Facebook tells me that I’ve known Rebecca for exactly one year, two months, and two days (not really, I just searched my inbox for our first email exchange). When we finally met up at the Anthropologist in the City, there was a 20-minute wait at the bar and a nervous kind of, “So! Um … how long have you lived in the UK?” type of chat.
But once we got that out of the way, it was clear to us both that Rebecca and I were destined to be … the same person. I mean, seriously. Not only are we very similar in thought and psychic ability, but I also sometimes joke that – despite being five years younger than me (and the same age as my brother) – she’s my “big sister” or else my life coach/mentor.
She’s a damn swell gal and here are a series of questions I’ve always been dying to ask her.
First of all, do you ever go by any other nicknames than Rebecca? Like Becky, Becks, etc? Basically, what do people call you? Also, why do you sound like you’re saying, “ReBICCa” all the time? Curious minds enquire.
I seem to attract nick names more than most people. I don’t even mean variations on my name either (although most people call be Bex, Bec or Rebecca) I mean weird shit. My sister calls me Squidgy Mouse which I still don’t know the origin story for. My colleagues call me Little One (because I’m little), Curly Sue (because I have curly hair) or Angle Eyes (because I threaten to stab people quite often and this is apparently my murderer name). When I say my colleagues call me these names, they actually introduce me to clients/new workmates using them and have labelled my stationary with them.
Oh but call me Becky and our friendship is over, I once walked out of a class at school because the substitute teacher called out Becky when doing the register…I never went back.
As for how I pronounce my name, sweet baby Jesus it would be awesome if people over here understood me when I said it. They normally think I am saying RU-Bina which is all kinds of wrong. I tend to revert to Bec because it is easier, but even then my bastard Kiwi accent makes it sound like ‘Bic’ to an English ear. I think I might just change my name to Jaime, much simpler.
Where do you buy your pants? (By pants, I mean trousers). When you emailed to say that you were at the airport and you’d discovered you had your trousers on backwards, I mean … ? I like the ones with prints on them. It seems like you have a few.
Ok ok in my defense the back-to-front airport trousers were essentially MC Hammer style jazzy pants which were very hard to discern the front and back of. I actually only noticed when I tried to put something in the pockets and the pocket went the wrong way, a hugely disconcerting feeling. I have a rather impressive collection of weirdly patterned trousers, mostly because I am not a morning person and when I feel like I am getting changed into pyjamas it tricks my brain into thinking that waking up is ok. And because who doesn’t want to combine space pants and a mystic kitten top at work? Also in my defense EVERYTHING ELSE IN MY WARDROBE IS BLACK SO JUST GIVE ME THIS ONE OK?
P.s. I get most of them from H&M in the UK and Glassons in NZ.
You used to work as a tax accountant. That blows my mind. How did you get into that in the first place? Were you especially good at math? Did you do your parents’ taxes as a child? I can actually picture 10-year-old you in a suit with an Excel spreadsheet.
It blows my mind to think of it too. Essentially I took to school like a duck to an advanced aeronautics space programme i.e. not at all. My parents were just desperate for me to get to 5th form (around about the age of 15) before I dropped out. However they played the epic mind game of actually telling me that they thought I would drop out, and my response was pretty much “fuck you I’m not only going to finish school but I’m going to go to university and become a tax accountant too HOW DO YOU LIKE DEM APPLES”. Yeah I am the lunatic who used teenage rebellion to become a tax accountant. It helps that I am a massive dork for excel spreadsheets, like I actually get excited about VLOOKUPS and have tried using formulas as chat up lines in pubs. Surprisingly guys don’t react well to excel chat.
What is your obsession with a) gin b) cats and c) coffee? And, in your opinion, where can you find the BEST flat white in the WORLD? IN THE WORLD? (Hint: I’m guessing it’s not here in London)
a) gin is a family drink, back during the dark tax accounting times I would go home and be greeted at the door by my Dad with a G&T. So apart from it being delicious and a very easy drink, it also reminds me of home and happy.
b) I love that cats are such arseholes, they only love on their terms. I feel like we could learn a lot from them; enjoy the sunshine when its sunny, find someone to cuddle if you need a cuddle and if the world gets too much go and sit in a box for a while. Oh and cats are just oh so squishy.
c) Coffee is totally my drug of choice. If you are skint to all hell you can walk into a cafe and for £2-ish you can feel like a Queen for an hour or so. Cheaper than a cocktail + somewhere warm to hang out in winter = winner. Favourite coffee in London is from Prufrock or pretty much from any of these places; and in New Zealand I have to say Camper Coffee in Newmaret.
What do you miss most about NZ? Aside from your family.
Ok I am going to include cats in the family bit. I think the thing I miss most about NZ is just how easy it is to get around. In London if I can get somewhere in half an hour and only three tube changes I think that is super quick, but in Auckland with a car everything is pretty much ten minutes from my house. And going to the supermarket and not having to carry everything home is pretty much heaven.
Answer this truthfully: have you ever attempted to do the All Blacks haka? I was watching it on YouTube this morning and I wondered.
Ha! Girls can’t do the Haka for cultural reasons, we just get to stand at the back behind the warriors and sway while doing jazz hands. No seriously that’s a thing. I love the haka though, it’s the only bit of the rugby I watch and it gives me goosebumps every time.
Finally, why are you so freaking awesome? And what secrets are you hiding in your hair?
I don’t know about the awesome part, but I hide many many things in my hair. Mostly because people at work like to play a game where they hide things in my hair while I’m distracted and see how long it takes me to notice. Not exaggerating in the slightest, the top of the leader board is currently there for managing to get a phone charger and a plastic fork lodged in there while I was on a conference call.
Thanks Angloyankophile for the interview, you continue to light up my world and cure my writers block!