Thursday, August 11, 2011

Going Native

I think it's happening . . . I'm starting to go native. It became noticeable when my word choices changed. I've started saying "boot" instead of "trunk" and "shop" instead of "store." Those are the most noticeable but there are smaller changes in phrasing that I've noticed too. I've started saying "just now" instead of "right now." I used to consciously change words when speaking to my British friends in order to be best understood. Now I find myself having to consciously choose to say "parking lot" to my mom instead of "car park." But perhaps the biggest shock came today, when I unconsciously thought (not spoke - thought) the word "hoose" instead of "house." That's the first time local Scots slang has ever appeared in my head. I'll be saying "fit ye doin?" next. No wonder I've always been a quick study at foreign languages. I'm a linguistic chameleon.

Next month I'll be making a long trip to Texas, and even though I'm really chuffed (excited), I've been thinking of what I'll miss in Scotland. Besides missing my Paul, I will miss the sea, the rain, the emerald green of grass that only occurs in rainy climates. I'll miss crumpets and cool weather and buildings that are beautiful old buildings.

America holds most of the people I love and has a tremendous piece of my heart. But Scotland has also become my home. I'm a cultural wanderer, at home everywhere and nowhere because no matter where I am, part of my heart (not to mention my vocabulary) is somewhere else. This divided heart is the immigrant's curse. So many Americans are the product of the courage of immigrants from all over the world. They broke their own hearts, severed forever ties to their homes and families at a time when there were no blogs. They made a dangerous and expensive crossing to a place they'd never been in hope of making something new. And here we are, children of their courage. Every time I'm homesick I gain a little more respect for my ancestors' sacrifice.

I'm slowly learning how to make home portable, to take it along wherever I go. When I met Paul I knew I was at home. I think I have become a citizen of the world. Luckily, my world has planes, telephones and blogs. I miss all of you in America and hope to see you soon! And I will miss all of you in Scotland while I'm there.

Song of the Day: Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears by Sean Keane. It's about the first immigrant who passed through Ellis Island. She was an Irish immigrant named Annie Moore and she never saw Ireland again. She took home with her to America.

Photos: My parents and me at Glenbuchat Castle, My Dad, Paul and me at Kildrummy Castle.

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