Tag Archives: accents

THE BARRIER OF A COMMON LANGUAGE

FullSizeRender-8On the road today, the ribbons of green and blue seemed endless, the flat farmlands spreading out from our band of road, never-ending. Above, clouds seemed like perfect replications of themselves, as if those mirrors which make infinite images were duplicating the clouds eternally. It spooked me somewhat, all that sky; I was thankful to listen to Tim McGraw or for having to concentrate on roadwork.

At lunch in Jamestown, we ate in a place that we figured must be the local hotspotFullSizeRender-10 on weekends, although it was empty. Of course, we had passed into Central Time and were eating late. The waiter looked us over: we’re a strange threesome, with various accents. Karen, for instance, has her soft Texas drawl. After years in Britain, but born in the USA, I have my mid-Atlantic accent while Cristal, born and bred in the UK, has a perfect English accent. Waiters and shopkeepers constantly listen to us and ask where we’re from, where we’re going, even how we know each other.

FullSizeRender-11The varying accents have even led to misunderstandings amongst the three of us. Karen once phoned me while I was walking on a busy New York street and I thought she was someone from Carolina, but here I can now translate what she says. Cristal, on the other hand, has had several misunderstandings. Karen was talking about ‘high hills’ and Cristal was under the impression she was mentioning ‘high heels.’ Karen came into our room and asked for the ‘fly swatter’ and somehow Cristal believed she wanted coconut water. Of course, this has had us in hysterical laughter.

We’re in Detroit Lakes tonight for Karen’s last night. It’s a place I’d never heard of prior to planning this trip. I just hope the laughs make for a good farewell.

the beach at Detroit Lakes

the beach at Detroit Lakes