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The English Speaking Australian


Waking up with the realisation that I was leaving New York City was no fun. Having spent just 10 days in the magic of a Metropolis was one of the best experiences ever, but it was time to go. And today, I don’t feel like packing, then dragging and kicking my bag across wherever to start another chapter….. Even though I know I’ll end up in love with the destination. Hangovers don’t help either.

One minute into the walk towards the subway changed all that. What’s with the wind?? It was brutal, chilling, offensive and in my bones. Even with five layers on, it didn’t matter. Is it the start of winter? Yes, said the calendar. Well then, off to JFK we go!

I hustle my way to the closest subway to escape the blustery battle only to be met with an underground chaos. With my two bags attached to either side of me, I looked like I had a tower on my back and a chubby child on my front…..Such an easy target for mashed elbows and shoulders. Trapped, battling dehydration and an anxious break out, I stare at the sea of people and try to patiently wait for my set. Even the talented violinist behind me grated on my intolerance.

My internal conflict then took a back seat as the gawk of an old lady to my left captures my attention. Her beady little eyes were locked on me and my get up, as she checked me out up and down, real good. She was perfectly still and staring amongst the humanity in fast forward around her. Instantly, two thoughts came to mind … ‘What are you looking at lady?’ and ‘Wow, she looks just like The Nanny’s Mum! Neither thought was verbalised. Instead, I stare back at her big hair and big make up and say, “All this stuff is really heavy y’know?”

Her response lacked common sense. “Hmmm, you’re not from around here are you?”

No shit I thought. “No. I’m from Australia” I said.

With her hunch now correct, she nods in her own approval, clenches her fist and starts shuffling with a purpose towards me. It takes her some time, and gives me plenty to think of what’s coming next. When she finally arrives, she looks up at me, points her finger, and with an oddly stern, yet complimentary tone states………..”You speak very good English!”

Thank you Maam.

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