say it again, say it again,
say water, listen to her say water,
my voice comes out
in a wondrous string
of english syllables
met with a wall
of gleeful laughter,
they love that sound,
they’ll never get bored.
I have nearly always lived in the south of England so I feel like I have quite a boring voice. There’s no distinctive Scouse twang or Geordie lilt. There is nothing that sets me apart from the people that I work and live with; not vocally anyway.
However, there was a year and a half back in the early naughties when I lived in South Africa, and for once in my life, I was different. I remember working in a bar and all of the other waitresses would ask me to say ‘please can I have a glass of water’ over and over.
They would then laugh and look at me wide eyed, as though I had just landed from a new planet. It was a very strange experience, but one that I actually quite liked.
I really enjoyed feeling different. I liked it when customers stopped me and asked me where I was from and then seemed impressed. Back then, everyone wanted a British passport so it was quite the magnet for South African boys!
I don’t understand why people would ever get upset about their differences and I keep thinking that maybe I should move up north so that I can sound ‘dead posh’. Maybe I’m just craving some attention after being stuck in a tiny radius for so long.
For me, accents are the most amazing thing and we are so lucky to have such varying accents within the UK. I just miss the travels within my country and hearing all the lovely different people. One day I dream of meeting a Scottish person in their natural habitat. Wouldn’t that be nice?