The Green Green Grass of Home

Been over in Australia for a little over 10 years now, and other than the occasional 100% pure NZ advert, I found the thing that really made me long for the hills of NZ was discovering today I was in a more foreign country where it came to language than I realised.

I’m still pretty raw in my new role, and there hasn’t been much time separation from the previous role, but the feeling of persona non-grata still persists (strongly). I guess that doesn’t help the whole dislocation thing either.

It started with a programme, but it turns out that it should have been program – a spelling I used to reserve specifically for computer software. Next came colour, or should I say color?  Saw it spelt the US way, made a comment, only to be told that kids at school were being taught that spelling.  Wha???

I don’t know how widespread it is – or perhaps how out of touch I am.  Being from a country deemed “More British than the British” it is strange being in little america. I blame Microsoft.

Absolutely nothing against the US – I just grew up with colours, aeroplanes, programmes, aluminium and only a light smattering of zzzs.  😉

3 Responses

  1. I totally understand, even for someone that has never set foot in the great Down Under. I was born in, grew up in and lived most of my life in Texas, kind of a country of its own. But after working in New England, and other areas of this country, even for a while in Brazil (OK, south of the equator, but not the same as NZ or AU), I have found good people everywhere. … Always a few grumpies, but mainly good and mostly friendlies everywhere.

    But still when I go back to Texas (no ‘old home place’ there anymore), it is still a place deep in my heart, no matter whether it is in the western desert, in the northern panhandle, coastal areas, pine forests of east Texas, the Hill Country of central Texas, or even the ‘oil patch’ of west Texas. It’s all home.

    I went to college with a friend who I grew close to from Australia, we were going to make a trip there, but never did. Locally now (near Nashville TN) I have celebrated Australia Day with some OZ ex-pat’s, it has been a wonderful celebration of the life, customs, and spirit of Australia. More recently a newer friend from NZ spent some time here and I fell in love with many of the ways and cultures of there. … Before their Australia Day party I didn’t know who Tommy Emmanuel was, but now am in awe of him. .. Nothing like sitting on a couch sharing a beer with a talent like his in a friends home!

    BTW, the friends we spent Australia Day with did us the honor of helping us celebrate the USA Thanksgiving and July 4th holidays. That was especially sweet when they got their US citizenship (a ling and arduous journey in itself)

    So yes, I can understand the longing for ‘as it was’. But life goes on, and in some ways it makes all the memories that much sweeter.

  2. Ahh, Tommy Emmanuel a great Aussie talent. Doesn’t he live over there now?
    I am an old fart who still rails at following the US styles, spelling etc, but have great respect for many USAians.
    Always love it when the Kiwis thumb their nose at international
    “powers” who try to pull a shifty on them a la France Israel etc.
    Whoa not trying to get political.

  3. Good call Stu. We live in a time of American cultural imperialism. We will all be living in a world of zzzzz and other curious spellings.

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