I was just a boy when it began. It has still not ended to this day in fact! “What is it”, I hear you ask? My adventures in learning English are my quiet reply. What started out as my search for greener pastures in the UK, armed with only my A-Levels and a ticket to Manchester, soon turned into a grammatical adventure of epic proportions! Coming from a non-English speaking background, where even my parents didn’t speak Basic English, I came to England with just my dreams and a very sketchy knowledge of English. A language I was proud to have improved with a phrase book I had managed to find to learn grammar.
Leaving home was the easy part, amidst the many tears, my mother shed, happy to see her son “go to the Britten” as she repeatedly told our neighbours or anyone within earshot! With a firm handshake from my stoic father, I boarded the flight that would change my life forever. I did not have to wait much longer for my adventure to begin. In fact, it started no sooner I boarded the flight! There I was buzzing with anticipation, when a gorgeous stewardess asked, “Business or Economy?” to which I rather confusedly answered “No!” I was assuming, of course that she was asking me if I was travelling for business. After giving me a knowing look, one that said, “I can see you’re going to be trouble on this flight” she directed me to my seat after looking at my boarding pass.
After rather sheepishly being led to my seat, I found myself having to squeeze into the middle seat, flanked by a rather rotund gentleman to my left and a very busy looking lady on my right. I settled back into my seat slightly tense. My little episode with the stewardess had left me questioning my knowledge of Basic English and secondly because of being terrified of being buried in the avalanche of flesh that was my seat mate next to me!