#5 Good Friends Overseas - Blending in

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Dec 28, 2016 02:31
Only two days into the event, the English speaking contestants and I became very good friends. Peter, a Brit, usually sat beside me on shuttle buses. He insisted that I speak English in a British accent after he’d learned that I could. “A British accent will make you sound like a gentleman.” He sounded very proud of his accent. So, during the entire event, I assumed a British accent with characteristic clipped tones, like: “Pass me a bottle of wa^ter.” Meanwhile Lucy, a Melbournian, spoke English in a cute accent I’d never heard before. It was interesting to watch a batch of native speakers speak English with different accents all at the same time, with the conservation being utterly intelligible.

I blended in quite well. They didn’t treat me as an “outsider.” For example, they praised China on camera; but back in their rooms, they criticized many problems of the nation, even in my presence. Whew! Weren’t they a bunch of hypocrites! I tried to defend, but didn’t take it offense, because every nation had its own problems and I could equally mock their nations. Anyway, this could be a part of their humor – the Aussies in my group once taunted themselves as descendants of British criminals. Besides, I was glad that we were good friends merely because they treated me as an individual rather than a token of the nation that they loved, or at least pretended to during this event. Moreover, I firmly believed that showing the positive sides of yourselves is a much better way to speak for your country. They would think, “Hey! That guy’s cool; different from what I’ve heard from media.” The more cases they met, the more likely they would change their stereotypes.

They looked like wonks/preppies on the outside, but deep down they loved to look for fun. They occasionally threw slumber parties and invited me in. With music on, ladies applied facial masks on their freshly-scrubbed faces, gossiping which cosmetics brand was the best. Guys sat around swigging beer from bottles, cracking jokes I didn’t quite get. They sometimes went to drink and dance at downtown pubs, where they magically transformed themselves into their uninhibited egos. They merged into the pub crowd, dancing wildly, and sometimes dragging me in. Some of them were real cocktail experts. One time, in a bar, an American student from another group asked for a cocktail (I don’t know the name of it), sprinkled salt on the web between her thumb and index finger, and licked it all up before she gulped down the alcohol and bit a piece of lemon. Obviously enthralled with her professional drinking skills, the bartenders vigorously applauded.
才过两天,我就和英语国家的学生成为了好友。Peter和我经常在摆渡车上坐一起,得知我会说英式口音后,坚持让我说英式英语。“英式口音会让你听起来非常绅士。”听起来,他好像对他的口音非常自豪。所以在整个活动中,我都在说英式英语,带上特有的促音,比如这句话:"Pass me a bottle of wa^ter." Lucy, 墨尔本女生,说着一口非常可爱的口音,我以前没有听过。看着一群来自不同英语国家的人,说着不同的口音,但彼此沟通无障碍,非常有意思。