Where am I from?


So far the list is endless. My accent spans continents it seems. “Australian?” ‘from New Zealand perhaps?”, “I would say you’re South African”, “or perchance Scottish?”, “no wait Welsh?”

I think I am even beginning to doubt my own origins. Take yesterday at the gym as a prime example. Having attended dance class for the last few weeks, another regular (as I can claim to be now) always comments on how “great” my voice is when I open my mouth to suggest we go over a move or maybe cut out rolling around on the floor so much since my knees are black and blue! Every week, twice a week, J (as she will be known), beams at me when I utter a sound. “Great accent. I just love your accent.” One would assume therefore, as I did, that she MUST know where I hail from (or at the very least the ball park of the wonderful United Kingdom!)

So, back to yesterday, as I wander up to the the waiting area, pre-dance party, I spot J and a newbie who shall be named B (for the purposes of privacy) chatting away on the bench. As soon as I am spotted I see a huge grin from J as she is so obviously excited to hear her favourite voice.

“B this is Beth another regular. small talk small talk something about how fun the Britney song was to dance to last week etc.”

I agree wholeheartedly with all of the above but mention that I tend to think less floor work is better as despite only being 27 years of age my knees seemed to have prematurely wisened and I am struggling to heal after what can only be described as “rolling about on a hard wood floor to a pop anthem”. More small talk and my accent eventually comes up as it inevitably does here.

J – “I know right. Her accent is so great. I just love it y’all” (sorry I added that last bit for effect)

me – “Since arriving in the States I have been accused of being from all over the world. It appears that my accent stumps an American or two. I completely understand. Amuses me actually. Most people so far think I am Australian,” chuckling to myself at the absurdity of it. Girls join in amused at how ridiculous it must be for me to bear such an error.

J – “Oh no that is too funny. Of course you are not from Australia. New Zealand right?” now uncertain of herself she scans my face for recognition (potentially because she in fact believed me to be antipodean and had first plumped for the Aussie variety in her head). Seeing my expression fall she desperately scrambles to try to save the situation. “South African? no wait.” (with my obvious rejection of all the above she seems to be running out of English speaking countries fast) she gives up.

me – “British. English actually.”

B – “haha yes of course. I knew that.”

J – ” oh yes. of course.” her smile all but gone. Defeated she apologises profusely until I beg her to stop and explain that since I don’t at all sound like a certain nearly Royal bride-to-be, her confusion is understandable and I am never insulted, only ever amused.

Dance Party begins. But when I speak now no peep of joy from J. Shame.


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