Thursday, October 21, 2004

6/10/04, Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam

Getting on a flight bound for the US gets more and more like getting on an El-Al flight. They don't yet seem to ask who you met in the last few days or demand proof that your laptop actually works, but it's close. Of course, it could have been I looked suspect to El-Al security bods.
As on previous trips to the country God selected as the chosen land for Mormons, I had to sign a form declaring that I would engage in no acts of moral turpitude for the duration of my stay. It'll be a wrench, but I'll give it a go.

On announcing that I was heading to California, most friends had some sort of advice for me. From the recomendatory, "Eat at Joe's Crab Shack," to the compulsory, "Enjoy yourself," even to the predatory, "Seduce American women with your British accent." The latter was from an American woman, who so-far has never been seduced by my accent.
The trouble is, my accent ain't what it was. The North Kentish (rich-man's Cockney) of my well-spent youth has long since faded (through travelling and a youthful belief it made me sound stupid) to something more like the anonymous, placeless exactness of RP. I believe there is even a Dutch tinge developing in it, as people often accuse me of being Dutch when I'm speaking English. I await the day they accuse me of that when I am speaking Dutch. The best I have been accused of is Belgian.
But this RP tongue, is exactly the sort of English, foreigners think we speak because it is the common accent amongst actors. It is the most prevalent accent of Britons in foreign films and British films before the 1960s.