo = toilet
lorry = truck
mobile = cell phone
nappy = diaper
nutter = crazy person
queue = line
quid = bucks (5 bucks = 5 quid)
rucksack = backpack
snog = kiss
kit = clothes
ta = thank you
sofa = couch
uni = university
washing = laundry
zebra crossing = pedestrian crossing
bin = trash
biscuit = cookie
sweets = candy
boot = trunk (car)
bonnet = hood (car)
braces = suspenders
daddy long-legs = mosquito eater
Courgette = Zucchini

And believe me, there are so many more that I just can't even name. Its amazing how we speak the same language but often times don't understand each other at all.

One good thing about England is that there are no poisonous spiders or snakes here. Thats right they are human friendly and wont kill you. Well thats not entirely true, I am still waiting for the day where a completely harmless spider pops out to say hello and gives me a stroke. But so far, so good. For anybody who does not know about my intense, and really over the top phobia of spiders let me tell you that it is extreme and sometimes quite ridiculous. Any encounters with spiders usually leave me fleeing the room in a panicky sweat waving my arms and screaming. Well I live in the country, so spiders are more than plentiful. The other day I was sitting in the conservatory and a spider came barreling into the room at ramming speed right towards me. Uh yeah, I freaked. I bolted into the other room and one look at my face from Sarah told her that there was a spider where I had just come from. By the time I gained control of myself I realized I was literally 'glowing' (thats what they call it when ladies sweat like pigs) and I had real tears coming out of my eyes. It was that scary. Brave Sarah took care of the spider, and it made me feel better when she told me it was the biggest spider she had ever seen here in England. SEE there WAS a good reason for me to freak out. It took another half hour for my breathing to return to normal.

After hearing that story you will understand my reaction to the next one. Sarah and I were shopping at our local Sainsbury's (grocery store) and just about to check out. We were talking and discussing the items we had in our overflowing cart to make sure we hadn't forgotten anything when I saw something move on her neck... as I came to grip with the fact that there was a little gray tarantula-looking spider trying to eat her for lunch, I tried to spit out the word "spider...shoulder" but nothing came out so I just turned around and ran. Yes, I am a retard I literally ran down the aisle. Behind me I heard a scream from Sarah and it took a good 3 minutes before I could actually come back down. She said that the look on my face was like that of sheer horror, like her worst nightmare was right there, and though she didn't know what was on her, the look I had was enough to make her scream. I guess my facial expressions are pretty darn impressive.

Whew now thats over with, I can tell you about my humiliating antics today! At church as soon as I arrived, one of the bishopric came up and announced to me that we had no chorister- and would I please fill in. OH BOY. If you are wondering if I have ever conducted anything in my life the answer would be no. Though I can count music because of my piano experience and I know what the hand movements look like through many years of daily choir practice- it's still not even close to standing up in front of sacrament meeting and leading the congregation. I have such severe stage fright that no matter what I know, I always second guess myself into doing the wrong thing even though I know I know the right thing. If that even makes any sense at all! So it was only a 4/4 beat measure and I managed to foul it up the first 2 verses. Oh yeah, and somehow it eluded me that when leading music, you are actually supposed to sing. I caught on about verse 3. Someone made the comment after sacrament meeting "I really enjoyed watching you lead the music today." So I must have been more entertaining than useful up there waving my hand like my mother was in the back row. I guess it's good though, hopefully I won't be asked to do that again! See-there is a silver lining in everything.

Maybe I take that back, I was asked to speak next sunday in church and sing a solo in the next few months, date TBA. Grrrrreeeaattt. Oh how I love being new in the ward.

I am thinking about changing the title of this blog to "embarrassing moments and how to laugh at yourself when feeling ridiculous." What do ya think?


Dona and co. said...

I think you are funny! I also think that you are one of my favorite people because you are such a great blog writer and commenter. (Or would that be commentator or is there a REAL english word that would better describe that you are attentive and write great things that make me feel good about myself in my blog comments? If it weren't for you and Samantha I think I would give up blogging all together.)

Sam said...

AHHH!! Nicole I love you!! You are my most favoritist person in the whole entire world! When I read the spider and the store story I laughed so hard I cried. Mostly because I could totally see what your face looked like when you saw the spider. Bloomin' nora I love you! You rock my socks!

Marie said...

Nicole, it was so great to get to talk to you after church yesterday and to get to know you a bit better, and wow, I am impressed with your delightful little blog! I can so empathise with you and the difference in "British" english speak and "North American" english speak. I made a few faux pas when I first arrived as well, and just when I think I know it all I make another one and am reminded that I don't know it all after all!!! I thought you did a great job of leading the music. I really admire anyone who can get up and do that. Looking forward to your little talk and also to hearing you sing at some point. Now that will be grand!!! (of course you know when other church members are saying that they are really thinking, WHEW! at least it's not me!! haha) Am bookmarking your site for future views!

Amanda lee said...

Nicole, I enjoy reading your blog. I am Lindsay Jones (Sarah's BFF) sister in law....I married Lindsay's brother Mark. I lived in England for six years and in reading your blog makes me realize how much I miss it and it's culture. I remember the british lang. being hard to figure out, funny how different it is! What an awsome opprotunity you have at your age to travel so much. Watching your video of Europe brought back so many memories so thank you for helping me relive them through your blog, it's adorable.....I cheeck it everyday!

louise b said...

ha ha ha ha ha ha... plonk... I know bad joke.. that's me laughing my head off, just in case you DIDN'T get it!! 'o) This is a great site! Man - you write well! You've had me cackling! Looooove the spider story in the supermarket!! I can't believe you ran off and left poor Sarah to fend for herself against the spider!!! You're a wag.... You really SHOULD write a book! Seriously, you really do have a 'style' ! Was great to get to know you a little better yesterday.. and ha ha - I'm glad you're the new kid on the block - they can lay off me for doing talks for a while!!! 'o) Ciao bella.. Louise (oh and I sooooo remember doing a list of all the weird words when I first came to England! It's so funny isn't it!! Wait til you say a word that you don't think is a very bad word - cause it actually sounds quite cute when you don't know what it means... but then you learn what it does mean!!! Ewwww!!! The word btw (excuse my French...) is b*ll**ks.. I thought it was just a cute way of saying jokingly - 'rubbish...' (meaning that's not really true...) It doesn't mean that...
Two of my faves were 'pear-shaped' and 'gob-smacked'... Even weirder was I finally got it imprinted on my brain to say crisps instead of chips - which is what we say in Oz - and my brain did a weird flip when I went to order hot chips at a fish&chip caravan one night (we do call hot chips 'chips' in Oz) - but I asked for some cod, and a bag of 'crisps'!! I felt such a ninny... but the guy thought it was amusing.. 'o) My brain just got muddled in that moment... Anyway ciao for now... Lou 'o) xx

Amanda lee said...

Hi again!!! Ok, so My Dad was a Dentist in the Air Force so we were stationed on a Base but my parents choose to live off base in little Englich Villages. Places we lived in England were:

1. Woodbridge (Eastern border)
2. Evenly (A little village located right outside of Brackley
3. Bicester.

Our ward was located in Banbury and our stake was the Northampton Stake (North of London). I loved it there. They only problem was that we couldn't drive till we were 18 so parents drove us on all our dates, funny. I was also there when I was little and attended a british pre-school and I came back to the US with a british accent. I was in speech ed for years later trying to say the US words properly as they expected me to do here. My Mom and Dad said that when we came back to the US when I was little we were in church and they stood up to sing "My counrty Tis of Thee" for the Fourth of July in our ward and they said I stood up on the bench crying, "Their singing the wrong's God Save The Queen!" Anyway, I spent most my teeneage years there and loved it. All of our school field trips were to all the castles. We took Canal Trips also and went through so many "Locks", which was so fun!

MY faves were the Chocolate Flake stick Ice cream cones and their fish and chips wrapped in news paper mmmmmmm, I am hungry now! Oh, and they were the ones to first come out with Salt and Vinegar chips. Well, I guess I have jabbered enough. You write well, it makes me feel like I am there again!

nicole's mum said...

Oh honey! You are a stitch! I can't believe you ran away from poor Sarah and left her there to fend off the man-eating spider by herselfWell, actually, I can.:)And here all this time we thought you wouldn't have any language barriers to overcome! I think its great! It's also one of life's great lessons to learn to laugh at yourelf. You are doing great! haha. I just think it is wonderful when you can see the humor in those situations. Keep learning and growing, and above all, keep writing! You now have a following! Love, Mom PS Told you so.....

Amie said...

Nicole! Oh man do i miss you! Reading these stories made me laugh out loud! I bet my roommates think I'm crazy. Anyways, I'm glad someone else is laughing at themselves too. I do dumb things everyday, and I find it sometimes hard to laugh. Hey, I feel your pain about leading music. It's harder than you think. Love you girl!

Grant said...

What fun adventures you are having. At least when you were directing music your brother didn't pop up with mickey mouse glasses. That's what your dad and Hal did to me once while I was trying to conduct or speak.