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4:33pm on Sunday, 23rd October, 2016:

Dual Society


The person in the seat next to me on the flight back yesterday arrived after I did. He was of sub-Saharan African ethnicity and spoke with an incredibly strong London streetwise accent. "That's ma seat, bro". After he got settled, he realised he'd lost his phone. "Ma phone, you seen it, bro? I lost ma phone, man!". We were delayed maybe a minute from taking off before the person in the seat behind found it.

I got chatting to my (plainly relieved) seat row companion. It turned out that he wasn't from London, he was Swedish, he'd just lived in London for few year. Hounslow, Southall, Streatham, Hackney, ... He'd picked up his English speaking to working-class Londoners, so sounded as if he was one of them. His Swedish was more like the equivalent of a home counties accent. In London, he's treated as if he's down with the bros in the hood, innit, but in Sweden he's treated as if he were from a wealthy suburb.

It's like he's some kind of superman with a secret identity.

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Copyright © 2016 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).