… is visiting us at the moment and I will therefore continue with our American adventures next week, I will try to sneak off to get some time on the computer during the weekend to prepare the posts.
English A is one of my oldest friends, we have known each other for TWENTY YEARS this year!! It is amazing how time flies – I cannot believe that it was 20 years ago [in September] that I arrived as a scared, extremely shy and timid girl to the Toynbee Secondary School in Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire.
I was shy also in school in Sweden and it’s never easy to start a new school but well, it didn’t help that I didn’t really speak the language, English either (as most Swedish 13-year olds)! I had studied 3 years of English in school but we all know how much you learn from the language lessons in school and anyway I wasn’t a very good English student… I remember struggling with this and that, these and those… I don’t understand now why I didn’t get it – we have the same constructions in Swedish. So, I wouldn’t say that I was very well prepared for a year in an English school – I had not idea how to say basic things such as folder or curtain…
It was hard in the beginning, but probably easier than for my sister – who as a 5-year old was left screaming and crying in school by my mother who was not allowed to stay. Her teacher had to sit in front of the classroom door for days (weeks?) so she wouldn’t run away. And my brother was 10 and didn’t speak a word of English of course, he was shouted at, at one of the first days in morning assembly when he didn’t bow his head during prayer time!!
Wearing a school uniform was also strange, but good in a way because it was easier to blend in with the other pupils. Our uniform was grey – grey skirt (trouser for the boys), white shirt, grey pullover and a black-red striped tie. I quickly realised two things my first day of school:
All the girls were wearing bras, including the ones who didn’t need one!! I went home and told my mother that I needed a bra too! Amazingly you can find the cup size AA in England…
All the cool children were wearing their tie tied with the narrow part showing – so I asked my father to retie my tie in the cool way (I never learnt to tie it, I would just take it off by losing the knot and pull it over my head).
A was one of the few boys who spoke to me and we have stayed in touch all this time, meeting in England, Belgium or Sweden over the years… Lots of fun stories but I will tell those another time because now we are off to Old San Juan!
Have a great weekend!