I traveled to the U.K. in June 2008 on a combination work/vacation trip. I posted about it on my old group blog Population Five. Now that I am writing more about traveling at Goth Panda, I am reposting these here for thematic unity, and also because reading them reminds me of the trip. I want to go back! Anyway, that explains some of the dated references.
1) I did not acquire a British accent while in England. But by the end of my time there, I did notice that my vowels were a little rounder than normal, and I was dropping some consonents. It’s hard when you are surrounded by people talking differently. I have perhaps some small sympathy for Madonna now.
After I had been there for a few days — especially in Oxford, where there were mostly British people about (most of the other places we visited in London were such tourist landmarks that you heard accents from all over the world) — I did start to notice that my own accent sounded strangely nasal to me. I’d read that was the case with American accents as compared to British, but I had never noticed it until I was actually speaking with my own accent while surrounded by Brits.
2) I did not actually stalk David Tennant while in London.
However, I did put myself in places where he might be likely to be. Unfortunately, this didn’t work.
3) Number of times I was told to Mind the Gap: 6,879,892
Number of times the gap needed minding: 5
Number of people tragically injured last year for not minding the gap (at least according to the posters in the Underground): 57
Number of those that must have been completely wasted at the time: 57
Apparently, you used to be able to carry and drink alcohol on the Underground, and that law was recently changed. I think this makes the Underground the only place in England where you can’t get a pint. Seriously, the snack trolleys on the trains carried alcohol.
4) I wasn’t listening to a lot of music while I was over there, but the following songs were constantly in my head: various parts of Sweeney Todd (more understandable since we had just seen the movie), “A Foggy Day in London Town,” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly.” Apparently these are the songs my brain associates with London.