This is where I get to argue, with tongue only partly in cheek, that we Brits have a harder time than others when having to acclimatise to a new country. Me – Brit? Well yes, once a Brit always a Brit. That’s what I say. And that’s what non-Brits say to me. I’m seen as more of a Brit when away from my country of birth then I ever was in it.
Not that they call me “Britit” you understand. “Anglia – English” is what they say. I’ve given up trying to explain that there’s more to Britain than England. The whole concept of several countries in one is apparently too hard for them to internalise. I wonder if the Scots are about to make that easier for them.
Some of the problems get harder with time, not easier. Foods you miss. Like Marmite, gooseberries and salt ’n’ vinegar crisps. OK, we can buy Marmite, but it’s so expensive it’s not worth it. There are lots of delicious fruits here, but not gooseberries. As for salt ’n’ vinegar crisps, any self-respecting native-born Israeli would turn up their nose at that. Except for my children. Brought them up proper, we ’ave.
Then there’s the weather. Instead of complaining about constant rain, here we complain about the heat. Still, complaint is complaint, so it’s not so hard to get used to this change.
Learning a new language is particularly hard for us Brits. We’ve never understood why not everyone talks our own rich but thoroughly illogical tongue. After all, it’s the only natural one. Every other language has to be learned.
The hardest thing for me has been getting them to realise that Brits come in all shapes, sizes and types. Because I fit their view of the British, I’ve found it hard to persuade them that some of us are loud or rude or noticeably outgoing. “You’re so British,” they tell me.
“Oh you British.” Claude had wrung his hands in mock despair. “You are so… so… réservé.”
Mark doesn’t think that’s a true representation at all, but he has no way of shaking it off, being a bit reserved himself.
As the story progresses, Mark will need to become strong. He has to contend with much more than his own immigration. He is falling in love with Esty, who is going through a much bigger life change.
Miriam Drori was born and brought up in London, and now lives in Jerusalem where her daughter has left her to hold the female fort against three males.
Following careers as a computer programmer and a technical writer, Miriam has been writing creatively for the past ten years and has had short stories published online and in anthologies. Neither Here Nor There, published on 17 June 2014, is her first published novel.
Miriam began writing in order to raise awareness of social anxiety. Since then the scope of her writing has widened, but she hasn’t lost sight of her original goal.
Miriam’s website: http://miriamdrori.com/
Neither Here Nor There is available from: