Those that know me well will know my obsession with Audrey Hepburn very well. Lately this obsession has had a rather strange effect on my accent. Whilst travelling abroad I become more English than the Queen herself – think Eliza Dolittle post Henry Higgins training.
Take, for example, a trip I made to Brisbane earlier this year. I was in a taxi with Canadians, an American, an Australian, a South African and a Kiwi. We were trying to reach our hotel and it seemed the taxi driver had no idea where to go. Suggestions were flowing from the international passengers which only seemed to further confuse the taxi driver who had an Indian accent himself. I decided it was time to step up and in the strongest British accent I could possibly muster intercepted with:
“Excuse me Mr Taxi Driver, Sir, but it seems we appear to have taken a wrong turn.”
Who speaks like that? In this century?
I have discovered that being around multiple foreign accents only intensifies the Britishness. During conference calls with my international colleagues I have thrown in words like ‘crud‘ and ‘bollocks‘. Words that even my Dad stopped using in the nineties. The latest gem to be used in a conference call was describing something as appearing:
“a bit Poo.”
Because Poo is a completely professional and descriptive word to use in this instance, isn’t it?
I’ve always had a problem with my cockney gangster roots coming out once a few drinks have loosened my tongue. (Disclaimer: I do not come from a family of cockney gangsters, altough my accent after a couple of vodkas would certainly make you think so .) Being surrounded by the international accents of travel bloggers in town for the World Travel Market this week I went all East London on em, innit – think a cross of Ali G with Eliza pre elocution training.
When not travelling or surrounded by international accents I have the fairly respectable accent of a convent grammar school educated girl from Berkshire. (Disclaimer: I was educated in a grammar covent school in Berkshire but please don’t judge me.) Except my boyfriend is Australian and I work for an Australian company and last week I accidentally called the duvet a doona. So basically I’m screwed.
Does travelling affect your accent too or am I just a bit weird?