Canada, I feel, is a little bit like us and much of what we do there will be part of a tour, so we shouldn't strike problems there, but the New York? Lordy, they use different words. Jelly instead of jam, fender instead of mudguard. While our accents aren't broad, they are still Australian accents. Will staff in diners understand us? Will they be able to translate metric to imperial where I plan to buy a pair of shoes and a pair of jeans, cheaper than I would in Australia?
Both R and myself have our own terrors of being chased down a New York street by a waiter shaking his or her fist because we did not tip, or for not tipping the correct amount. But don't you need to check your bill, sorry check your check to see if the a service charge has been added? All very fraught. Why can't service staff be paid a proper wage and not have to rely on tips? Ok, we must tip. 10% I will do, and if service is extra good 15%. If there are issues, I will simply say, I am Australian and we don't tip, and then run very fast.
It did not work in Vietnam when to a post card seller who asked where I was from and I replied Francais, and then he started to speak to me in French, maybe in New York when a threatening black man asks me for a quarter, it might just work if I say Je suis Francais and he will give up. How much is a quarter anyway? Enough to satisfy a beggar? Yep, that is what I will do. I will have plenty of quarter coins and give one to people to fend them off. Here beggar man, here is a quarter. Here waiter, here is a quarter. A quarter always solved problems in the US as observed by me in movies. You could tip a quarter, make a phone call with a quarter, or was that a dime, and get your shoes cleaned for a quarter. I will need lots of quarters. Great, currency and tipping down pat. I am feeling more confident.
But what about the nomenclature? I don't think it is acceptable to call a nigger, nigger. Blackie? Black person. I know, Afro American, whether he or she has an afro hair style or not. Hispanic without adding spiv is ok when referring to the Spanish colony types? Oh, this is going to be so hard.
Then there is the food thing. Whether it is Melbourne, Saigon or Paris, I adore a baguette. Bagel, I not like at all. Boiled bread with a hole in the middle? Why? I have determined that we will order one meal to share between the two of us. Why are the food servings so large? We even do that here at home, share a filled baguette for lunch, with some chips on the side. No, in the US that will be French Fries on the side? Look, I am using a term like, on the side. I am picking up the lingo already.
While I don't watch American tv now, I watched plenty when I was young. I think I will understand Billy Jo, Betty Jo and Bobby Jo perfectly well, and Kate too. Mr Ed had perfect diction. I also watched the laconic Columbo and I understood him well. I rather like the Brooklyn accent, especially when spoken by a woman. I'll be fine understanding the American accent......well, until someone says to me, hey bros, 'sup.
Just must remember to not use the word thong.