“Ooh, my accent isn’t really THAT bad, is it?”
Very probably it is.
But it’s not just the accent; it’s the whole attitude.
Every Friday afternoon Milo has soccer practice, and there’s an American dad who brings his son. I’ve never talked to him before, but this Friday the field was eerily quiet. Us lonely parents conferred and the word on the field was that Oaklands school gala was on–that’s why only 25% of the normal contingent of kids was present. Along with very few parents.
But despite the slim field, The American must talk.
(I know what that’s like.)
Thankfully, the American Dad glued himself to another dad, and the poor polite Kiwi was stuck mumbling “hum….ah….yes…um….uhuh…” for the whole hour. I got the interesting position of being able to listen in while not being an essential part of the conversation.
It wasn’t so pretty. Opinionated, yes. Loud, yes. Forceful; also yes. The snippets were full of “you kiwis this” and “us, that.” At one point I caught the American saying “You guys are catching up….you know….advertising, sport….”
Clearly he believes the American culture is superior.
I hereby resolve to cease and desist from comparing the American culture to the Kiwi culture. No one wants to hear that. Let alone the Kiwis!
It may or may not comfort you to know that other cultures are at least as ethnocentric as ours. It is one of the many reasons I find the title of Pink Floyd’s song “Us and Them” profound. There are lots of problems framed by seeing people as either “us” or “them”. I’m sure I do it when my superego isn’t watching.
Being part of a tribe & proving one’s superiority has been part of man’s evolution from the start. Good thing we’re not allowed to carry sharp weapons everyplace we go.