Of accents and Arsenal – and the Orange Free State

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If you look closely, the London Eye is reflected in my glasses.

You have to learn new things in life. Learning is what keeps us going and evolving as a species. Take me, for example. I’ve learnt two new words while I’ve been on holiday; words that have changed my life (ok, not really, but you get the idea).

The word was best defined on 31 December 2011, at the pub* down the road from my sister’s home in London. While enjoying a vodka and good conversation, a good looking girl walked past. Well, she was good looking until she spoke… It was the worst sound I’ve ever heard. I can’t even describe it, except to suggest you think Jersey Shore with cheap, unclassy accents. Think super short skirts, and fake everything – fake boobs and fake tans in particular. My sister and her partner call the pub “The Orange Free State” because the girls have…well…orange skin. Unlike the OFS, they aren’t flat. But the accent is unbearably bad.

My mate Simon introduced me to the word “chavtastic”. He defines it as: “A chav is a stereotypical word used to describe young adults and teenagers, typically from the council estates or benefits. Typical attire includes sports brands Adidas, Puma and Kappa. ‘The chav way’ is often seen as boastful, arrogant and cocksure of oneself. Chavtastic is used to describe any noun, such as ‘this place is chavtastic’ or ‘those shoes are chavtastic’. To be ‘-tastic’ at anything, one has to assume the word ‘fantasic’. So ‘chavtastic’ is desctiptive, ironic and hypocritical.” You can follow Simon on Twitter (@simonjamescar) or read his blog here. You can check the Wikipedia definition by clicking here.

But this aside, it really was a very cool New Years. Met some fun people – including a dude who likes Jay and Silent Bob perhaps a little too much – and had some great conversation. Was nice to be out of my comfort zone. Everybody needs that once in a while. I just wish there was Spiced Gold…

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The Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal FC

The evening followed one of the greatest experiences of my life: watching my favourite sports team play at home. My sister bought me tickets for the Arsenal v QPR match at The Emirates Stadium for my birthday. Best. Present. Ever.

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Three empty seats as QPR fans got up and left. Wahahaha

From the tube ride there, to the walk up to the stadium and from buying the red-and-white Arsenal scarf to eating an over-priced pie as we watched Manchester United lose on the tv, it was amazing. I learnt to chant “Who are ya? Who are ya?” when Robin van Persie scored the goal that gave us the 1-0. I learnt to boo when Joey Barton touched the ball – and cheer when he got yellow carded.

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Just before kick off

I learnt to laugh when three QPR fans sitting in the Arsenal section (why they were there in the first place, who knows) left and their seats were vacant for the last half-hour. And I also learnt that my voice can only take so much shouting…

I’ve learnt a lot this first week of my holiday. A third of the way in and it’s clear that people are the same where ever you go in the world. Here there are chavs, in SA we have jocks. We have the same prissy princesses, douchebags and slighty dodgy characters at home as the Brits have here. They just have different accents. Our sports fans all want the same things: food, drink, rivals losing and our team winning. We just do it with a different accent and using different currency.

The saying is true: we’re all unique, just like everybody else.

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Camden really is great. Bought a leather jacket for Β£10!

One last thing before I go (will be in Paris until Friday and only post again then). Had great weather yesterday, so went to the London Eye, Covent Garden Market and Camden Town. What a great day out. From the sky, London is a beautiful city. Below are some pics.

Oh, and that other new word I learnt? Munter. Just means someone really, really ugly.

*The name of the pub has been withheld for fear of chavenge (it’s like revenge, just scarier)

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