Just a few little niggles from an expat Kiwi still trying to adjust to the London culture shock after 5 long years!
1. You can’t talk about ‘decks’ or ‘pens’ unless you’re in a safe space. Otherwise the ridicule becomes unbearable.
2. Similarly, if your boyfriend likes to drink ‘Becks’ beer you need to get a new boyfriend. Barmen won’t ever be able to understand you when it’s your round, no matter how hard you point. And there is no charade for ‘Becks’. None. Don’t even try.
3. Even though you’ll probably be forever unable to call it a hoover (it’s not a hoover, that word is foolish!) you can still appreciate Henry’s cheery little face. (I still call it a ‘lux’ #Southland).
4. Standing in the biscuit aisle in a supermarket can bring you to tears. Where are my Squiggles, dammit?
5. You can pretend that expensive, stale, pizza flavoured Shapes from Selfridges (imported via Singapore) are just as good as the real thing. You’re practically paying £3 per cracker for them, so you really must justify this idiocy.
6. You see people popping up in your Facebook feed who’ve been in London for two minutes and they’re already swapping war stories about the weird shit they’ve seen on the tube. Bitch, please. You ain’t seen nothing.
7. You have a constant stream of people you really haven’t spoken to in years angling for an invite or straight up turning up on your doorstep expecting to live with you for weeks / months / until you buy them a return ticket outta there. So you keep the curtains closed.
8. A surprising number of people comment on how well you speak English, seeing as you’re not from England, and you immediately respond by ‘skiting’ about your ‘jandals’ just to prove them wrong.
9. You’ve sat through more than one moralistic debate between other expats about whether it’s more ethical to support England or Australia when they play rugby / cricket / tiddly winks / whatever.
10. Before moving to London the last time you actually ate ANZAC biscuits was probably when you were a child. You were just too busy gorging yourself on Toffee Pops and Tim Tams (seriously, I know someone who basically subsisted on only Toffee Pops for the whole of 1999 because they were in love with Carlos Spencer and wanted to support anything that meant he was piped into the nation’s living rooms wearing only underpants.) Now you make at least three batches of ANZACs a year.
11. You remember the tears of joy you shed when you discovered that ‘salt beef’ is the UK code word for ‘silverside’.
12. Though you may now have occasional trouble distinguishing between NZ and Aussie accents, you will never admit this to another living human. You’re pretty sure other Kiwis feel the same way, though, because you’ve exchanged discreet eyebrow twitches, which are obviously coded signals. The only way out is to try and trick these tricky accented individuals into saying key giveaway words like ‘can’t’ ‘advance’ or ‘sex’. Conversationally, this is awesome.