I am leaving for Romania in a matter of hours. I think I have all questions answered, except the following:
1. Is sparkling/carbonated water or flat water the default in Romania?
2. What words do I use to get carbonated water?
3. What is sparkling wine called there? Champagne, Sekt, Cava, Prosecco?
4. How do I ask to find the Unitarians / UUs? (Their website is broken.)
I rang to order a taxi this morning and the man at the other end of the line addressed me as "My love". This led me to reflect on the public use of endearments. Here in England they are very commonly used on public transport especially, and also often in small local shops, garages etc. The general rule is that endearments such as "darling" or "my dear" will be used by a man to a woman or a by a woman to a woman, when buying a bus-ticket for instance, but not by a man to a man; but in my part of South-West England it is common for a man to use them to a man as well. When I first came here, I was quite surprised to be called "M'dear" by the man in the local garage, but now I find it nothing out of the ordinary to be called "My love" by the taxi man.
So may I ask whether, and how, endearments are used between strangers (or near-strangers) in public dealings in other langusges in other parts of the world? And also in other parts of the English-speaking world?
How common is it in written Italian to abbreviate the word "per" with the letter "X"? I've come across at least two songs (Tiziano Ferro's "Perdono" and Zucchero's "Per colpa di chi") which are often written that way - even if the "per" is part of a word. Is it one of those "cool" spellings, sort of along the lines of the English-language hip-hop tradition of misspelling everything in sight?
I have a question about accents. As far as I'm aware, if a native English speaker from, say, Australia spends enough time in England, they will adopt an English accent. But what would happen if, for example, a native English speaker spends a certain amount of time in France, speaking French? Would this then affect their accent when speaking English? I'm curious.