“Half memoir, half travel, A Yank Back to England...is an absolutely wonderful book, not only about going home again but also about love and family and tradition and the passage of the years.”
—Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic (Washington
To see the entire quote, click here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Stopping for directions

“Now, when you get up there, you’ll come to this thing we call a ‘roundabout.’ Got that, yeah?”
He talked slowly. He talked loudly. We realized he thought I was foreign. He thought I was an American! He said again, but slower, “a ‘ran-da-bhat.’ ” Bloody nerve.
“Anyway, you’ll come to this ‘ran-da-bhat’ and—”
He never explained what a ‘ran-da-bhat’ was exactly. Instead, he started making large circular movements with his oddly bent hand and arm. If I had been American by birth and not by choice, I might have imagined he was describing a carousel with gaudily painted wooden horses placed on the highway to amuse passing commuters, rather than a traffic circle. I stared at him. He smiled, nodding, looking like the amiable idiot he thought I was.
“Yes, yes, I know what it is, I’ve been ‘ere before.” I tried to thicken up my Cockney accent. He went right on, ignoring me and my strategically dropped aitches.
“But don’t go right a-rhaand it. Turn off before you do, and that’ll get you on the Ilford Road. Can’t miss it.”
I thanked him and we were on our way.


Trish | eMOM said...

What an interesting blog! I'll be back. =)

Anonymous said...

When we were being told about roundabouts before heading off on our own in Australia, I pictured a big gaudy round moving obstacle in the middle of the road. I was relieved when we came to our first one :P Pretty funny!

Raúl said...

me gusta mucho tu blog lo visito a diario visita tu el mio y si t gusta deja un comentario y si quieres enlazamos nuestros blogs

Rhiannon brown said...

Thats hillarious! Such a nice blog to read :) And yes i will definatly be stocking up on jumpers. how long ago did you go to Iceland?

The Prodigal Tourist said...

Too long ago to think about! Icelandair used to be the cheapest way to fly to the US, and there was always a shopping stop in Iceland. They had great food on that line.